Accessory Tuesday: Printed Card Case Keychain

I received a card case keychain as a gift many, many years ago, and I still find myself using it every day. I keep my MetroCard in the back sleeve for easy access — nothing is more frustrating to me than when someone stands in the little turnstile lane and then BEGINS to look for their MetroCard [rant over]. In the zip pocket, I keep a $20 bill and a little slip of paper where I’ve written down emergency personal and work contacts, since I don’t commit phone numbers to memory anymore. The reason for all of this doomsday preparation is that I am an extremely forgetful person who has left home without my wallet and/or cell phone on more occasions than I would like to admit. I keep this keychain clipped to the inside of my work bag so that at least I have my MetroCard, some money for lunch, and phone numbers in case of emergency. This one from Tory Burch is a much prettier version of the one I am currently using — and it’s $98 at Shopbop. Tory Burch Printed Card Case Keychain

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  1. Thyroid says:

    Okay, ladies, can any of you tell my about low thyroid? I’ve felt off for a while and have zero energy…which I’ve been blaming on needing to take better care of myself (which wouldn’t hurt in any event). I decided to Google hypothyroidism yesterday, and 3-5 of the common symptoms really fit me. My problem is that I have only been to the doctor for physicals and when I have a contagious-type illnesses with obvious symptoms. I feel embarrassed going in and saying that I’m constantly tired and have zero energy and would like to discuss my internet self-diagnosis of entirely subjective symptoms (except for spotting between periods which has started happening to me, too). I’ve also been blaming a lot of my symptoms on cutting back on breastfeeding, but it seems like that should have evened out by now. Anyone have any experiences they’d be willing to share?

    • Mama Llama says:

      My hyp0thyroid was diagnosed by an endocrinologist, who I was seeing for PCOS. I never noticed a huge difference in the way I felt after I got on synthetic thyroid medication. I later found a functional medicine internist who prescribed me natural desiccated thyroid, and I do think I felt better after that. (She also diagnosed me with a Vit D deficiency and put me on a high dose supplement, so it’s tough to say what really made the difference.)

      If you have never had to talk to a doctor about health problems that involve nebulous or subjective symptoms, then you are very lucky. Learning to advocate for yourself (and your kids) in medical environment that is largely unsuited for health issues that aren’t black and white is an important skill, so there’s no time like the present to work on it.

    • I was diagnosed as hypothyroid after I stopped breastfeeding and had lots of spotting in between very heavy periods. I was told that some women to develop this condition after a pregnancy. A simple blood test showed that my levels were off. I never saw an endocrinologist because the medication that was prescribed seemed to take care of my symptoms (all day fatigue, hair loss, no libido, very heavy periods). I had assumed it was all related to being a tired working mom and certainly that was part of it, but the medication has certainly helped.

    • Hypothyroidism is very easy to diagnose with a simple blood test. Frankly, your PCP should be running this test every year at your physical exam (and might be already, never having mentioned anything because your results are normal). Just ask.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I don’t think you should be embarrassed to call your doctor and ask about a blood test. FWIW, my thyroid normals are level now, but I needed to take synthroid during my pregnancy because my thyroid wasn’t strong enough to support me + baby. I personally felt fine / didn’t notice any symptoms, but apparently low thyroid levels during a pregnancy can negatively affect a fetus. My OB referred me to an endocrinologist who monitored me with blood draws (that I got done with my normal blood draws at my OB’s office, so there were only a handful of extra visits). Post-partum, I stopped taking synthroid and had one final blood draw to make sure that my levels were back to normal. But my endocrinologist told me to call her as soon as I got pregnant again. So, if you’re still hesitating to call your doctor but thinking about a future pregnancy, tell yourself that you’re doing yourself and future kid a service.

    • anon for this says:

      Go to the doctor! Going in and saying you feel unusually tired is fine. You don’t need to diagnose yourself — that’s what doctors are for.

      Anecdata, but I’ve done this exact thing three times, when I just felt like I couldn’t get any pep in my step. Each time they tested my thyroid, which was fine. One time bloodwork detected a Vitamin D deficiency and anemia. One time was mono. And one time…. I was pregnant.

      • also anon says:

        +1. I did this once and it turned out to be a Vitamin B12 deficiency, which I didn’t even realize was a possibility. Just go, list your symptoms, and make sure the doctor does bloodwork.

      • Anon for this says:

        + 1 Please go to the doctor. I went undiagnosed for YEARS, constantly feeling cold and losing so much hair. I wasted so much time not feeling well.

        Your doctor should at a minimum test your TSH, and ideally also T3 and T4. Note that there is a huge difference between “normal” range and optimal range. Normal range for TSH is up to 6.0 I believe, but for most of us, a TSH in the range of 1 – 2 is what makes us feel well. Make sure you ask to SEE the results (don’t just rely on the doctor to tell you the results are normal).

        as long as you are there, ask for a complete blood count which includes your Vitamin D, B12, and ferritin levels. A low number in any of these can lead to fatigue as well.

    • Meiqi says:

      I have hypothyroidism due to radiation therapy I received for cancer. I, too, wasted years being in the “healthy” TSH range of 2-3. After increasing my synthroid dosage during my pregnancies and not automatically decreasing it afterwards, I noticed that with TSH of 1, I had much more energy and the extra 20 lbs I’d been carrying around for years fell off with not much effort.

    • If you’re feeling off, go with your gut. I had HYPERthyroid postpartum, and it took me months to finally go to the doctor. By that time I’d lost 20 lbs (which seems great but not that way), my heart was racing constantly and I couldn’t concentrate at all. Just go and describe your symptoms. You could even say, “I’m wondering if my thyroid levels are low, I know thyroid issues are really common postpartum”. Anon has good advice regarding testing. You definitely want TSH, T3 and T4 tested. You want to see the numbers. The suggested range is not necessarily the “feels good for you” range, either, so keep that in mind. Also agree on getting the other tests.. Go today!!

    • Meena says:

      Thanks so much for this post (and the responses!). I have been feeling exactly like OP, with the same symptoms, but avoided going to the doctor for 12+ months since I thought I was just “new mom” tired and didn’t want to make a fuss. I made my appointment today!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree that a card case clipped in your work bag is a great little thing to have handy. I have one from J Crew and I keep my bus pass in it. So much easier to get out of my bag than fumbling through my wallet or all the pockets for my pass. I like the idea of putting emergency cash or numbers in it too.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Following up from yesterday – I visited my child’s classmate at the hospital. I’m really glad I went. The parents have so much food they offered some to me (I obviously declined). The child already has like 7 stuffed animals with balloons in her room, and she was sedated all weekend so likely hasn’t seen them yet. It’s still a “wait and see” situation, but it was a freak accident and nobody did anything wrong (meaning, teachers all reacted appropriately). Thanks for your thoughts and advice on what to bring. -(former) preg 3L

  4. Grandmothers says:

    I read the article someone linked the other day about the stay-at-home grandmother, and I thought it was really sweet. My mom lives 3 hours away and still works full time, so of course I understand she cannot be my kids’ caregiver. But sometimes I get really sad that she can’t/won’t help us out more. We have a baby and a toddler and we both work demanding jobs – that is, we often feel like we’re drowning. I asked her to come visit and help me out for a weekend next month when my husband will be out of town, and she says she might not be able to because she’s been traveling a lot and my stepdad will miss her if she’s gone again. I don’t get it. It’s one night. And I need help. She is a devoted grandmother when she’s here, and the kids adore her. And I’m her daughter asking for help! I hear about these grandmothers spending 40+ hours a week helping their daughters and grandkids, and it makes me sad that I don’t have anything close to that.

