Maternity Monday: Secret Fit Belly Straight Leg Suiting Pants 

When I was pregnant, my mother-in-law generously took me shopping for a few nice maternity pieces. Luckily, most of my maternity wardrobe came in the form of several black garbage bags stuffed to the brim with clothes that were passed around to a few different friends. For work though, I definitely needed some quality pieces, and this pair of pants was one my MIL purchased. I even went the extra mile on these and hemmed them so that I could wear them with flats. These are a nice thick material and held up well throughout my pregnancy. I probably wore them at least twice a week, and they matched everything because they’re a very classic cut. They’re $98 at A Pea in the Pod. Secret Fit Belly Straight Leg Maternity Suiting Pants

Building a maternity wardrobe for work? Check out our page with more suggestions along both classic and trendy/seasonal lines.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Silly question, but are daycare tours ever like preschool interviews? In other words, can making a favorable impression during the tour bump you up on the waiting list? Or do they go strictly in order of who signed up first?

    • I suspect there is some degree of charm involved. We got bumped up a years long waitlist – I think on the basis of kiddo’s age (they don’t have any younger kids at the moment) and my polite, enthusiastic follow-ups about how we were willing to wait for a spot /remain on the list despite the low odds.

      • Clementine says:

        Yeah, ‘polite, enthusiastic follow-ups’ are really the key around here too.

        Even if the waiting list is supposedly years-long, if you call at the right time and they have a spot, it will often be yours. My theory is that it’s just easier than pulling out the waiting list, calling through and waiting for people to call you back, etc.

      • +1 on polite enthusiastic follow-ups

        Also knowing someone who is already at the school.

    • I think it depends on the city. In DC, yes definitely. In Brooklyn/Queens, unlikely, just as examples.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m in Brooklyn and I would say it depends on the provider – ours wouldn’t even really keep a waiting list at most times of year – but being the kind of parent the provider would want to deal with on a daily basis can’t hurt.

    • For centers in my area, I don’t think so. But they did choose my kids classroom (there were 3 infant rooms) based on my personality in the tour, as they thought I would fit well with the two teachers. It was great because 4 years later and they are two of my best friends despite all of us moving on from that center.

    • Anonymous says:

      Follow ups (within reason) are a good idea. I happened to call a place that I was on a years’ long waitlist for, and the director told me, “oh yes, I just sent you an e-mail last week — you have a spot.” (There was no e-mail.)

  2. On the lines of daycare, a plea for anecdata. Baby (nearly 11 mos) has had 3rd settling in visit. They have you hang out in the staff room for longer intervals at each visit. My husband took him today and he made it for 5 minutes before they came and got him – he made it 20 with me last week. I get that their ethos is a gentle process but I can’t help thinking that after about 10-15 minutes of crying, he’d accept our absence and start playing.

    How long did it take your babyto settle in?

    • AwayEmily says:

      This seems odd to me, too. I have had five different daycare “starts” between my two kids, at ages 4 months, 5 months, 9 months, 16 months, and 18 months. The longest ramp-up (for the 9 month old) was spread out over 4 days of increasingly longer times away (1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours) but the most common approach seems to be “a half day for the first day, and then start for real.”

      And yeah, I completely agree with you. We’ve noticed this when getting her used to family/friends, too. If we are hanging around with the kid and her godparents, she will be fussy and shy and stick with us. If we just leave, they will cry for five minutes and then be fine. Obviously if they are inconsolably for hours that is a problem but I think that’s pretty rare, especially at your kid’s age (under a year, right?).

      • AwayEmily says:

        oh, you said 11 months, sorry. In any case, my advice/agreement still stands. Chances are very high he will adjust fine after a few minutes of crying.

