Family Friday: The Sweatshirt

Moms, have you noticed that you can find a ton of affordable kids’ sweaters, but because they’re so affordable, your kid inevitably says, “They’re too itchy!” and refuses to wear them? On the flip side, sweatshirts are comfortable — but it’s incredibly difficult to find basic sweatshirts that fit well and can just be thrown in the washer and dryer without worrying about them. I’ve gotten a lot of sweatshirts at Old Navy and Gap, but they don’t have them all the time, so it’s great to see that Primary has a sweatshirt in sizes 2/3 to 10/12 — in 12 colors! They’re 80% cotton and 20% polyester, and they’re warm and cozy — the description says it feels like “wearing a marshmallow hug all day.” (And really, what mom doesn’t want that for her child?) They’re $20 each or $19 each if you buy 3 or more. Primary Clothing: The Sweatshirt



  1. mascot says:

    Sigh, why is it so hard to find cute 100% cotton tops for kids? Sweatshirt looks fine, but the inclusion of polyester means that it is going to pill in a few washes. I have this issue with buying printed tee-shirts from Old Navy and Gap too. They look awful within 3 wears.

    • avocado says:

      I can hardly find 100% cotton tops for myself any more, much less for my kid. Another pet peeve of mine is that manufacturers don’t bother to topstitch the neck ribbing on t-shirts, so the neck always stretches out and curls.

      • Yes, this! For me and for kids – casual wear is really shoddy. I admit that the majority of clothes purchases are at Old Navy/ Gap/ Childrens Place/ Kohls but even when I take a step up to the Gymborees and Nordstroms I still find the poly blends and stretched out necks.

    • Mama Llama says:

      My daughter has the dress from Primary in this material, and it hasn’t pilled at all on the outside. (I haven’t checked the inside.)

      • Mama Llama says:

        Whoops, I double-checked and the dress I’m thinking of is 95% cotton and 5% spandex – their “cozy” material. Sorry!

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at Dharma Trading – they have clothing for dyeing and fabric art so lots of 100% cotton (and 100% silk) stuff, and they have some basics–T shirts, sweats, etc–that come in colors.

    • I realize this only helps for people in the middle of America, but the grocery store HyVee added a clothing section (F&F) and their kids clothing is AMAZING. They have great looking solids and non-obnoxious prints, are affordable, and hold up incredibly well, even with being put through the wringer at daycare. Eighty percent of my son’s wardrobe is from there.

      • I wholeheartedly second this. My daughter’s favorite dresses are F+F. It reminds a lot of H&M Kids.

      • Edna Mazur says:

        Oh my gosh my local store just finished their clothing section and I hadn’t bothered looking! Totally checking that out next time. Thanks for the tip!

        But isn’t it weird having this weird clothing store in the middle of the grocery store.

        • I originally thought that, and now it’s just dangerous. I have to remind myself my kid has too many clothes already every time I walk by. I haven’t tried on our bought their women’s clothes yet, but they are gorgeous! Their clothes go on clearance at the end of the season so I stalk up for my son then.

    • Carter’s!

    • This is only helpful for colder months but I’ve been very impressed with thermal tees and onesies from old navy. I got some for myself (maternity) and a bunch for my daughter and they wear like iron, are cute and cozy, and just work all around.

    • PregLawyer says:

      Hanna Andersson. Especially if you anticipate handing down to multiple kids. Most of their stuff is 100% cotton and it holds up SO well.

  2. Anon for this says:

    Unexpectedly (but thrilled) pregnant with number 2. I was a basket case during the first trimester with my first, counting down the days until I hit second trimester. I really don’t want to let the anxiety dominate me for the next however many weeks. Does anyone who has been in this spot have any mantras or coping mechanisms that they have found helpful? I do have access to professionals to treat the anxiety but I find that hearing from others with similar experiences more helpful than actual therapy…

    • Mama Llama says:

      First, congratulations! I’m also in the first tri with my second baby and was also a basket case the first time around, but I’m finding myself a lot less anxious with this one. Maybe the experience won’t necessarily be the same as with your first? Also, I’ve shared this before, but a mantra that helps me is: “You’re pregnant until someone tells you that you aren’t. Appreciate whatever time you have with this baby.” And finally, I’m reading Expecting Better by Emily Oster, which has really helped me by demystifying a lot of aspects of pregnancy. Good luck!

      • Anon for this says:

        Thank you, this is super helpful and that mantra does bring me comfort!! Congratulations to you :)

    • Everlong says:

      I was the same way with my first and my second pregnancy was also unexpected but very happy.

      I did not have the same anxiety the second time as I did with the first. What helped me was the unexpected nature of the pregnancy. I felt like it was very meant to be and that whatever happened with the pregnancy would also be very meant to be. He’s now a happy, healthy 4 month old. :)

      • Edna Mazur says:

        Yes! Same here. Super anxious the first time, unexpected second. I think it also helps that you are chasing around the first and the first is taking up a lot of head space. By the third, I nearly forgot I was pregnant in the first trimester :)

    • COtoNY says:

      I’m 7 weeks in and SO ANXIOUS. Time has never gone so slowly. I also read Oster’s book, but honestly, the fact that she repeats at least 6 times “as long as you’re super nauseated, don’t worry!” is just making it worse. I’ve started having a bit of nausea this past few days but before that, I had none, and I was freaking out. It would be nice if she had said, even once, that even if you’re not nauseated you’re still not likely to have a miscarriage (even though I know that’s true from other sources).