    I know it could be much worse – she’s still in our lives and she loves us and the kids. I’m probably projecting a lot of my frustration onto her unfairly because this is such a tough phase of life and I just wish we had more help. Anyone else relate to this?

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re being really unfair. She works full time and lives three hours away! You want more hands on help move closer to her. Hire a babysitter when your husband is away.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please keep in mind that it was also the grandparents job, they are the nanny.

        I do sympathize. I moved away after college. The rest of my siblings live nearby. I see the relationship my parents have with my nieces and nephews. My parents do not have the same relationship with my child because they are unwilling to travel. Yet I also see the obligations my siblings have from having family nearby.

      • Spirograph says:

        This response is unnecessarily harsh. The OP is sad/jealous that her mother is not as day-to-day present in her life and her kids’ lives as some others are able to be. It’s how she feels, she didn’t say she threw a tantrum and told her mom that if she can’t come for the weekend she’s never going to see her grandchildren again (for the record, that would be inappropriate!).

        I fantasize all the time about having my mom live close enough that she could be backup childcare, or I could drop the kids off and have a few hours of freedom on a weekend. She lives 5 hours away and is hit-or-miss if I request that she visit for a specific weekend. She also works full time, and has an active social life as an empty-nester, and tries to visit her own parents (5 hours in a different direction from my house) and my siblings kind of regularly. In my rational brain, I know my mom is doing her best to balance everything, and she loves all of us and has really earned her fun and free time after raising 3 kids mostly as a single parent. Emotionally, sometimes I think, “why doesn’t she just retire and move closer to meeeeee?” So yes, I think you’re both projecting your frustration a little unfairly, but it’s totally normal to wish for extra help when you’re in a tough phase with young kids!

        I agree with hiring a babysitter for a few hours the weekend your husband is away, though. Either a mother’s helper to entertain the older kid and let you deal with the baby, or someone who can be the responsible adult and let you get away for a couple hours.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          I agree. OP, I think you’re being a little unfair but I can also empathize! My mom is physically closer (1 hour) but works full time and is basically not available to help most of the time, as she needs to spend most of her weekends running her own errands and doing her own thing. Rationally, I understand that. BUT, it’s also frustrating when my mom gives me guilt trips about not including her more, or I get jealous of friends whose parents help a lot. Sometimes I just want my mom to still parent me and take care of me!

      • I agree that’s a little harsh. It’s fine and totally normal to be sad that your mom isn’t more actively involved.

        • Anonymous says:

          But it sounds like her mom IS actively involved! She’s sad because her mom doesn’t want to drop everything and come to her on one specific day, and imo that’s pretty self-centered. I posted once on the main page about how I was bummed that my (retired!) parents NEVER wanted to visit me and my kid, and I got eviscerated as a spoiled brat. People said they had been there, done that as parents and had earned the right to travel wherever they wanted, even at the expense of visiting my family. And this OP has a mom who visits her and her kids regularly, she just can’t come this ONE time because she’s been traveling and is tired and wants to spend time with her husband, which is totally reasonable.

    • anne-on says:

      Commiseration. We don’t live near any family (about 2 hours away on both sides) and it was REALLY hard not to have ANY backup when my son was small. We had to accept that we’d need to pay for backup childcare in one form or another as neither sets of grandparents can fill that role.
      What still stings, a lot, is that my parents are the day to day caregivers for my brother’s kids since they can’t (won’t) pay for childcare, and that comes before seeing our child. To the point where they won’t even visit on some weekends because they are either ‘to exhausted’ from caring for 2 small kids all day or taking the kids on a Saturday so my brother can ‘get a break’. HUGE eye roll on that last one.

      • This is my situation, too, expect both sets of grandparents are a plane ride away. My mom is my sister’s full-time caregiver, my sister works most Saturdays, and refuses to put her 4-year old in daycare or get backup care. So, my mom rarely even comes to visit even though we have 2 children and have a really great love for her. And when she does come, about once a year, but some years zero, it’s this whole big thing about how my sister is making a huge sacrifice by using PTO so my mom can come. I used to carry a lot of rage about it but now it’s quelled to a satisfying eyeroll.

        OP, I think many people feel the way you do, but raising children far away from family is the reality for most people I know.

    • Anonymous says:

      I saw a big difference when my mom retired. Her working full time limits her ability to assist but on the positive side it likely means she is relatively healthy and financially secure so you don’t have elder care issues in addition.

      My mom is pretty involved and honesty it would be easier to have an after school nanny that I could be more directive with but keeping my mom so involved is partially preventative for elder care issues because otherwise she’d be sitting around the house all day.

    • Honestly? I think you sound incredibly spoiled. It would be one thing if she lived three hours away and never wanted to visit. But of course she doesn’t want to drop everything in her own life and come on demand just because your husband is going out of town for one night! Just because someone is a grandmother doesn’t mean she should stop traveling or making other plans that sometimes prevent her from helping her daughter out. My mom is a super involved grandma, who visits us regularly and dotes on the kids when she’s here, but she also still has a job and enjoys a lot of leisure travel with my dad and there are lots of dates that don’t work for her. It would never occur to me to tell her she needs to come on XYZ date and be upset when she couldn’t.

    • Ugh, let me tell you. I have a mother who lives 3 hours away and would LOVE to quit her job, move in with us, and watch the kids full time. She’s asked. She’d do it for room and board. We have the room. We have the need (we are about to have our 3rd, oldest won’t go to kindergarten until 2019).

      NO WAY.

      It sounds great, but the real value is having reliable help nearby for pinch-hitting coverage, or short stints. You don’t want Grandma becoming the nanny. For one, she either loses “fun grandma” OR she is too “fun” of a nanny/caregiver. You start to have conflicting opinions on child rearing.

      What you really want is Mom to live 15-30 minutes away, come help out when your husband is out of town or when schools are closed, to maybe do a few random doctors appointments or pickups when you’ve got a tough schedule, or to stay with the kids for a few days if you and DH want to go away or have overlapping work trips.

      • My parents are moving to our town (but definitely not our house) when they retire in a couple of years and I’m SO excited to have them as this kind of backup coverage – we will still pay for 40 hours/week for daycare, but it will be so nice to have them here to spring the kids from daycare early or stay with the kids while we both go out of town. And once the kids are in school, it will be so nice for them to spend some afternoons and parts of the summer with the grandparents and not have to go to aftercare and day camp all the time.