    • My oldest had a tough time with transitions, but I don’t think she ever cried for more than 10-15 minutes. At least not that her teachers told me! Unfortunately, I think having the option of retrieving mom or dad can be tough on everyone. For my kids, it was better to just get the heck out of there and they usually settled in for the day. I do think 11 months is also the first time separation anxiety starts to appear so this age might be tougher than others. Good luck and hugs! The process is hard no matter how it’s handled I think.

    • I think you said this place is super crunchy? This seems like a very gentle process indeed. Most daycares will only call you to get a crying child if the child can’t be consoled and is basically monopolizing one of the teachers so that they can’t tend to other children.

      I honestly don’t know how long mine cried when he started, because I purposely didn’t want a ton of communication because I knew it would only make me feel guilty. She texted me later in the day that LO was smiling and playing, and that was that. He did cry a lot in general at that point in his life, because he was going through the 4mo sleep regression. But that was true of me or his babysitter. He reacted the same way with both of us, which was needing to be held AND walked around (sitting was not allowed. sitting & being held = crying).

      long story short – are they picking him up and consoling him and he still freaks out?

      • Yep, super, super crunchy which I love in general but jeez-o – they let the big kids build things with mini saws and hammers but won’t let the babies fuss for a bit? We’ve got a home visit this week and another 2 visits next week and I think I’m going to level with them. He’s a super happy go lucky little guy that doesn’t seemed phased by changes in his environment and I suspect if they gave it 20 minutes, he’d be fine. I think they might be being extra cautious as he’s the youngest there.

        • avocado says:

          Do you have an official start date when you can leave him full-time, or are they going to delay the start date until they are satisfied that he has “settled in” and won’t fuss at drop-off? The whole thing sounds silly to me. Most kids will go through several phases of being clingy at drop-off at various ages, and as you point out he’s never going to “settle in” if they don’t give him a chance.

    • I don’t get this approach at all. The daycare is rewarding crying by providing the parent, which seems like exactly the wrong signal. We did two visits first – one where we stayed the whole time, one where my husband left her for 15 minutes. Then we dropped her off for the day. We definitely all cried, but our daycare would only have called if she was inconsolable after a long stretch of time and they didn’t call. Later in the day we got a picture through our app showing she was napping just fine. That was a huge relief. But, point is I have no clue how long she cried that first AM.

    • lawsuited says:

      My own LO started daycare at 9 mos and cried so much one day during his transition week that the daycare called us to pick him up, but he actually didn’t cry at all when we dropped him off on his first “proper” day of daycare and has only cried 2-3 times at drop-off in the 6 months he’s been at daycare now.

      Kids run the gamut though. A little girl that recently joined his class at 12 mo was crying every time I saw her for about 6 weeks, but is fine now. A little boy that started at 12 mo at the same time as my LO still cries every time he is dropped off but stops as soon as he is given his breakfast to focus on.

      For yourself: Really try not to worry about the crying, which is more the result of confusion at a new routine rather than distress. As your LO gets used to the new routine (which takes different amounts of time for different kids), the crying will stop. For the daycare: Once your LO is done with the transition and attending daycare “for real”, you need to push back when they call you about crying. When I get a call, the first question I ask is: “what is his temperature?”. The daycare staff know now that the threshold for me to pick my LO up is if he has a fever and requires a trip to the doctor.

      • That reminds me — one little boy in my daughter’s class took months to settle in. He cried a ton. The teachers were so sweet with him so I didn’t worry about his care, but it was a lot of crying. He settled in well and now is one of the happiest toddlers around, so again, I don’t see how an adjust period is a problem — it just seems like something that happens.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Are you in US? I’ve gleaned from this board that US/Canada daycares differ in practice for settling in (ie ours have not done that at all unless specifically requested it.) In fact, many places have said it’s problematic to have parental oversight during settling in time.

      That said, my daughter did have a hard time seperating when we transitioned from an in-home to a traditional daycare @ age 3. The tears lasted 6 months, but each day as soon as I would drive away they were gone, according to providers. The in-home @ younger age helped mitigate transition anxiety for both of us, and she was typically held by provider there when I dropped off.