      • Boston Legal Eagle says:

        I skipped that whole chapter on nausea in her book. I only experienced mild nausea and no throwing up during my pregnancy and it was fine. I think it’s true that the majority of women have it worse, but don’t worry if you don’t!

  3. Mama Llama says:

    General plug for Primary: I have found their stuff to be really well-made and thoughtfully designed, and I appreciate their gender-neutralish approach. If my picky child didn’t insist on wearing prints most of the time, I would probably want to outfit her in all Primary clothes.

  4. FYI, we’ve found Primary to run small, at least in the baby sizes. 12m Carter’s pants are equivalent to 18m Primary pants, etc. Great quality, though!

    • EB0220 says:

      I concur. Great quality. My girls wear their dresses into the ground. We love them. The sizing definitely runs small and my girls don’t love their leggings. But the quality is great and I also love their gender-neutralish approach.

      • Whats the issue with the leggings?

        • EB0220 says:

          They seem to be a super skinny fit. In the right length, my girls complain about the waistband digging in. If the waist is comfortable, the length is way too long. And my oldest is very tall and slender. And they don’t seem to be as stretchy as other brands. That being said, they’re incredibly durable.

  5. Preschool says:

    We found a great preschool by our home that we love. Our daughter is 7 months and our moms watch her right now. It’s going great and moms are happy to keep watching her. They think starting school at age 2 would be better.

    I think it might be nice for her to go for two half-days (the program is only half day) for the socialization etc when she is 15 months old (next August). Is 15 months too young? I’m so torn as to whether she’d have a hard time adjusting for just two half days and whether she’d get anything out of it.

    • Marilla says:

      I don’t think 15 months is too young at all! If anything that’s when they’re starting to get busy and need a little more activity. I think it would also help ease the transition to more full time care at 2, if that’s the plan. If you don’t end up enrolling her, I’d at least push for them to enrol her in some mommy/grandma/nanny and me type programs (music and movement, library storytime, etc).

    • AwayEmily says:

      I suspect that a majority of women who comment here (including me) enrolled their kids in daycare before they were six months old, so you’re probably going to get a lot of people telling you that 15 months is definitely not too young! August is a great time to start — the program will probably be a little emptier (people are gone a lot for summer vacation) so she’ll get even more individualized attention to help her with the transition.

      And there are definitely a lot of grandparents out there with strong ideas about when is “too young” to start daycare — it’s worth keeping in mind how much has changed since they had their kids, and the extent to which that context shaped their beliefs. My mother worked full time when I was a baby, but there was literally no such thing as daycare for kids under two (at least not in her area), so she had to cobble together various babysitters, family, etc. For many people now in their 60s or 70s, the idea of babies in daycare is totally novel.

      • Boston Legal Eagle says:

        Yep, we started our son in daycare at 4 months. In our daycare, I actually found that the younger they start, the better a transition they have because at a young age, they don’t really know any different. The babies who were 1+ when they started had a tougher first few weeks, although all eventually adjusted. Your moms are ok watching her now but one she starts running, climbing, jumping, etc., it might be tough for them to keep up.

      • Marilla says:

        Your second paragraph is definitely true. My MIL was very pro-nanny and anti-daycare for our daughter (I went back to work when she was 12 months, my MIL was home full-time with her kids) but she has totally changed her tune after seeing how great our daycares have been, how much our daughter has learned, and how much fun she has in class.

        • AwayEmily says:

          Same with my MIL. I would always forward her the photos/updates from daycare and for for the entire first year or so she was continually amazed by them. “Wow, they have someone come in and play music? Oh my gosh, they’re all doing art together!”

          Apparently she thought daycare was just a room full of sad babies in cribs?? I don’t know, but once she actually learned what it was like, she went from saying things like “you’re really going to let strangers take care of your baby???” (yes, she really said that and no, I did not murder her) to advocating that my SIL (her daughter) send her new baby to daycare as well.

    • mascot says:

      Kids are remarkably adaptable. I’d definitely give this some consideration. Also, 7 months old is kind of a golden age for babies. They aren’t all that mobile, they don’t care about hanging with other kids, and they probably aren’t talking much. A walking talking toddler is a whole different animal. The grands may be more ready for change-up in routine by 15 months. than they think

    • I think it’s totally worth it to start whenever you can. Even if they don’t intend to, grandmas spoil babies. My mom is perfectly content to hold my son for hours and sing to him and never let him so much as whine.

      Daycare helped him play more independently (even at 5.5 mos!) and get used to not constantly being held. He’s so much more chill now. Socialization is not big now, but at 15mos it definitely will be.

    • avocado says:

      When mine was in the 1-year-old class at day care she learned a ton of practical skills that I had no idea a kid that young could learn, like throwing away her trash and washing her hands. I say go for it unless you want to hold off for another year on the constant illnesses (which would end earlier if she started earlier, so it’s a trade-off either way).

      • Yeah, take into account the fact that kiddo will get sick a lot. Also, if you’re getting free childcare… kids definitely don’t NEED to be in daycare at 15 months! My kids both started programs at 2.

    • We had an at-home care situation until 14 months, and honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted it to go longer for his sake. He *thrives* at daycare – they do tons of activities, there are older kids (he is obsessed with older kids), there is a gym and outdoor play area for him to burn off all that crazy energy. I think it would have gotten really tough to keep him stimulated at home.