        • Exactly. I’m sending one of my kids to Grandma’s for a week this summer and I’m totally psyched. It’s a treat for everyone! But having Grandma as full time caregiver makes a week at Grandma’s nothing special.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look, I relate to feeling like you are drowning, but I think you are being unfair. It sounds like you feel like your mother owes you more help. She doesn’t. Taking care of your children is 100% optional for her at this point in her life – and it sounds like she has a pretty full life of her own. Can you hire more help?

    • Grandmothers says:

      OP here. Thank you all for your comments. Consider me properly chastened. I totally agree that my mom has earned her freedom from young kids, after spending so many years raising her own. My post was coming from a place of desperation – you know the kind: breaking down in tears in my kitchen because nobody slept last night and the baby is sick and my 2 year old just wet himself again and I’m behind on everything at work and my husband and I haven’t had an adult conversation in what feels like years. But none of that is my mom’s fault. It sounds like the answer is more paid help, which I will look into as a general matter.

      I just wish I had a bigger village.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hugs. And maybe say some of that to your mom. She can’t help all the time but she may be able to pinch hit a bit more for a couple weeks, or do some of the work of figuring out who to hire for paid help. Or just tell you that she knows it’s hard and you’re doing the best you can.

        • I actually agree with this. “mom, I’m totally underwater and am desperate for help. Is there any way you could come down for the weekend?” Is very different than “DH is out of town and I could use some help, are you available?”

          Of course, I don’t know how you framed it, but she might not hear the desperation in your voice :)

          Another thought– could you take the kids and go see her? You don’t get a 100% break, but you get 2 other sets of adult hands, so you might get to have a hot cup of coffee in the AM.

          • lawsuited says:

            +1 This is a great idea. Visiting my parents is as close as I get to a mini-vacation because I just have to care for my baby while they bring me cups of hot tea, plan and prepare meals, take out the garbage, etc. etc.

          • I get this language, but why should the OP beg to have her mom help? I can understand her feeling that she wishes she didn’t need to make this level of effort in order for her mom to help out on a more regular basis.

      • Mama Llama says:

        I think this is completely relateable. You can feel sad that your mom isn’t willing or able to lighten your heavy load and at the same time recognize that she isn’t under any obligation to do so. Raising young kids is so hard! It’s natural to hope for relief from the obvious sources. But once you realize that help (or sufficient help) is not coming, it’s time to look at other options. Hugs to you.

      • AwayEmily says:

        I am late to this conversation but wanted to say I *absolutely* relate. My mom lives 20 minutes away and is retired. She also has an incredibly busy schedule — she’s an elected official, she’s very involved in local politics, she is on several boards, and she has an active social life. My husband travels some for work and I’ve asked her to come help a few times and gotten a “sorry, I’m booked.” And even though I of course don’t want her to skip her obligations to help me, in some ways the little kid in me just wants to feel like I am my mom’s first priority ALWAYS, and that she should say “oh, I’ll just miss this meeting.” So I guess what I’m saying is that you can simultaneously recognize that your mom doesn’t owe you anything but also feel sad at the same time. I wouldn’t want my mom to be anyone other than exactly she is — I love how involved she is, she’s an incredible grandmother (makes an effort to see my kids every week), and I hope I’m exactly like her when I am older. But sometimes I just want my mom to come save me, and am sad when that doesn’t happen.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          1000% this. I said this above, but my mom has her own life, and that’s great, but sometimes I still want her to parent me and help me because I’m her kid!

      • Anonymous says:

        Hugs! I have unattractive jealous emotions all the time. Hope things let up soon.

        • Anonymous says:

          Please consider kindness to the OP. Personally, I have a lot of sympathy for her.

          • Anonymous says:

            I WAS trying to be kind by saying I empathize and relate – I am jealous of other families’ situations all the time. By saying my jealousy is unattractive I just meant I have emotions that others might also judge harshly. I completely sympathize and was trying to express that. I’m sorry if that was unclear.

          • Anonymous says:

            Ah, that was me at 2:00 above. Thanks for your response.

      • Anon for this says:

        People are being way too harsh with you. I have a mother like the one you want, and it’s been amazing. She lived us with for ONE YEAR helping us with our young children. And she cooked and cleaned and never complained and have an incredible bond with the kids. Some of that is definitely cultural. Totally normal, if not expected, in most Asian cultures to have grandmas doing that. And no push back whatsoever from DH, which helps too of course. Having lived in the US for now 15 plus years, it’s been sad to me to see how uninvolved some grandparents are here.

    • First: I think others are being unnecessarily harsh, but maybe it’s because I commiserate with OP.

      OP: I have the same feelings, except all of our grandparents are retired and live in the same city as us. I think for me it is sadness that they show no desire to see or hang out with our kids. Or establish a relationship with them unless I plan, coordinate, etc. News flash, we don’t have time to plan and coordinate your relationship with your grand kids. We’ve gone as far as letting them know that we are home every evening and most weekends if they ever wanted to stop by. Nothing. Every time I ask if they want to come over it’s “maybe if we don’t have X, Y, or Z going on that day. I see other grandparents take full initiative in seeing their grandkids, and it’s that initiative that I mourn. Because without it, these kids aren’t having relationships with their grandkids.

      So if that makes me spoiled, then I guess I am . . .

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Hugs, OP. I’m sorry you’re underwater. It’s a crappy feeling.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      I understand where you are coming from and I think these feelings are very normal, perhaps especially when you compare your situation to other friends’ situations. I have the grandma everyone wants in their life. I have lost track of the number of friends who tell me that they are so jealous by how helpful and involved my mom is. I’m Indian and my mom flew across the country and lived with us several months to help us with our kids were young. She’s retired so that is a huge help of course, but she gave up various social commitments and such because she prioritized us, and we’re so grateful. And when I thank her, she just brushes it off and says that she was blessed to help. I hope to be like her when I become a grandmother.

      • Among my circle of friends, it’s been interesting to see the marked difference between the immigrant grandparents vs. the American/WASP grandparents. The immigrant grandparents essentially uproot their own lives and move to live close to their kids and grandkids (sometimes in the same house, sometimes close by) and help out constantly — picking kids up from school, cooking, etc. The WASP parents see their grandkids regularly and help out when they can, but they definitely have their own lives and interests separate and independent from their kids (my own parents fall in this boat). I’m sometimes envious of my immigrant friends who have so much support from their parents, but I know that it is also comes with drawbacks too.

      • Boston Legal Eagle says:

        I have this too with my parents – immigrants who moved to our area to help out with our kids. They don’t live with us (that would be too much!) and they aren’t full time caregivers, but they help out on weekends, sick days, date nights and even watched our son for a few days when we did a solo trip. It’s great having them available as back-up. We all lived with my own grandparents when I was little so part of it may be them looking to pay this forward with us. I feel really grateful for this, and hope to do the same for my kids in the future, if they have their own kids.