      • In the UK where settling in is pretty normal but this seems to be extreme even by UK standards. It’s Froebel method education which I love for day to day stuff (risk taking, natural materials, lots of outdoors time) but the initial process is a bit of a pain.

        • Are they open to feedback? Could you say you want your kid to go there but their settling in process doesn’t work for you and your kid and you want to try crying it out?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is insane. Tell them you have jobs and he will be fine.

  3. Need a vacation says:

    Good morning! We are considering a trip next winter to an all inclusive resort in Mexico, like one of the Karisma resorts if anyone is familiar, with a six month old and a two and a half year old. We would be going with grandparents who are not very active or hands-on, but would likely hold the baby every once in awhile. It would be about a three-four flight. The resort would supply all cribs, high chairs, etc, not sure what we would do about car seats. I’m hoping the baby would be small enough to be pretty flexible and the our toddler, at the moment, absolutely loves the beach and pool. And of course we would probably all love a mid-winter break. But then I start thinking, well their nap schedules will be off, what if we’re stuck in the room the whole time, what if someone gets sick, etc.

    Are we crazy? Has anyone done this and had recommendations on how to make the most of it? A swim up suite might be an option, which could be nice for us when one or both are napping. Or, a huge danger if our toddler wanders out there.

    • AwayEmily says:

      We just got back from a five-day trip to NYC with a 27-month-old and a 5-month old and honestly, it was lovely. It is a little hard to DO things when you have a baby who’s still napping every 2-3 hours but it seems like an all-inclusive would be perfect for that (though I’d recommend getting a room with a balcony so the person on baby nap duty isn’t stuck in a dark room). Our approach was to make sure the baby got his first two naps in his crib and then do the third on the go so we could go on longer adventures.

      I’m very glad we went, even though pretty much all we did was go to playgrounds and eat bagels. It was fun to spend a lot of one on one time with the older one (we often had one parent take her on solo adventures while the baby was sleeping), and I think really good for her as well.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      No resort-specific advice, but I think the key thing to think about is whether there is a time change. We flew from the east coast to the west coast when my daughter was about 15 months and it was the worst “vacation” I’ve ever taken in my life. So I’d stick to a beach destination that does not involve a time change.

      We went to Turks and Caicos just before my daughter turned 3 and it was the best vacation we’ve taken with her to date. I highly recommend getting a ground floor room that you just walk right out of – this was so so helpful in terms of getting her out the door – and a patio, so you can be outside during nap time. I was nervous about her getting out alone, but we could lock the sliding glass door so she couldn’t go out by herself.

      We kept the same general schedule we did at home – AM activity, lunch/nap, PM activity, dinner/bed – except our activities were the beach/pool. Make sure you have access to a washer and dryer. Reapplying sunscreen was a drag, but we avoided the worst of the sun/heat because of her nap.

      • ElisaR says:

        I think you just inspired me to try this in a few months!

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Do it! We loved it so much that we’re already planning a repeat next year.

          Forgot to mention an added benefit of the ground floor room – the inevitable bathroom breaks were so much easier!

    • Anonymous says:

      We went to an all-inclusive with our daughter in February. She was around 28 months at the time, and it was fabulous. We were in the Cancun/Riviera Maya area. I don’t know that we’d go back to that area versus other Caribbean destinations, but we did love it. Our room had a rooftop deck, balcony, and door between the living and bedroom space. We used the rooftop deck during naptime a few times, but it didn’t get much of a breeze, so it was hard to be up there. We mainly just took turns going out and having some alone time by the pool versus hanging out with our daughter while she napped. We went from Central to Eastern time when we went, but it worked well. We kept her on her normal routine…so we were eating lunch at noon instead of 11, dinner around 7 instead of 5:30-6:00. She did end up going to bed a little later than at home, but that was okay. Hubby and I generally got up early to work out and didn’t mind going to bed on the early side shortly after DD went to bed. Vacations are for catching up on sleep in our house anyway. I’d definitely recommend a separate space for grandparents, whether that is a separate room or a suite/villa. Maybe even connecting rooms, and then you could hang out in their room with the connecting doors cracked while kiddos nap.