      • Preschool says:

        You guys are amazing. Totally convinced me to register her and I think it will be really good for her.

        The program is just half days and I’m starting her with 3 days a week for now, so I think it should be a good balance for what I want and what the grandmas are saying.. Thanks so much everyone.

      • +1. We had a nanny from 3 months to 14 months. She was amazing and wonderful for our baby, but when she left us to go to grad school, we decided to put Kiddo in daycare for financial reasons. Daycare was amazing for Kiddo at that point–the socialization is great, but they also did SO many creative activities, and he got to burn off so much energy on the playground. I also think being in daycare pushed him on language and gross motor skills. I wouldn’t say a 15 month old needs to be in daycare or anything, but I don’t think it’s too young either.

    • Katala says:

      My first was home with dad, then nannies until 17 months and by that point we were very anxious to get him into a school/daycare situation for the socialization and activities. The nanny we had at the time would walk him and let him hang around doing his thing, which is fine sometimes, and good for younger babies, but by that age it was clear he needed more. We could have set up activities for them, classes, etc. but we chose to go with daycare to have all that taken care of with zero effort on our part. 15 months seems like a great age to ease in with a couple days a week!

      It’s true that she’ll start running through the daycare illnesses, but if you’ll be able to call on backup grandma care it might be a good thing. Fewer absences once you have her in school full time!

      • This! Run through the daycare illnesses while you have moms watching her almost full time. The first winter is brutal.

    • where I live all the preschools start at 15 months, so i think if you can afford it you should definitely start her then a couple of mornings a week.

  6. anon in brooklyn says:

    I have an 18 month old and I’m would really like to enjoy spending time with her. Most of the time with her, I’m either frustrated trying to get her to do something, or bored playing with her. She’s not old enough yet to craft together or bake together, or really anything that would also be fun for me. I’m an introvert, and since she doesn’t talk enough to have a conversation yet, I have a hard time carrying the whole conversation myself. It’s better when we can get out somewhere, but it’s hard in the winter.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      18 months is challenging. They’re on the go but maybe not that talkative. Does she like books? Reading was (and still is) a bit hit at that age.

      Not sure where you are in Brooklyn, but here are a few indoor-but-outside-your-house options:
      1) Central Library by Grand Army Plaza has a story hour on Saturday mornings and opens up the room early so kids can go nuts with toys. It also has a great children’s section, and generally has some toys out all the time.
      2) Just discovered that the third floor of the Brooklyn Museum has a open space where kids can run around. A great option for a playdate.
      3) the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is small and can be fun. They have an area specifically designed for kids sub-5.
      4) The Prospect Park Zoo has some indoor exhibits and a feeding area (outdoors) that are fun. Most of the animals are outside, but there are fish/monkey inside.
      5) Find a weekend music class (easier said than done), indoor playground, or swim lesson. Or maybe tumbling or ballet if they start those this young.

      • anon in brooklyn says:

        I’m in North Brooklyn—it seems like all of the children’s activities near us are only on weekdays.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          I know – it’s so hard to find activities on the weekend. I know that at 18 months your daughter can’t really bake with you, but I did find that mine at that age was very eager to help me in the kitchen. So, I made her banana muffins, but let her “mash” the bananas. Or, I would measure out the flour and let her dump it in the bowl. Or have her move oats from one bowl to the next. We also dyed eggs around Easter last year (and had a mini hunt in our apartment) and that was a big hit – no reason why you can’t dye eggs on an ordinary weekend!

          • We have a stool my 18 mo uses to climb to the counter. His favorite tasks are stirring (either in a bowl just like mine or, carefully, in the real bowl) and pushing the button for the coffee grinder. He also loves to mimic in his play kitchen. Are there ways she can “help” you, even if it’s just a second whisk in her own empty bowl?

            Basically my son is way too busy to read except right before bed, but he has recently gotten super into puzzles. It is usually me sitting nearby and reading or whatever, with him occasionally drawing me in by handing me a puzzle piece or showing me something. I agree that there is a lot of play observation, with not much input from me. Just the other day we actually built together with blocks and I commented to my husband that I feel like that was one of the first times we played together. We also bat around a beach ball and he loves that.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I found reading Janet Lansbury’s writing to be really helpful about assuaging my guilt around not enjoying “play” with my toddler. Lansbury goes on at great length about how your attentive presence is enough. Just sitting and watching (and engaging as requested) as your child plays is sufficient — and indeed, arguably even better than being hyper-interactive with them. Here’s a post that touches on it but it’s a common theme throughout a lot of her writing.

      This is not to say I never play with my toddler, but I try to sit back and let her lead unless it’s something I legitimately want to do and am enjoying (like Magnatiles! Man, those things are addictive).

      • Moms Solo says:

        Agreed. Mines only a year but I find the “yes space” Lansbury advocates for to be critical to my enjoyment. I get some tea and watch while he plays in there and just engage when he “asks” me to. When we are traveling and there’s no yes space, I get all frustrated and tired trying to keep him away from danger and focused on what he can safely play with.

      • anon in brooklyn says:

        My daughter also won’t let me sit and do my own thing while she plays—I can sit and watch, but if I try to read or look at my phone, she wants to grab whatever I’m doing. She’ll follow me around while I do chores, but I can’t really do my own thing while she’s awake.