    • I’m in the commiseration boat. Grandparents are 5.5 hours away, and we’ve just had to come to terms with weekends here and there being about as good as it gets, except for a week or so in the summer when my mom visits.

      The part of this that keeps bothering me is that “my stepdad will miss her”. Was he not also invited? Or is there a specific reason he can’t join her?

      • Katala says:

        +1 to commiseration. All grandparents are a flight away and none is capable of caring for our kids, really. When either grandfather visits, we can get away for a couple hours if both kids are asleep or they can take the older one to the playground 2 houses away. When we left our (then only) kid with grandma to go to the grocery store, she fell asleep while watching him. So obviously completely unable to be responsible for any type of solo care. It really sucks, and I get feeling jealous of people who have lots of family support. It’s so hard to feel stuck in an impossible situation and knowing that no one will rescue you. Paid care is great, but it’s not always available exactly when you need it.

        I think it’s pretty harsh to say OP is spoiled or unreasonable if she feels it’s unfair that she doesn’t get as much help from her mom as she needs when she sees other grandmas providing more support. It is unfair. Yes, life is unfair, but that doesn’t mean you’re spoiled or unreasonable for wishing things were different.

    • Anonymous says:

      I 100% commiserate. I moved across the country to be closer to my parents. I love them and want my kids to have a relationship with them. And I know they love my kids too — but the reality is that they are not interested in the kind of help that I really needed, especially when the kids were little. They’re interested in hanging out with me sometimes, and coming up for a 36 hour visit twice a year, but they’re just not interested at all in helping and they really don’t like traveling. So it is what it is. They both work full time and it’s just frankly hard to get on their calendar. In some ways it was easier when they had to book a full week to fly cross-country to be with us. At least we had their attention when they were with us.

      I remember thinking when my kids were little that my mom must have just forgotten what it was like to have a baby, because if she remembered, there’s no way she would just abandon me like that. And I promised myself that when my daughter is a grown woman, if she has kids and a job, I would move heaven and earth to get to wherever she is so I could clean the kitchen, do the laundry, hold the baby while she takes a shower, make her dinner, and be physically present. Even now that my kids are 5 and 8, I’ve already begun to forget how hard it was. But I remember making that promise to myself and to my infant daughter.

  5. Help me with boundaries during our nighttime routine. Kiddo is 3.5 and very good at pushing and testing boundaries, esp at night. Moving from one step to the next during our night time activities can take forever and she stretches each one to the max. I control some aspects, but I struggle with putting limits on the activities she can control. So, the first step is to have a snack and she will keep eating and saying she is hungry. I usually give her one boring snack, either something leftover from her dinner or an apple. She will finish that and say that she is still hungry, so then we’ll give her some crackers or something else boring, but it stretches snack time from 10 minutes to up to 30 minutes. I don’t want her to go to bed hungry, because then she’ll just wake up in the middle of the night and ask for a snack. But, I also don’t want her to stuff herself just to delay bedtime.
    The next one we have problems with is potty time. She will sit there forever saying that p00p is coming. sometimes more comes, sometimes it doesn’t. So I never know if I am pulling her off too fast. If we pull her off prematurely, she will need to go later usually right before we’re ready to turn the lights off, restarting the whole story time step.
    Our routine is snack, teeth and potty, and 3 books. On a good night, it can take about 40 minutes, but it usually takes about and hour and a half.

    • Anonymous says:

      No snack. Why would she need a post dinner snack? It’s a bad habit. Silly cup of milk if you must.

      • anne-on says:

        Agree. Snack in the afternoon, plus dinner should be enough food. A cup of milk or small spoonful of peanut butter if you’re really worried about weight gain/growth spurts should address any hunger pangs. I’d also suggest not giving into nighttime snacks – Ferber has some suggestions for tapering them off, but basically he treats them as nighttime wakings and suggests a process similar to sleep training.

      • I agree with this, but it could depend on your routine a little. My kiddo eats dinner around 5:30-6:00 and we start bed time around 7:00 or a few minutes after. She doesn’t need more food when she’s going to bed less than two hours later. She knows food is over with dinner, and if she does ask for more later, she can have more dinner or apple slices. If your kiddo goes to bed a lot later, there could be a need for a small snack. Could you combine snack and books and then do teeth and potty last?

        • Anonymous says:

          OP posted below that dinner is at 6pm and bedtime is 9pm so I can’t see how they can drop snack unless they move the bedtime way earlier.

    • Anonymous says:

      why does have to potty before bed if unsuccessful at first lead to “restarting the whole story time step.”?

      We only do two books before bed. Each twin picks one. I do a lot of “let’s hurry so we have time for two books” or “let’s hurry so we have time for an extra book” and then read three. Not losing a book is a big motivator. I really talk it up by chatting about which book will be picked tonight during teeth brushing/potty time. If we don’t have ‘time’ for two then I pick which one we read.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Timers. You can’t argue with a timer.

      That said, we don’t do a post dinner snack. And 100% NO to middle of the night snacks. I have never heard of a child that old eating in the middle of the night. If she wakes up hungry too bad for her. She won’t starve.

      I don’t understand why going potty later will restart the story time step? You can just say “we already did story time” if she needs to go potty after you read books.

      You could also use books as an incentive. Like set a timer for the whole bedtime process and if she dawdles or the timer goes off before she’s done completing steps, she loses one or all of her stories.

    • Anonymous says:

      Definitely drop snack. If she is having potty issues, I’d suggest cutting her off after a reasonable time (3 minutes?) and pop her back on after books if you think she really still needs to go.

    • If you can’t eliminate the snack, you can put limits on that step. Give her the same amount of the same snack every night, and put a timer on for her to eat it or not. She won’t go to bed starving.

      I’m hesitant to place strict limits on going to the potty because they’re supposed to be learning to listen to their bodies. But there’s no reason that going to the potty should restart the previous step in the routine–you take a potty break, keep it boring, and then go right back to where you were in the routine or right to bed. You can remind her, “Ok, but we’ve already read one book, so when we get back, we’ll have two books left,” and then, “Ok, time to read your last two books.”

      Even though we don’t place too many limits on potty time, we do tell Kiddo that he has to wait 5 minutes after each potty break. He always needs to go right before bed, and we take him, and as soon as he gets back, he says he has to go again. We tell him he has to stay in bed for 5 minutes, and if he’s still in bed and still has to go in 5 minutes, he can go again. 9 out of 10 times, he falls asleep.

      We read three books too. We started taking turns choosing a book. Mommy and Daddy always choose shorter books. That can save 5-10 minutes. For a few longer books, I’ve started telling Kiddo that X pages=1 book. (He got Richard Scarry’s Things That Go from a relative this weekend. He loves it, but that book never ends!)

      Last tip–if transitions from one step to the next are tough, our kid’s child psychologist recommended to us taking pictures of Kiddo doing each step and making a chart out of that. Apparently, some kids like the chart better when they’re in it. It seems like a great idea, but we haven’t implemented it yet.