      • Need a Vacation says:

        Thanks all for the comments so far! We would be in the same time zone, so I’m not worried about that. Really appreciate the comment about ease of getting out the door in a ground floor room, that is a great point! Grandparents will have a separate room for sure.

        Keep the advice coming if you have it!

    • Anonymous says:

      All the vacation threads have made me wonder how you feel about pulling elementary school age kids out of school for family vacations – is it a regular thing, a sometimes thing (for special events or whatnot) or a never thing? DH is a university professor and regularly has conferences in Europe in late May, early June and mid-August when most universities are not in session but our public schools are. Right now my almost 4 yo and I love accompanying him and sightseeing together while he works (and it really helps the budget, since his plane ticket and the hotel room are paid for). He’s adamant that we have to stop once she starts kindergarten next year because she can’t miss school. My thought is that elementary school (especially K-3) is more about learning to go to school and play well with others and less about academics, and that missing a week of school is NBD if she’s keeping up with her work well and we do some educational stuff on the trip, which we almost always do. (I definitely wouldn’t pull her out of school to go to an all-inclusive in the Caribbean, but I think Europe can be very educational with all the history and museums, and she already shows an interest in some of that stuff.) Wondering where the smart, educated ladies here fall on this debate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oops meant to make this a new thread — sorry OP!

      • DH and I are of opposite minds about this. I am fine with pulling the kids for a few days to a week to travel or do other enriching activities. To be honest, I’m fine with, and have, pulled each kid for a random day to play hookie and have a special mommy day. My mom worked full-time (military) when I was younger, and I remember her putting my older sister on the bus a few times and saying, “hey, let’s spend the day together, just you and me,” and those days were amazing and wonderful and I remember them 30 years later. I think pulling the kids for a week to travel to Europe is generally worth it. We also did this as kids and the cultural exchange element made up for any missed classwork. This may not be true for kids who need the predictability, are trying to catch-up at school, etc.

        DH is not a fan of pulling kids from class unless necessary. His rationale is that school is intense and planned and there are rarely “throw away” days anymore. I think he mainly gets frustrated with families that travel to Disney the week after break to avoid the higher cost.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d go for it. You can’t help the schedule of when this stuff falls. I do think you might find that some teachers will be more resistant than others.

      • anne-on says:

        We do it, but we’ve only missed pre-k and K so far, we’ll likely stop when our son gets much older and has regular testing/papers/etc. That being said, my parents did pull us out for special trips and I think it was very worth it – and these days can’t you request homework and still keep up on assignments on vacation? My husband and I usually work at least an hour or so/day during vacation, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have a ‘work/homework’ time during vacations.

      • avocado says:

        Be sure you know your district and school attendance policies well. Our private K didn’t care how many days they missed and wouldn’t even give me make-up work when my kid was out for an extended illness. Our public elementary school, however, will hold a kid back for missing 20 days, excused or unexcused, and our public middle and high schools will not give credit for a course if a kid misses 5 classes in a semester. There is some sort of appellate process for “medical necessity” in middle and high school, but I would not want to have to mess with that. My kid had the flu twice this year and got perilously close to the limit in a couple of classes that she’d also missed for doctors’ appointments; fortunately, the illnesses fell in different semesters and she managed to squeak by. Even in elementary school, if you take a week off for vacation and then your kid gets pneumonia or something for two weeks, you haven’t got many other days left for ordinary illnesses.

        • Ugh yes, we had the same limit in my high school. For half-year classes the limit was 10, and I got really close to that because 1) I did not like going to certain classes (like civics or gym) so I’d do whatever I could to get out of them and 2) my parents pulled me for sports travel/competition.