        • AwayEmily says:

          I think Lansbury’s idea isn’t that you should try to read or do other tasks while your kid plays (my daughter would be similarly up in my face if I tried that). It’s that you can sit and watch them and chill out without having to constantly interact with them. So, like Moms Solo says, grab some tea, be focused on her, engage when she asks, but don’t feel like you have to actively play with her or talk to her the entire time.

    • avocado says:

      Re. conversation, if I recall correctly I was still doing a lot of narrating at that age. At the grocery store: We need three limes. One, two, three! What color are the limes? Yes, they are green! Sounds nauseating, but it gets much easier with practice. We also did Baby Signing Time and Signing Time and practiced the signs, which was fun.

    • Anon for This says:

      Commiseration. My child has a personality that is in many ways the complete opposite of me. The activities she is drawn to, the stories she most likes to hear, the time of day she has peak energy, everything is so 180 degrees from me. It may just be in my head, but she seems to actively dislike doing anything that brings me joy. Most days, I try to enjoy the challenges and view being her parent as a wonderful opportunity for personal growth, but I would by lying if I didn’t think it just really sucked sometimes. One of my more recent coping mechanisms is to think 20 years in the future and ask “if this were her first memory of me, how would I want to respond to what is happening and be the mom I want to be for her.” Basically, letting my future self shame my current self into acting like a mature, emotionally regulated adult. I’m also trying to build my own interest in things that she seems to like and remind myself that it is OK that she doesn’t like the same things I did when I was her age.

      At 18 months, I think a few things you can try are to find the ways that she likes to play and engaging in that play activity for a few minutes a day. Bring her along on the things you enjoy even if she doesn’t enjoy it (go on a walk, go to the grocery store, let her scream while you get a necessary chore done, whatever, it is OK for her to see that Mom has her own life). Try to meet up with other friends with kids of the same age, it really helps. Other times, forgive yourself for not always enjoying your time with her, because no parent does.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      Favorite activities at 18 months:
      1. Having someone bounce a small rubber basketball off her forehead
      2. Being dragged around the house superfast facedown with tongue out leaving slime trails
      3. “Helping” with household stuff aka doing the wash (reserve all socks, underwear, and tiny clothes if you have front loaders), cooking (help stir, dump pre-measured stuff in, empty the Tupperware all over the floor), holding the dustpan while sweeping
      4. fingerpainting

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I have only started enjoying time with kiddo now, and she is 4. Seriously, it’s so much work to (a) communicate, (b) prevent self-destruction, (c) do damage control and clean-up, and (d) tolerate the mindlessness while “playing” with toddlers. It gets to be more interesting when they get into the imaginative play of a 3-4 year old, and as they start having more complex communication abilities.

      Having said that, I definitely baked with kiddo when she was that age. I would put the stand mixer on a low table, measure ingredients, and let her dump into the mixing bowl. It’s messy, but she loved it. Crafts are also fun – fingerpaints, play-doh, crayons, gluing buttons onto things.

  7. how do I friend? says:

    My husband or I are usually dropping off/picking up our son around the same time as a girl in his class at daycare. They seem to have fun together (as much as two 18mos can). This morning she was playing peekaboo with him, then offered to hold his hand while they walked back together. Um, it was ADORABLE. The dad snapped a pic. I thought later as I got in the car, I should have asked him to text it to me, but I felt too weird about it. I would love to make other parent friends, as I don’t have many, but I’m not sure how. Do I just ask them if they want a playdate? If they don’t want to will it be weird forever at drop off and pick up? I was thinking of the poster on the main s!te the other day who suggested building a rapport with people you see often and I feel like we have sort of done that, but I can’t tell if the other parents are shy or just don’t want friends. Can someone help me with a script and/or share a time this worked for you, and didn’t end with another parent thinking you’re a real weirdo?

    • avocado says:

      I struggle with this too. Asking the dad to text you the picture, even after the fact, is a great non-awkward way to exchange numbers. A while back we made friends with the parents of a kid on my kid’s sports team by just biting the bullet and asking whether they’d like to do something with us. We’d had a casual conversation with the mom about museums, so I finally just texted her to ask whether they’d like to go to the current special exhibition at the art museum with us, and she said yes. I was totally nervous, especially when the exhibit turned out to be both boring and not entirely age-appropriate for the girls, but it worked out fine. We kept initiating despite how difficult it was for me at first, and so did they. A year or so later, we get together with this whole family on a regular basis and the girls are really close friends who spend a lot of time together on their own too. It was totally worth the initial discomfort. So go for it!

    • EB0220 says:

      #1 Bonding over the cuteness of your kids is always a good way to start. If you need an opening comment on the other person’s kid or your two kids together. “She’s so cute!” or “They seem to like each other.” etc. #2 Just ask him to text it to you when you see him today. Not weird. #3 In my experience daycare parents are almost always open to a playdate. One you have a conversation or two, just say “Let us know if you want a playdate sometime.” And then they’ll either text you, or not. If they don’t want to, just don’t bring it up again. It’s not like you’re best buds already so no loss. Plus, if it gets weird, you wouldn’t want them as friends anyway. My biggest piece of advice is – don’t overthink this! Also, it gets easier as kids get older and actually play with and talk about other kids.