      • Thank you, everyone. I need this tough talk. I think I give in a lot or redirect in order to avoid tantrums at night, when I am at my worst. We added a snack to the routine because we eat dinner at 6:00pm and often she doesn’t go to bed till 9 and is hungry by then. But we can resolve that issue by shortening the routine and going to bed early. i am just on eggshells every night. How can I make bed time less stressful? We already have a consistent routine, but every night is a different nightmare.

        • Anonymous says:

          That is way too late for 3 years old. She’s probably a nightmare in the evenings because she’s tired!

        • Mama Llama says:

          Bedtime dragging out is SO frustrating. What I do when my 4 yo is taking forever is I count to three and then she loses a bedtime story (she gets 3). We probably started this a year or a year and a half ago and the few times when I did take a story away were total meltdown nightmares. But now usually all I have to do is say, “If you don’t get your pajamas on, I’m going to count to three,” and she gets moving. I really don’t like to parent via threat, but this is the best way I’ve found to keep her on task.

          For snacks, if she says she’s hungry, I tell her the kitchen is closed but she can have a big breakfast in the morning. (Exceptions are if she has been sick or traveling or something.)

          For potty, I don’t put limits on it, but I try to make it as boring as possible. No talking, and I don’t sit in the bathroom with her.

        • Anonymous says:

          Whoa! She doesn’t go to bed until 9pm? What time does she get up? Unless it’s well after 8am, I suggest you consider an earlier bedtime!

          • avocado says:

            I don’t know about that. We couldn’t put our kid to bed earlier than 9:00 until she was in elementary school. Some kids are just night owls. If an earlier bedtime won’t work, I’d push dinner later and drop the snack.

          • Anonymous says:

            9pm in elementary school is totally different to me than 9pm at 3.

        • Anonymous says:

          We do not do a set # of stories, we do stories for however much time is left before bedtime. So if putting on PJs, etc takes too long, story time is very short. Agree that bedtime sounds too late unless she gets up at 8.

        • Anonymous says:

          We eat supper at 6pm or 6:30pm. Go upstairs at 7:15pm to start bedtime routine. Bath, pjs, teeth/potty, story, bottle in bed (I know we need to drop the last step). In bed by 8pm. Grumpy monsters if they don’t go to bed until 9pm.

        • Most 3 years old go to bed around 7:30 pm/8 pm. 9 pm is quite late. No wonder she is hungry.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Loads of sympathy. Bedtime is so bestworst. I love the snuggling story reading, loveLOVE the singing, but I hate the battle of wills. I take away stories and songs, like, “I’m going to count to ten, if you aren’t in here brushing your teeth, you lose the story.” But then I have to deal with the hysteria of a girl who lost her stories.

      My three year old is still in her crib (IDK, she never climbed out, and if it ain’t broke…) but I’m thinking that this weekend we’re going to put her in her toddler bed, and say: new routine. Something with way fewer steps/changes in activities.

      • anne-on says:

        Ha, my 6-yr old was also in a crib when he was 3. Never climbed out, so why push it? At 6 he still rarely if ever gets out of bed on his own, with a rare potty trip, or an even rarer visit to our room in the morning. He usually asks if its OK to even leave his room, even if his ok to wake clock is green. I am NOT complaining!

    • I permit kiddo one boring snack (crackers, plain yogurt or cereal), either post-dinner or middle of the night, because I can completely relate – my own metabolism means that I’m either hungry 4 hours after we have family dinner, or am waking up in the middle of the night to scarf a granola bar or bowl of cereal. It’s a family thing – as a kid, more than once I’d come downstairs in the middle of the night to find my dad and my sister also raiding the fridge. And we were all full after dinner, so it’s not like we weren’t eating enough. Kiddo has inherited that – he just needs to eat all the time, like me. If yours is really hungry and it’s not a question of bedtime being too late, could you push dinner later?

      That said, we also make it very clear that bedtime is bedtime, kiddo needs to sleep so his body can rest and grow healthy and strong, and that if he dallies we ‘run out of time’ to do things like bedtime stories and songs…

    • Meiqi says:

      We had this issue with my SD because at her mother’s house, she can do whatever she wants, including eating only bread for dinner and drinking milk in bed (she’s almost 4.) It took several months of her waking up in the middle of the night asking for milk, but we basically made it very clear that either she eats her dinner or she doesn’t eat again until breakfast. Period, no exceptions. If she throws a loud, violent tantrum, she gets a spanking. We have successfully changed her habits this way. She is one that I can envision sending to military school one day…. :-)

      Our kids often don’t get into bed until 9:00 either. Living in North Jersey, we just can’t do commutes, pickup, dinner, baths and stories for three kids and finish before 9:00 every time. Our dinner/bedtime routine easily takes two hours. They sleep until 6:30 am and wake up on their own. I’m always amazed by people whose kids go to bed at 7:00 pm. So lucky! Mine would never fall asleep that early, but they also take 2-2.5 hour naps at school.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can’t imagine hitting my kid period. Let alone because she was hungry. You might try having some empathy for how incredibly, incredibly difficult it is for a 4 year old child to have to move between two homes. Pretty sure you won’t have to worry about sending her to military school as she will likely be living with her mom and avoiding you as soon as she is old enough.

      • Marilla says:

        Not OK. You’re allowed to set your own parenting rules in your own house. But hitting your kid because she’s hungry and upset in the middle of the night is not good parenting, and it’s pretty nasty to joke about sending a 4 year old kid to military school when she’s older. She’s 4. Have some empathy and compassion.

      • Anonymous says:

        I want to cry and throw up just reading this. Poor kid.

        • Meiqi says:

          I made the joke about military school because she responds very well to a structured schedule, which is what her psychologist said she needs. I don’t spank her because I think it doesn’t work as a long term strategy; her father believes in that form of discipline, probably because that was the norm in his family. He also only does it when she throws hard objects at us, kicks him in the groin, hits us in the face, etc. She has kicked me in the face and spit in my face when I was trying to help her put on a bathing suit and change her diaper, respectively. Before you make snap judgements, I suggest you try living with an out of control three year old who is such a picky eater (having been fed a steady stream of junk food) that she refuses to eat dinner and then wakes the entire house (including a baby and three year old) to have milk in the middle of the night. When we get her back from her mom’s house, her constipation is so severe that she frequently has bloody stool, but instead of feeding her a nutritious diet, her mother wants to just give her MiraLax. And although I insisted that SD see a psychologist, who prescribed occupational therapy, play therapy and insisted on a highly structured preschool, I have no empathy? And I am the only one who cooks actual food for her, but I have no empathy?

          • My 3-year-old sounds a lot like yours, and I don’t have conflict with another parent or set of caretakers. It’s incredibly frustrating to deal with a child with these kinds of problems day in and day out. There are times I’ve felt like hitting my kid, particularly when I get hit, kicked, spit at, etc. I haven’t done and wouldn’t do it, but I’ve had reactions I’m not proud of (yelling, pushing him away, picking him up and depositing him unceremoniously in a safe place and slamming the door).