          #1 was certainly bratty of me and I’m surprised my mom indulged me, but #2 really did help me get into college.

        • Anonymous says:

          Also, talk to parents in your district.

          We have big truancy problems. But we also are a sunbelt high-growth state, so many people have family elsewhere (like a 12-hour car trip or a day of serious flying) to get home. Also, many working parents have to take leave only when work is slow, so you can’t always just visit family over school breaks or the summer very easily. Despite very strict official rules I’ve had no problem with:
          — kids for a week for funeral in Home City and trying to deal with family member’s estate (I told the school: they have to come with me as I have no child care for this situation)
          — kids on trip of <5 days to coincide with my work break that was scheduled in advance and passed some hurdles for 1) advance submission and 2) educational content

          So YMMV even after reading official policies (e.g. having to get a doctor note for being late but no note for absences for a day or three b/c they have a fever / cough / stomach virus).

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t think this is a concern for us – all medical and funeral absences are considered excused and parents have nine “discretionary” unexcused absences. After nine there are consequences. But it’s a good point, and I’d probably be more comfortable pulling her out at the end of the academic year for this reason so we could make sure she hasn’t missed an inordinate amount of school that year.

    • FTMinFL says:

      We did this in Puerto Rico with a 26-month-old and a 5-month-old plus my parents and two brothers, but our resort was not all-inclusive and we preferred it that way. We stayed in a condo with a kitchen and our daily schedule looked something like this:

      6:00AM kiddos were up, I made them breakfast and we played on the patio
      8:00AM baby down for nap #1, grandparents were up, someone would take toddler to the playground right outside our building
      9:30AM baby was up and we would all head to the beach
      12:00PM lunch at the restaurant at the beach
      12:45-1:00PM either my husband or I (and sometimes both) would take kiddos back to the condo for a nap
      3:30ish PM back to the beach or some other excursion with happy rested kids (baby sometimes catnapped late afternoon)
      6:00PM back to the condo for bath/dinner/bed for the kids
      7:30PM adult dinner and hang out time

      We brought several coloring books, sticker books, cups of playdoh, toy trucks, etc. for the toddler for the times we were hanging out at the condo. Having the kitchen in the condo was great because we were completely in control of meal times and I could actually enjoy dinners with my family without having to corral tired little people.

    • shortperson says:

      we are west coast based but have to go to miami in december and are considering tacking on a trip to somewhere accessible from that airport for a few days. kids will be 15 months and 4 years. any suggestions as to where to go? as west coasters we understand hawaii but we have never been to the caribbean and have no idea where to start.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I mentioned this above, but check our Turks and Caicos. It’s about a 2 hour flight from Miami. I haven’t spent a ton of time in the Caribbean, but T&C is gorgeous and the waves are pretty mellow. My BIL and his fam spend a lot of time on Grand Cayman.

        • shortperson says:

          thanks! any hotel or area recs?

          • Anon in NYC says:

            You’ll probably want to stay along Grace Bay. There are a ton of resorts that have restaurants, pools, etc. and are right on the water. We stayed at the Ganesvoort, pre-kid, and it’s more of an adult property, but I’ve definitely seen kids there. On our most recent trip, we stayed at Villa Del Mar, which was not a fancy resort (no restaurant, not beachfront), but had a good pool with a shallow end for my 3 year old. We could cross one of the ocean front properties to get to a beach. I was a little bummed to not be staying on the beach, but it was the right price for what we wanted to spend. I know they have a Beaches on the island, if you’re inclined to do an all inclusive.

  4. Anyone ever start a new job while still pumping? Vying for a job that would when my baby will be 10.5 months, so I really want to make it to the year mark. I wouldn’t bring it up until after I get the offer. What’s your experience?

    • Yes, and it was NBD. I called HR prior to my start date to see where the pumping room was, and as soon as I got computer access I blocked the time on my calendar so as not to have meeting scheduled during the times I needed. I don’t know that my boss ever even noticed.