    • mascot says:

      Is there a good playground near you? Suggest meeting at the playground sometime over the weekend. Or maybe a story time at the library, muffin at the local coffee shop, or whatever. Public spots can feel a little less intimidating than inviting someone to your house and planned activities have a definite start/end time which helps if everyone isn’t clicking. Exchange digits (I’d include #, mascot, mini-mascot’s mom on the paper or text) . A little persistance and casting a wide net helps. Even with our close friends, the group text of who wants to get the kids together sometimes flops because of scheduling or kids modds or whatever.

      • EB0220 says:

        +1 We really like story time at the library because you can disperse after or stretch it into lunch/playground as desired.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yes! Last weekend we got an email from a daycare friend’s dad asking if we wanted to meet up at a public spot and let the kids run around. It was SO great – and really nice of him to take the initiative!

    • Ask, ask, ask! I’ve made so many mom friends this way and it really is fantastic to hang out with other families. They are in the same boat as you and probably want friends as well.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Ask — I started reaching out to a few moms (I was more comfortable approaching the moms, rather than the dads) after there was a regular chattiness back and forth during drop off and pickup. After Pigpen became more verbal, I’d just lead with ‘PP said she wanted to have Linus over for a play date…” and go from there. Now, it takes a few weeks to find a time that works, but we’ve done this a few times with parents. Sometimes it’s just the kids and one parent at the park, other times it’s the whole family over for dinner while the kids play/destroy the room.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Yes, mention it next time you see him! I’ve found that daycare parents are very open to connecting with others in the same boat. We’re going to a birthday party for one of son’s former daycare buddies soon, and it’ll be nice to re-connect with the parents.

      I joined a mom’s group when my son was first born, and we still keep in touch and follow each other’s kids’ updates. We’re trying to plan a get-together now (schedules, ugh!) and it’ll be nice to see the former babies now toddlers!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I often leave a note in the other kid’s mailbox saying, “Hi! Kiddo would like a playdate with your kiddo. Here is my phone number and e-mail address, love to connect.” I’ve only had one parent not bite.

    • Anonymous says:

      It does get a little easier when your kid gets older and starts leading the way; my kindergartner keeps announcing to me that he has “planned” playdates with his new school friends, and I’m guilted into stepping out of my introvert comfort zone to contact the parents to realize my son’s visions. It’s uncomfortable but in my experience outreach is almost always met warmly and results in many new relationships though.

      I agree that meeting at a playground or out of the house is lower pressure if the weather cooperates.

    • how do I friend? says:

      Thank you all! I am going to try this! I might not see them today after all as we just got an email urging us to pick up our kids early due to the incoming snowstorm, but hopefully Tuesday wouldn’t be too late to ask for the photo or maybe just comment on how cute they were and would they like to get together at the library reading time. This shouldn’t be so hard!

  8. We are doing so well with sleep training (Ferber) at night but naps remain a struggle. I’m back to work on Monday so I suspect grandpa will just let him have pram naps but any advice? He did ok the first day but hasn’t managed a cot nap since.

    • AwayEmily says:

      ugh sympathies. For us it took about six weeks before night sleep training translated into going down easily for naps (we didn’t “nap train” — we’d let her try to get to sleep on her own for naps, but if it didn’t work we’d go back in and help her fall asleep via rocking/bouncing). So, it probably will happen! It may just take some time. It was a pretty linear process, if I recall…three weeks after sleep training her, she could go down by herself for 50% of her naps, and by six weeks we were at 90%.

    • Katala says:

      I’m no expert – #1 napped easily and #2 didn’t start napping well AT ALL until 11 months when he started to wear himself out moving around – but my opinion is do whatever you need for naps. If he naps in the stroller, fine. If he needs to be held/rocked/bounced, fine. I figure, if he can put himself to sleep at night, he’s learning that skill and will eventually apply it to naptime. Grandpa may have completely different results compared to mom, too. I wouldn’t stress about it this weekend.

      • True! I suspect grandpa is a baby whisperer and he won’t be trying to do house stuff so will happily walk him for his naps.

    • Naps are hard. Mine actually goes down pretty well but unless he’s in his stroller/car seat/swing… we get like 40 minutes MAX.

      This is where daycare is magic. They somehow got him to nap in the crib. I do not know what voodoo they possess, but it’s great.

      For your dad, I might tell him to try crib naps in the morning, and allow him to do whatever is necessary to get good naps later in the day. The worst thing is to try and nap and sleep train at the same time and end up with a tired, miserable kiddo and an even more tired and miserable parent. Ask me how I know.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Late to this, but my first did not take a nap in her crib until she was a year old. She also had grandpa as nanny, and he wore her in a carrier or held her on his lap. Now she’s four and it seriously makes me tear up to think about that phase – they still have such a strong bond.

  9. Has anyone else found their immune system nosedive now they have kids? I used to have an iron constitution. I think I took a total of three sick days in my whole working life pre-kids (and was only too sick to go to class once in college, never in law school). On the odd occasion I did get sick, it was the lightest version possible (my husband, then fiance, got pneumonia and was out for a week; I got the same thing but didn’t know it and drove five hours in a snow storm through the mountains to take a deposition in a prison while I had it.)