            It sounds from your follow-up post like you were venting and you’re trying to do the best for your step-daughter. But I think there can be a difference between having true empathy and providing other things and services a child needs. Sometimes it’s harder to *feel* for a kid than it is to *provide* for one.

    • You obviously live in my house. My kids are exactly the same. I did not read the other responses but here’s what I’ve found helps with my kids:
      #1 Snack time – they were really dragging it out so we told them (in advance) that the new rule was 1 snack choice and 10 minutes
      #2 Books – the kids get as many books as we have time for before 8 pm. Sometimes that’s 3, sometimes it’s 0.
      #3 Remi – we have this clock (Remi) that turns to “sleep” mode at bedtime, which means that its face changes to sleep and (this is key) it starts playing music. So this is their message to get in bed.
      #4 Potty – this is a major power struggle with my 3 year old so I have to defuse it. After books, I take 3 year old into her room and her job is to use the bathroom. I leave the room (to sing to big sister) and my absence seems to take the fun out of refusing/dragging it out.

  6. Swim Diaper says:

    Swim diaper help please. What do you guys do for pool swimming? We have disposable swim diapers (huggies and baby ganics) an iplay reusable and her swim suit. I think layering all three should keep us safe for most pools. What have you done? Any brand preferences for swim diapers? Our daughter is 15 months.

    I’ve read the lucie’s list post but would love your help too. FWIW our neighborhood pool just says no disposable or cloth diapers so I assume this means no typical diapers as I’ve seen babies there in the past. We’ve doing swim lessons at a local fitness center that only requires a disposable swim dipe, I just want to be extra prepared.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are beyond prepared and protected. We just do a huggies swim diaper and a swim suit. We’ve never had an issue in a pool, lake or beach. Just know that if you’re coming out of the water for a while, the swim diaper is not a good land diaper. Definitely don’t put down for a nap or something in it, as it won’t hold in as well when it’s dry.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Same – swim diaper + bathing suit. If you’re really concerned, swim diaper + iplay + bathing suit.

    • The pools we’ve been in require double diapering, so we do huggies swim diaper, iplay reusable swim diaper, swim suit (sometimes we leave off the swim suit bottoms, but they are so darn cute).

      • Our reusable swim diaper is snug enough that we couldn’t fit it over a disposable. I’m not sure how that would work.

    • Jeffiner says:

      Our pool requires two reusable swim diapers, and doesn’t allow disposable ones. We use two that we got on Amazon over a year ago. They are adjustable and still fit my daughter. Sometimes we put a bathing suit on as well, other times just a swim top, and sometimes we let her go topless because she’s 3. Her bathing suit is far too loose to hold anything in, but the swim diapers have done a great job.

    • For the beach, what do you do for coming in and out of the water? I hadn’t thought about the fact that the swim diaper wouldn’t really absorb the pee. Just leave the swim diaper and know we’ll get pee on ourselves? :-/

  7. ifiknew says:

    I have a 11 month old that needs a 5 amish bottle daily. She sleeps from 7 or 7:30 pm to 5 am, bottle, then again until about 6:30 or 7:00 am.

    We’ve had to endure a lot of CIO to get to this point and are weary of more CIO at this hour, because maybe she is hungry, but we’ve never tried it. Has anyone else been in this position? Will she outgrow it on her own?

    • Anonymous says:

      We deal with this by leaving a bottle prepared in the fridge. Luckily cold milk isn’t a problem. We just take turns going down to get the bottle and give it to toddler. I’d rather give a bottle at 5am and crawl back in bed for an hour than be up for the day at 5:30am. My kids never went much beyond 10 hours without eating or drinking.

    • My 9 month old still nurses at 4-5 am. She goes down around 10:30, sleeps until that 4 or 5 wakeup, then goes back down again until 8. So, no tips, but you’re not alone. She definitely eats (I can hear the milk thumping in her empty stomach), so I am loathe to cut it out. This morning we were up from 3-5 with thunderstorms, so sleepy.

    • Anonymous says:

      She’ll outgrow it eventually – teenagers don’t get up at 5 am to eat, you know?

    • AwayEmily says:

      We tried CIO with the early AM wakeups and it didn’t work, though I think we only tried for a week or so — maybe it would work if you did it for longer? What did finally work was the OK to wake clock (yes, even at that young age — we started it at 5 months). Basically you start by setting it for a few minutes after they normally wake up. The second it turns green, make a big deal of going in and getting them up. Then gradually (over the course of weeks), set the clock to turn green later and later. The idea is that they learn to wait, and then eventually to fall back asleep. this strategy worked for me (I implemented after a few of my friends solved their kids’ early rising issues the same way).

    • imsotiredalwys says:

      No advice, but if it helps– I’m insanely jealous. I do a happy dance when my 10 month old sleeps from 8pm to 3:30 am, nurses and then goes back down till 7am. this has happened like 6 times in the last month and every time I feel like I’m totally killing this being-a-mom thing.
      Mine has no teeth yet, so CIO has been slow going since I always worry she’s finally teething and needs me.

      • Don’t worry, questions like this always gave me the urge to punch someone! For the first 20 months of kiddo’s life, 2-3 wakeups was a *good* night. Which is not to say that OP’s question or your situation are invalid, because if you’re tired and over it…you’re tired and over it. Hugs and hang in there.

      • ifiknew says:

        OP here – I feel your pain. Up until about 9 months, I was waking up at 11 pm, 2 am, and then 5 am. and then we did CIO for the middle of the night wake ups at 9 months and over the course of about 2 weeks, we dropped the 11 pm and 2 am feeds (basically, my rule was no food before 4 am) and she settled on this 5:30 am wake-up.

        It is so so so hard because I do worry that she’s in pain too and needs me, but I did my crazy dance for 9 months and then couldnt take it anymore!!

        • imsotiredalwys says:

          Thanks! I totally understand your frustration too, wake-ups after 5am are almost worse than the 2-3-4 am because they you have to decide whether or not its worth it to go back to bed yourself, or be up for the day.
          Once we get her diaper rash cleared up, I’m going to try middle of the night CIO again…

    • lawsuited says:

      Eliminating the bottle and CIO for early morning wake ups worked for us to a point (got us from a 4:30am wake up to a 5:45 wake up – bedtime always stayed the same at 7pm), but it sounds like you have a sweeter deal particularly if you can just deliver the bottle and go back to bed.

      • ifiknew says:

        yeah, sounds like the lesser evil between being up for the day at 6 am or giving a bottle at 5:30 am is the bottle..

        I JUST WANT TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT, but I know many of you can relate. My husband will alternate with me for giving the bottle, but it still wakes me up.

        Will try the ok to wake clock.. great idea.

  8. My 16 month old’s feet are short and fat, like his momma’s. I’m trying to find some shoes that fit him, and it’s such a struggle. Size 4 is too tight over the top of his foot and he ends up with red marks after an hour or so, size 5 is wayy too long. Size 4 fits in length. Can someone who has been through this point me to a brand to try? Just had to return a pair of Native Millers because the size 4 was too tight. Might try size 5.