    • Yep — twice! Go for it. Pumping is NBD and like TK says above, just ask HR a week or two prior for a place to pump if you don’t have a private office. Good luck!

    • lawsuited says:

      I haven’t, but I think you’d be fine. At 10.5 mo, your LO would be eating mostly solid food only complemented by bmilk, so you probably only need to pump once at work depending on how long your work day is. What you do on your lunch break is your deal, so I wouldn’t think you’d even need to raise it with your employer at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think it would be a big deal. I didn’t start a new job, but returned to my existing job at 4 months and am pretty sure none of my coworkers or my boss know that I pump milk (they’re all childless and I don’t think pumping is something that’s really on their radar). I only do it once a day around lunchtime and I’ve never asked anyone for permission or told them where I’ll be. It’s not a secret and if anyone asked me directly I’d definitely tell them, but I haven’t felt the need to volunteer the info.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s only as big of a deal as you make it. I do agree with the above poster that I would prefer to learn where the pumping room is and if there are any procedures to schedule it in advance of your first day.

    • Anonymous says:

      I did, and +1 to all of the above.

  5. KateMiddletown says:

    Finally need to up my cupsize @ 6.5 months – I’m looking for a sports bra that comes in cup sizes (probably 34GG or similar). Would love to not pay $80 for this – any suggestions?

    • Love the ones I’ve gotten from Nordstrom Rack. Wacoal and Panache both had decent ones. I don’t care about color or style at all as long as they are high impact and less than $50, so if you aren’t too picky (like me), that’s a good option.

    • I like the brand SYROKAN (on amaz0n). I think they only go to F, but maybe the 36F would work for you?

      • KateMiddletown says:

        Thanks! This is the price point I’m looking at (especially if I have to size up again while nursing. Sigh.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Panache 5021. Sale colors are under $60, regular price is more like $65.

    • I have a friend who swears by Shock Absorber. They’re a UK company, but you may be able to find them in specialty online shops. Also, props to still doing high impact things at 6.5 months!

      • KateMiddletown says:

        haha no, no, I just don’t mess with low-impact sports bras b/c they tend not to hold the girls up as well. (plus hoping I’ll be able to put some miles on the jogging stroller post-baby!)

    • Anonymous says:

      If you think you’ll need a sports bra while nursing, I recommend the Brooks Fiona. Not specifically a nursing bra, but can be used for that purpose. But it wasn’t supportive enough for me to be a running bra. For that, I agree with the recommendation for Shock Absorber. Those things are great, but not super cheap.

      • KateMiddletown says:

        I have one of those that I just love, but it’s too small right now. There look to be some knockoffs on Amazon though for the extra extra big period to come!

        Of course, this begs the question of how to measure for a nursing bra when I’m @ 6.5 mos. I typically wear 32FF/G and I’m now using an extender on the largest extension, and spilling over some cups but not most.

        Hopefully I don’t grow too much since I’m starting large already. Has that held true for most large-chested women?

  6. Preg Anon says:

    I am wondering if anyone has used a night nurse and would be willing to share their experience. I’m expecting #2 and I was a complete mess with #1. I think a lot of it was related to anxiety, which then caused me to be completely unable to sleep. My husband realizes in retrospect that he was not that helpful but I think he is concerned that an increasingly busy job combined with caring for baby #1 (now toddler) will prevent him from really being able to help much overnight with #2. Has anyone used a night nurse and found it was not very helpful? Anyone find it a complete lifesaver? TIA!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you can afford it, go for it. A friend had one and was the happiest, least sleep-deprived new mom I’ve ever met. The only thing is you either need to be comfortable using formula, or you will have to pump multiple times per day (in addition to nursing every two hours) so the baby has milk overnight. My friend decided it was easier to EP, and she was hooked up to the pump basically all day every day.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you really have to pump vs having the nurse bring you the baby to nurse and then do everything else that goes with nighttime wake ups? I’d do the latter.