    Now it’s not just that my kids get the typical colds etc., but I often get things they never do. And anything that goes through the house, I get the worst version. In the past six weeks, I’ve had stomach flu so bad I could only crawl on the floor, strep throat that kept me up several nights in a row because the pain was so intense it would wake me up, and now I’m working on a cold (coughing, sore throat, chest congestion). That’s not including the first ever migraine I had in September that was so bad, I couldn’t sleep or even watch TV, just lie in bed miserable and nauseous for the full 72 hours it lasted. What’s wrong with me?

    • mascot says:

      Sounds about normal. I chalked it up to getting older and not taking my care of myself as well, both through preventative things like exercise and then being able only focus on me as I recovered. Now, even if I am sick, I probably still have childcare/house/life stuff that has to be done. Plus, it’s not like you can isolate yourself from your kids when they are sick. They want to lie on top of you and breathe in your face with their germs. For us, those first few years were the hardest. By the time pre-kindergarten started, the rate of illness really dropped. Wash hands, use disinfecting wipes on high touch areas, take probiotics, and prioritize self-care and sleep. It gets better.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Yep. My D will get sick and maybe slow down for a day or two – -my husband and I are sick for days, if not weeks and it’s SO MUCH WORSE.

      I don’t know if it’s age/stress/lack of sleep — probably all of the above. It’s awful. We’ve both been at least just a little sick since before Thanksgiving.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m the same way. Had DD last March and have had like 6 colds. Sometimes the cold affects me way worse than her, and sometimes vice versa. I attribute it to a) going through pregnancy/childbirth which takes a lot out of your body b) running on less sleep c) getting zero exercise minus stroller walks and d) sometimes crappy eating due to convenience. I can only change the last two, but DH and have began to accept that we’re going to be more sick than usual until we’re out of the little-kids stage.

    • Nothing is wrong with you! This is life with young kids. They’re germ magnets, and you get to join in the fun. :) I don’t think it helps that we’re likely much more rundown than we were before kids, even if you’re finally sleeping through the night again.

    • Sick of Being Sick says:

      I could have written this post. I used to be a nationally ranked athlete. Pre-baby, I think the worst illness I ever had was a flu that lasted three days. I have always been HEALTHY, but now it feels like I spend the whole winter going through one illness after another. I chalk it up to living in a different part of the country than I grew up, being constantly sleep deprived, and stress from raising young children and from the state of the country right now. But it totally sucks. This year, since October 31, I have had about 5 days where I haven’t had a sore throat, a cough, sinus infection, stomach issues, or the like. I am just so done with it. I went in for a physical and my doctor and blood tests say I am fine, but I just do not feel healthy anymore.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. I never used to get sick. Then my husband started working as a teacher the same year my son was born. We were all so sick all the time that first year. And once you get sick, I think you are vulnerable to future bugs for a bit until you fully regain your strength, which means for me sometimes things come in clumps. So hang in there, maybe you will get a nice break soon!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Huh, I find that I rarely get sick now, but when I do get sick, it tends to come in giant, catastrophic waves – like, strep leads to a bad cold, which leads to bronchitis and a sinus infection. It takes three weeks to fully shake it off.

      I find that sleep and stress are big drivers of my immunity. When I go through a period when I’m really stressed about something and/or sleeping less than 7 hours a night regularly, I’m almost certain to get sick.

    • “Now it’s not just that my kids get the typical colds etc., but I often get things they never do. And anything that goes through the house, I get the worst version.” –> THIS! I got the actual flu for the first time in my life in the middle of Summer (my doctor was skeptical it was the flu because apparently no one but me gets it in the Summer), despite getting a flu shot, and was dead for like 10 days and my 15 month old was fine. I’m super thankful he was fine, because I wouldn’t wish the flu on anyone, much less my baby, but I thought toddler’s immune systems were supposed to be crap?! Adults rarely get HFM? Cause I’ve had it TWICE, and the first time was worse than childbirth. I get everything my son gets, and usually get it worse than he does, plus I get a handful of extra sinus infections, colds, etc. on top of what he gets. No advice, but all the commiseration.

      • Anonymous says:

        I also got HFM twice! It seemed impossible according to the internet, but the flu symptoms followed by the fun foot and mouth sores (mine thankfully skipped my hands for the most part) don’t lie.

    • I don’t think anything is wrong with you, I think it’s just how it is. I’ve had a stomach bug twice in the last 3 months after living my whole life never having had it once. The only consolation I take is that my friends with older kids at some point seem to have become immune to all germs. So fingers crossed we all get there.

    • I used to be the same, but it seems to have improved as my kids have gotten older. My oldest is now 4.5 and, other than a pretty mild sinus infection, I haven’t gotten sick once this winter. Hopefully it will get better for you too.

      • Sick of Being Sick says:

        Thanks for providing a light at the end of the tunnel. I would really like to try for another baby, but am not even going to TTC until I have at least a 2 week period that I don’t feel like death warmed over. And I’m getting old. We can’t wait long.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Any tips for talking to your kids about remarriage? Divorce was 4 years ago. Thx in advance.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      How old are kids? My kiddo is 4 and we’ve had conversations (her dad is getting remarried, not me).

      Have you read “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen”? Whenever the question is, “How do you talk to your kids about X,” that book should be required reading.