    • Stride Right makes wide and extra-wide! My fat footed baby wears a 5 extra wide.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Payless has wide shoes in toddler sizes as well. My kid was in only wides as a toddler and on the small side, so finding size 3W and 4W shoes with real soles was a bear. Luckily her feet slimmed down (not sure if that’s possible…) so shoes are the same challenge they were a few years ago!

    • lawsuited says:

      Lol, I can so relate. My family calls my kid’s feet “rice puff” feet. My kid wears size 5 even though they are about a toe-length too long because it’s harder to find size 4 shoes that are actually made for walking. I’ve addressed the problem by only buying the kind the velcro straps across the top so I can adjust to fit the puffiness.

    • Anonymous says:

      My feet and my son’s are just like this! Short but tall feet– like he has a pad of fat right in front of his ankle, before his toes. What fixed it for us was these HIDEOUS blue and orange shoes we found at Wal-Mart of all places. The elastic over the top and the tongue are just really loose, so he can wear his 5’s lengthwise but his foot fat has room to get crammed in. We also had more luck generally with velcro-over-the-top shoes and sometimes we just barrrreely velcro them.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Me the risk of sounding like that annoying older lady who tells you to enjoy this time…I MISS my baby’s fat feet. I mean, I’m glad shoe buying isn’t an issue anymore, but her feet were so cute and chubby. Now she has the stinky, dirty, “stuck in rain boots all day because it was raining for 10 minutes this morning” feet of a little kid.


    • Katala says:

      +1 to velcro and wide/extra wide sizes. The best pair we currently have is Clarks. I also found a Target version of stride rights that have elastic and velcro. The soles are softer (but not just cloth with the little dots) so it didn’t matter as much that the 5’s were too long, vs. harder soles that couldn’t fold up where his toes ended so impeded walking more.

  9. Preboarding? says:

    Has anyone preboarded a flight while pregnant? I hate flying Southwest because of their weird boarding/seating procedure, but I am doing it this weekend. I’m also 7 months pregnant.

    I’ve read that gate agents will often let you preboard (even before the A list passes) if you ask during pregnancy. I paid for early check in already, but I can’t decide whether I should also ask to preboarding. I don’t want to take advantage or abuse the process when I’m not exactly disabled, but having an aisle seat would make a huge difference.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you’ve already paid for early check-in, asking to pre-board is going to, at best, give you preference over like 15 other people. I vote not worth it. And likely not something they do. I’ve flown while pregnant many times and never heard of this.

      • But most airlines have assigned seats. I think it would be worth it on Southwest where you can’t claim an aisle seat until you get on the plane. OP, I would ask. The worst they can do is say no.

        • avocado says:

          Definitely ask. This is a special situation where it’s not being princessy to ask for a pregnancy accommodation. Those seats are so tiny and Southwest won’t let you reserve an aisle seat. No reasonable person will think any less of you for asking.

      • Preboarding? says:

        Googling it left me fairly confident that it’s actually a thing – I found tons of people who say they’ve done it, and a response from Southwest to a guy on twitter telling him his pregnant wife could request to preboard at the gate. I just feel a little weird/bad about it for some reason.

        The early check in option doesn’t guarantee an aisle, though; sometimes you get an A pass but sometimes its a B pass, which is after all of the elite flyers and also after family boarding. With people saving seats, they fill up pretty fast.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t need extra time to board the plane. I think this is inappropriate

      • Anonymous says:

        +1. There are like 50 aisle seats on a SW flight. You have already paid to be in the first 30 people, so you are guaranteed an aisle seat. Asking for further preference is unnecessary.

      • Anonymous says:

        How is it inappropriate to ask for something? If Southwest doesn’t want to let pregnant women pre-board, then they will tell the OP no! It’s only inappropriate to ask for something if in doing so she’s somehow misleading them (e.g., implying she’s much further along than she is or something like that). As long as she’s honest, I don’t see how a request that they can deny is in any way inappropriate. Believe me, airline officials are not afraid to say no to a polite request.

    • Marilla says:

      What’s the harm in asking? The worst that can happen is they say no. I don’t see how it’s “abusing the process” to ask!

    • Go for it. You’re not disturbing anyone else by doing it and you have a legitimate concern.

    • I frequently fly SW. Early Bird does not guarantee being in the first 30–and, often times, it will get you into the B Group, which is after A List and family boarding, so all aisle seats can be taken on a full flight even if you paid for early boarding. A Southwest gate agent told me when I was pregnant that I was entitled to pre-board, I didn’t ask, and I did it that one time since they offered it to me unsolicited. Another option is on the day of travel, SW will let you board in the first 15 if you ask the gate agent and there are spots left–it is usually around $35. I did that quite often when I was pregnant.

    • You can pre-board for free. I have Crohn’s disease, claustrophobia and a fear of flying. I do 100% better if I have an aisle seat right near the bathroom. Most people don’t want to sit near the bathroom anyway. That way, if my fear of flying makes he have to poop in the middle of turbulence, I’m not walking down a long hall but just dashing across the aisle to poop as quickly as possible.

      All you have to do is ask the gate agent. They usually stop me before I even start to tell them what my medical condition is. They have told me all I need to say is I have a medical condition that requires an aisle seat near the bathroom and I can pre-board. They really don’t care.

    • rosie says:

      I think it’s totally fine to talk to the gate agent about it, but I also think you’re likely to get an aisle seat w/the early bird check in. You can also wait to see what your boarding position is, and if you’re in A, seems like you should be good to be on the aisle. If you are nervous about your boarding position once you get it, then talk to the gate agent. We’ve found that if you’re flying somewhere that people are unlikely to be flying through (vs originating), it’s easier to get a better boarding position since there aren’t people who have already gotten checked in through their earlier flights. I’m probably not explaining well, so let’s just say that if you are leaving from somewhere like Baltimore, where many people flying SW may have a layover, your boarding position will probably be worse.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I would ask. I love SW and fly them a ton. Even as an A List flyer, I will still sometimes get a 35 or 40 boarding number so paying for early bird doesn’t guarantee you an A spot. And then they board families in between the A and B groups. If any airline would allow it, I think it would be SW.

  10. Paging: Center City Philly Daycare Requester says:

    Just saw the request from yesterday – our kids go to Primrose and we have mostly been happy with it. Try asking your colleagues and on the Pennsymoms listserv as well. Check out the Hipster Henry website for the daycare survey — the responses are very limited, but it might give you some other options and things to ask about for when you visit.

  11. Preboarding? says:

    I don’t think I paid to be in the first 30 people – if that were the case, I wouldn’t be worried at all. When I bought the early check in option, it says that it doesn’t guarantee an A group boarding pass. If I end up with a B pass, I’ll be after all the pre-boarders, elite flyers, A group, and also family boarding. So I’m not sure whether I could get an aisle or not.