        • Anonymous says:

          In that case, why get a night nurse at all? The purpose is to let you sleep and if you are a bad sleeper, you can’t really get back to sleep waking up like that.

          • Anonymous says:

            Same Anon. I had no problem the nights my husband was on duty to wake for 15 minutes to nurse and then let him handle the rest of the wake up (diaper changes, getting back to sleep). The point was to be up for 15 minutes instead of 45 or more. It worked for me for catching up on sleep. Everyone is different.

      • Anon at 11:46 says:

        I don’t think a night nurse would be worth it if all they do is change the baby and bring the baby to you. My husband mostly did that stuff and it was still exhausting getting up so frequently. Also, everyone is different but nursing really woke me up (especially in the first month when it was still mildly painful) and so I was normally up for an hour at each feed, even with a husband who was doing everything but the BF-ing.

        If I was spending thousands of dollars a month on a night nurse, I’d want to be able to get at least 6 straight hours of sleep, even if it meant I had to use some formula (I think BF-ing during the day and formula at night would be fine, and would give the baby most of the benefits of exclusive BF-ing).

    • Yes and highly recommend. We used one and it was one of the best decisions we made for my sanity. We were given the number of an agency from an acquaintance when we were pregnant, we thought we wouldn’t need it, and by 3 weeks in I was in tears calling the agency to send someone. DH had only a week off and I was struggling. Agency was lovely, sent a couple of vetted prospects for us to interview, we picked the on we clicked with the best, and we had her 2-3 nights a week until DD was three months old. I’m due in the fall with #2 and we’re already planning to line up a night nurse for this kiddo. About 3 nights a week was nice because it allowed us to recharge, and I had some daytime help when I could catch up on sleep, but honestly even one night a week would probably make a huge difference. It was so restorative that morning after the night nurse’s first shift, a coworker of DH’s, not knowing that DH had just had first full night of sleep in a month, told him he looked like a new person.

      I’m in a high COL area (LA – if you happen to be here, post an email and I’ll send you our agency contact), and the rate was $30/hour plus the agency charged an additional 25% as a fee. Also, we used formula which made it easy, but I have heard that some moms still BF (not even pumping) – they just have the nurse bring the baby to them to feed, and nurse takes care of burping, changing, resettling, etc., so is still helpful.

    • We had a post-partum doula for a couple nights a week early on, and it was quite helpful. I never used a night nurse so am not sure exactly what the difference is, but a PP doula is also focused on taking care of you (and presumably certifications are different). Typically our doula would come around 10, and she would take care of all night wakings & bring my pump parts, water, and snacks as needed (I exclusively pumped). She also did baby laundry & washed bottles and pump parts. At first we had our baby in her bassinet in our room, and the doula would come in to get her when she woke up, but as we got more comfortable with our doula, we had our daughter sleep in her crib in the nursery (where the doula was). Our doula was also helpful in that she was willing to make a drugstore run on her way over & stuff like that.

      There was one doula who was our favorite and another that we liked. When they were not available and we felt we really needed help so went with a different person, it actually was more stressful for me to have to explain things to yet another person and adjust to trusting a new person in my house & with my newborn.

    • Anon for this says:

      When my sister had her second, my mum came to stay with her to act as a “night nurse”. My sister would nurse newborn at 10/11pm before going to bed. Newborn slept in the guestroom with my mum who would give newborn a bottle the next time he woke up and settle him back to sleep, then take him to my sister to nurse the next time he woke up, etc. I did it for my sister a few times when my mum had other commitments, and I think it really did help her a lot to have 3-5 hour chunks of sleep instead of 2 hour chunks. Of course, her husband could have been doing the same thing (their toddler sleeps through the night so there is no overnight toddler care) but he is a loser.

      I’m not sure how this would be different if the “night nurse” was a stranger rather than a family member though.