      Things I’ve learned as the non-remarrying parent – it’s really, really hard to listen to your kid talk about their “new mom.” It takes a lot of self-awareness and self-control to keep my feelings my problem and support her as she works through her feelings. And she has big feelings that sometimes come out in unexpected ways – she came home one night and demanded to know why I was “so mean” to her new step-mom; when I pushed back (I adore her new step mom and have no reason to be mean to her, nor would I be mean even if I did have reason), she backed off and said actually her step mom was mean to me, which is also definitely not true. I had to have some uncomfortable conversations with kiddo’s dad about how to support kiddo, and listen to a lot of details about the wedding that I didn’t want to hear. That process might be one of my proudest parenting accomplishments so far.

      • NewMomAnon, it sounds like you’re doing the hardest but best thing for your kiddo. My parents remarried (other people) when I was 6 and the four parents thereafter had lunch every few months to make sure everyone was all on the same page about parenting. My parents had a horrible divorce (I was too young to remember much, but alcoholism and yet-undiagnosed mental illness played a major part) so I really admire them both for being able to do this – and for the step-parents to share in this commitment.

        I grew up healthy and adjusted with four parents who loved me and who all showed up at my various sporting events, plays, graduations etc. without causing drama or otherwise taking away their focus on doing what was best for me. I know it isn’t possible (or wise) for all folks who co-parent after divorce, but the efforts made by all made an enormous difference to my brother and I.

      • Thank you to parents like you. My parents were also really great post-divorce and unlike many of my friends, I never had to stress about them being together at graduations, wedding, etc. In fact, they email each other with photos of the grandkids! My dad and step-dad get along well, and my mom always had only the best things to say about my step-mom. It has made a massive difference in my life. Thank you. Your daughter will be very grateful when she’s older, too.

      • Thanks, all. This is helpful. I’ll look for a useful chapter in How To Talk… because I have read it, and it’s fantastic.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        You sound like a great mom. (Not that you didn’t before, but just wanted to chime in.)

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Aww, shucks. Thanks everyone. It’s such a huge relief to have a *good* relationship with kiddo’s dad and his new wife; I was worried that I would be living with constant tension regarding co-parenting for the rest of my life.

        And in case any other readers are on the verge of divorce and terrified – I had a nasty separation and was So Angry about it. Everything that has brought me to this point required a conscious choice on my part (and probably a conscious choice on kiddo’s dad’s part, too). So worth it.

  11. Leatty says:

    Talk to me about vacations when you have a 1 year old. We can’t decide if we want to have a relaxing adults-only vacation or if we want to take the baby with us. DH is pushing for an adults-only vacation, but I’m not sure I want to leave her for a week. We are leaning towards a tropical vacation of some sort (outside of Florida where we live), but haven’t narrowed it down beyond that.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Do you want a vacation or do you want a trip with your kid? B/c I’ve found that travelling with kids (small ones anyway) is not the relaxing vacation I was used to before. Which is totally fine, just know that going in! My husband and I went away just the two of us for a week when my son was 11 months and it was AMAZING. True vacation and it was great to just be our old selves for a bit. My parents watched my son, so if you have family or people you trust willing and able, I would highly recommend it!

    • Tough question. Age 1 was a hard time to travel with my baby and our worst trip with my child was when she was 14 months. But I also would not have wanted to leave my baby for a week. Can you do a long weekend with DH and a staycation for the remaining part of the vacation? If not, and if you have the money for it, the best thing to do is to bring childcare with you. Some nanny agencies can hook you up with someone that would be willing to travel with you for the vacation. You have to cover all vacation costs for the nanny plus pay her wages (it gets expensive), but you get a true vacation. You can still spend time with the baby and do family stuff, but also leave the baby with the nanny and do adult-only activities, dinners, etc. Sometimes this is also possible by lining up babysitters at the vacation destination, but that can be trickier if it is a foreign country or you don’t otherwise have a good referral source you can trust.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        I travel with my parents, and we arrange in advance times that they will mind kiddo so I get to be an adult. Plus, they have enough money that they often pay for things I wouldn’t otherwise get to do. Bonus!

    • Anonymous says:

      We never had the budget or childcare options to do anything but travel with our toddler to the godforsaken places our relatives live, but if we did, I might have pushed for something like this:

    • Anonymous says:

      We had a good vacation with an almost 1-year-old by just choosing a resort in the Caribbean that looked nice, springing for a room with an amazing ocean view (which we rarely did pre-kid since we were never in the room that much) and making no plans to leave the resort all week. We spent a lot of time at the beach and pool with the kiddo, which wasn’t too stressful since the room was right there in case she started melting down, and being confined to the room wasn’t so bad because just sitting on that balcony and looking at the ocean was incredibly relaxing. DH and I also took turns giving each other time off, so I would read a book while he went on a long bike ride and then he would play games on his computer while I went stand-up paddle-boarding. Overall, I was kind of surprised by how relaxing it was since I’d heard that vacation with kids is never vacation. We went into the trip with very clear expectations though – it was planned as “spend a week as a family in a beautiful, warm place” not “have a romantic week sightseeing every corner of this Caribbean island.” The trip was $$$ relative to most of our pre-kid trips (mostly because of the splurge on the view from the room) and a worse value for the money since we didn’t see that much of the destination, but it was 100% worth it to me to have a relaxing week in paradise with the whole family. I didn’t want to leave my daughter behind at that age either but I live in the upper Midwest and I *have* to get away somewhere warm in the winter or I go crazy.