  12. We have a baby due in a couple months and spouse just learned his work contract will not be renewed (looks like circumstances changed after they gave him the renewal a couple weeks ago (!!!) and it’s not a true contract but an employment agreement with provisions for ending early, so I’m not seeing a breach of contract situation). Any tips for minimizing my own anxiety? I want to be supportive but obviously this is not so easy to absorb emotionally in my third trimester. Not our first kid, and the WORST case scenario is he stays home with the kids for a while, but my leave is unpaid and I will probably have a breakdown if I have to cut it short.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t cut your leave short. Do you have an emergency fund? This is what it’s for. It’s ok not to fund your retirement or add to your savings until he’s employed again. I understand this must be super stressful but if you have some money in the bank, this is what it’s for and you will be ok.

      • Anonymous says:


      • Yes, we have an emergency fund, and when we stop reeling enough to look through and make a plan we will probably be fine. Hard to do stop reeling though! Just a lot of uncertainty, including now not knowing what we’ll need for childcare, etc.

      • Many of us get used to funding our 401k that we forget we can stop that temporarily when necessary. That could get you more that’s $1500 more per month if you were maxing out.

  13. layered bob says:

    Have any of you skeptical high-achieving mamas used and liked Hypnobabies?

    My midwife, doula, and therapist all recommended it for my next labor and delivery (oh sorry, “birthing time”) as a coping mechanism for anxiety related to a previous traumatic birth experience. My therapist instructed me to “take what is useful and leave the rest.”

    But I am really annoyed by the program’s insistence that I must be all-in, a true believer, and what I see as overly sentimentalized/cheesy language and framing. I am devoutly religious but I’m not even that “bought in” to my religion’s philosophy, much less this language- and thought-policing around self-hypnosis.

    I like the program’s emphasis on the practice of being deeply relaxed, present, calm and confident, but sort of don’t see the point of trying to “take what’s useful” since it seems like a lot of effort to sort through the “You MUST listen to every track all the way through in just this order every day for six weeks”/“ONLY use these precise words” etc. to get at the useful bits.

    I’m talking to my therapist and doula more about this next week but since I tend to have similar views/experiences as women here, thought I’d reach out for your experiences/advice too.

    • avocado says:

      No specific experience with Hypnobabies, but the “you MUST do everything exactly our way” attitude is common to many childbirth and parenting philosophies (Bradley, attachment parenting, etc.) and, in my view, is a huge source of unnecessary stress for moms. Instead of a birth-specific self-hypnosis program, can you ask your therapist teach you some more generic self-hypnosis strategies?

      • AwayEmily says:

        +1. I suspect that one thing most of us on here have in common is a deep skepticism that there is One Right Way to parent (whether that’s labor/delivery, dealing with sleep issues, or discipline). So yeah, your description of Hypnobabies raises some red flags for me.

    • Knope says:

      I found Blissborn to be a lot less cheesy and somewhat less preachy than Hypnobabies, though there is still some of that “true believer” stuff in it. It was certainly flexible – it prompts you to create your own visions and words of reassurance/calming. But as avocado points out, I really think any generic self-hypnosis program would do the trick. The key is practicing whatever technique you use, not blind adherence to a particular method.

    • lawsuited says:

      I could not handle reading HypnoBirthing because the language made my eyes roll back so far into my head that I was in danger of losing them. BUT, my sister read and enjoyed the book and I took away a lot from her explaining the concepts to me (particularly retraining yourself to see childbirth as a normal, commonplace and joyful process rather than a medical procedure to be feared), so perhaps there’s some 1000 ft view summary you could read instead? Or perhaps your doula could discuss the concepts with you?

    • I asked my midwife about Hypnbabies and she suggested downloads by Rachel Yellin instead, which I did pretty religiously and delivered my 10 lb baby with no drugs in a very pleasant experience (after a 24 hour drug filled induction with my first). I have no idea how much of that would have happened anyway but I was a big fan. Much cheaper and low key.

    • Anonymous says:

      For my first birth, I did a hypnobirthing class in prep (not hynobabies branded one but similar idea). It wasn’t great and the birth was stressful and not a good experience in many different ways.

      For my second birth, I had a doula. In her main job, she was a social work who also did a lot of work related to helping women address difficult birth experiences. She was great. She also teaches a class based on the Birthing from Within series/materials.

      I never did the course but would encourage you to look at the Birthing from Within materials/courses as it might be a better fit, a few examples of the philosophy are “Parents deserve support for any birth option which might be right for them (whether it be drugs, cesarean, home birth, or bottle-feeding).” and “it is critical for childbirth classes to acknowledge that unexpected, unwelcome events may happen during labor.”

      link to follow to avoid moderation

      And in case it makes you feel better – I went on to have a fantastic experience with my second birth. I am actually sad that I’m done having kids because I don’t get to have another birth. If after my first birth you told me I would feel that way I would said it’s impossible or you’re crazy.

    • I did hypnobabies and felt similarly. I felt like it was a lot of pressure to do it perfectly and kind of counter-productive to me — like, pressuring me to relax doesn’t actually help me do so. I also found it to be (or at least my particular instructor was) hostile to medical intervention, which was not productive in my situation (high-risk pregnancy, induced at 41 wks). BUT at least all the videos and talk of “normalizing” birth was completely enlightening for DH (I really have no idea how he thought the baby was supposed to come out). And in the end I did manage to relax, although we certainly did not use the meditations from the book or whatnot at the hospital.

      So … totally understand, but also to say that I was kind of pleasantly surprised that I did actually take away some useful bits / techniques and had a good birth experience. Also, birth #2 was SO much easier than #1. I hope that’s the case for you as well.

  14. imsotiredalwys says:

    I’ve heard lots of stories of people who tried Hypnobabies, and their births didn’t go as planned, and then they had birth-guilt because of that, like labor was crazy painful and hard because they didn’t buy-in fully to the Hypnobabies (which isn’t fair, labor is actually hard and painful).
    FWIW I had a successful drug-free birth and prepped by listening to tons of birth stories (the Birth Hour podcast is great), reading Ina May’s Guide to Child Birth (just the 2nd half), and Dr Sear’s Healthy Pregnancy Book, taking a 10 week course that offered lots of relaxation techniques, labor positions, partner training, exercises and stretches to prepare for labor, and then probably the most helpful thing was that I had 100% trust in my kick-ass Doula and she was amazing.
    So maybe find a different Doula if this one is a Hypnobabies devotee…

  15. Contact Lens Online? says:

    Do any of you buy your contact lenses online? I’m wondering why the prices being offered by, say, or are so much lower than those offered by the optician or Costco. Are they selling lenses that are expiring soon or have some sort of issue?

    • octagon says:

      Can’t speak to those sites, but 1800-Contacts will price match, and I’ve used that service to get the lowest prices from a reputable site. It takes about 10 minutes because a rep has to work with you to place the order and verify the other site’s price, but worth it!

    • I’ve bought lenses online for 10 years and never had a problem. I don’t know why they’re so much cheaper either!

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