    • We just went through this same process in November. We went to Maui and decided to go without kiddo and are soooo glad we did. Even though it was a kid-friendly area and we saw tons of ppl there with little ones in strollers, overwhelmingly my thoughts were “I look forward to seeing DD in a few days but am so happy that we aren’t juggling a kiddo right now and can focus on just us.” She’s more and more fun each day but at 16 months (was 14 months at time of trip), she requires near constant watchfulness which is draining. I actually think we spend more $ by NOT bringing her since we don’t have gpts around or willing to watch her (or frankly who I would want to watch her), so we paid a sitter, but still super happy with the decision. DH and I came back rested, connected, and thrilled to see DD. One other thing to throw out there that we considered was to bring her but just hire a nanny from an agency at the vacation destination to give us our much-needed vacation, but we decided DD would probably have a better time in her familiar routine at home. A few things that helped us:

      1. We went Sun-Fri, so that majority of her days while we were away were the same as usual in full time daycare. So she largely kept her routine, except our favorite super trusted sitter was the one to do drop off and pick up and hang out in the evening.

      2. We gave sitter keys to our car for the week, so we knew carseat installation safety, car maintenance, etc. wouldn’t be something we needed to worry about.

      3. We asked sitter to update us just once at the end of each day (unless of course there was something urgent) so we weren’t constantly distracted by cute updates. We looked forward to the daily update but were able to focus on our time the rest of the day.

      Good luck!

  12. Oh pregnancy, that beautiful time of life when you can barf and pee yourself at the exact same time. :(

    • 2 Cents says:

      *hugs* Been there.

    • Anon for this says:

      one of my pregnant coworkers puked so hard she pooped her pants. at work.

    • peed all over my bathroom floor this morning while puking in the toilet. cleaned it up. then was putting on makeup and cutting make it back to the toilet in time and puked all over the floor…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is it normal to have a harder time feeling fetal movement as you get into late pregnancy (I’m 35 weeks now)? I can tell she’s still moving around in there because when I put my hands on my belly I feel movements, but it’s hard for me to feel from the inside (which is weird, because I felt movement internally long before I or anyone else could feel it on the outside…). She also seems to have longer sleep-wake cycles now – when she’s moving, she’s still very active and I have no problem getting my 10 kicks within an hour every night right before bed (usually takes more like 20 minutes), but I feel like now even when I’m sitting or lying down and paying attention to movement I can easily go an hour or two without feeling her whereas before it was unusual to go more than about 20 minutes without feeling some kind of movement when I was on the lookout for it. Any idea if this is normal?

    • You should call your OB, but I did generally feel like there was less movement towards the end, I think because baby was running out of room. But call your OB to be sure.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve heard the same thing re: baby running out of room but I second that you should call your OB. Always call your OB.

    • Sabba says:

      I think this sounds totally normal, but you can call your OB for peace of mind. As anon says, baby is probably running out of room. I also think babies (sort of, but not really) start getting on more of a sleep wake schedule in the womb and you might be getting a bit of that.

    • Normal in my experience but yes to asking your doctor. Mine said that a good guideline is you should feel baby move within one hour after eating, and you want to feel roughly 10 kicks. It doesn’t always work out exactly but it’s a good baseline metric for me.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Call your OB because it will make you feel better. And in fact, when I was 35 weeks I called my OB for the exact same reason. Because it was the weekend I ended up having to go to L&D at the hospital to get checked out (I was also having some mild cramps — it wasn’t just the reduction in movement). It was a pain and ended up being in some ways a waste of four hours because everything was completely fine but I am really glad that I did it.

    • PregLawyer says:

      Normal, because they run out of room. Call your OB if you’re still concerned, but be aware that they will just tell you to come in for monitoring. I’ve now done this twice, and every single time I called the OB in the third trimester, he/she told me to come in for monitoring.

      I read one thing that said you should do kick counts once a day at a time of day when you normally feel movement. You should feel 10 kicks in an hour during that period of activity. I don’t think you’re supposed to feel movement every hour (but obviously confirm with OB). I’m 31 weeks, baby has lots of room to move, and I definitely don’t feel movement every hour.

    • Thanks all – it’s been a pretty gradual change that started a couple weeks ago and I had a full ultrasound late last week (for unrelated reasons) and everything looked great, so I’m not going to rush off to the OB. Unfortunately my OB will never offer reassurance over the phone – whenever I called (even in early pregnancy) the only thing they could tell me was “If you’d like to come in, we have an appointment at X time” — they’re completely unwilling to opine on whether I *should* come in. I get it, I’m sure there are legal reasons they can’t give medical advice over the phone, but a call to them is unfortunately not useful for getting a gut check about whether or not something’s normal which is why I asked here. Like I said, when the baby is active she’s still kicking a ton, and I can always get kicks by eating or drinking or poking my belly. It just seems like the natural length of time between her active periods is getting longer (or she’s in a deeper sleep or something like that) because if I don’t consciously try to wake her up I go longer without feeling kicks.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Pregnant with my second and just impulsively bought a spectra s2 pump on amazon because it was a great price, and I am in Canada where they aren’t available. I had serious supply issues with my first and my Philips pump didn’t cut it. Online reviews of the spectra are great and I think I have seen good reviews- someone assure me it was a good buy?

    • AwayEmily says:

      I asked about Spectra vs. Medela PIS a few weeks ago on here and lots of people said the Spectra is awesome! I haven’t actually used it yet (just got the shipping notification from my insurance company yesterday) but am optimistic.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Check out the rock and roll playhouse!

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