    • i have a night nurse now, granted I have twins, but it has been a TOTAL lifesaver. I only have the night nurse for another two weeks and am absolutely dreading losing her. Even though I am breastfeeding, having the nurse is helpful. This might partially be because I am a first time mom, but helped me get them on a schedule, changing them, changing their clothes if they spit up, etc. I suppose it depends if you want to feed on demand or feed on a schedule. For the first week or so I fed on demand, but then switched to a schedule, so she helps if they are fussing in between feeds so I could get some sleep. And this way when I was sleeping, I could sleep with ear plugs and a sound machine and at least get a few hours of real sleep. It is definitely expensive, but if you can afford it, I think it is totally worth it, particularly if you think you are prone to being a bit of an emotional mess after you deliver. I am someone who stressed about money, but keep telling myself that it is worth it for my mental health.

      • Strategy Mom says:

        Yes to this too – she really helped the baby get on a quasi schedule so the baby wasn’t trying to eat every 45 minutes

    • Strategy Mom says:

      Loved having a night nurse for a few nights the first 2 weeks! So good for my sanity! She’d bring the baby in to nurse and would deal with diaper changes, helping the baby get back to sleep, etc. 15 minutes vs 45 minutes and she helped keep the baby awake while nursing which is hard the first few weeks. I didn’t have supply issues so I was able to pump after the first few days so that she could give the baby pumped milk while I kept sleeping. Total sanity game changer and in my big city it was only $18/hour. We used her 3-4 nights each week for the first 2 weeks. Best money I ever spent!

    • KateMiddletown says:

      If you’re BFing how long can you go realistically without NEEDING to nurse?

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe depends on the person, but I had no issues going all night without nursing. My baby slept through the night very early (6 hours at 2 weeks, 8 hours at 3 weeks, 10 hours at 4 weeks) and I never woke up to nurse or pump. My breasts were always engorged and leaking in the morning, but it was worth it to me for uninterrupted sleep.

        • Anonymous says:

          I could also go 6-8 hours from early on on the glorious occasions my son kindly slept that long.

      • Strategy Mom says:

        I only skipped one feeding and would pump before i went to bed, so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds

      • I had oversupply, but I could only go 3 hours max in the beginning. I woke up dripping and in pain if he slept longer.

  7. Rainbow Hair says:

    Do any of you have any advice/insights/whatever for talking to your kids about what’s happening with family separations? My kid is 3.5 and I try to keep her vaguely up-to-date, like “some grownups are letting dangerous things go into schools so kids aren’t safe! and the kids are saying, ‘hey, grownups, we need to be safe!'” type stuff. And anyway, this weekend I’m going to one of the Families Belong Together marches and she’s coming and I’m just wondering if there’s a way I can talk about this with her without gratuitously horrifying her. (She’s been waking up crying from a nightmare where ‘monsters take me away forever and i never get to see you!’ so it’s already a sensitive spot.)


    Also, I’d like to request that political disagreements go in another thread? I don’t know if that’s allowed under whatever the rules of the board are, but I’m looking for parenting advice, and I think my politics are pretty clear (family separation? detention of children? opposed to it.) so not really here to debate that, just here to ask how you’re having these conversations.

    • Mama Llama says:

      To be honest, I haven’t been able to say anything to my 4 yo. She asked why I was “marching” the other day. (This is what we call protesting in our house.) I got completely choked up and just said, “To make the world a better place.” She was satisfied with that answer and dropped it. There is some stuff that is so horrible that I don’t go out of my way to tell her about it.

      • avocado says:

        Ooh, that’s tough. We had to shield our daughter from news we knew might upset her until she was around 8 or 9, because it just wasn’t productive to give her details before that point. Even school lockdown drills and child abuse prevention education would upset her for weeks, and those were not about real events. Her Girl Scout troop was exactly the same age as the Newtown kids, and when they made an art project to send to the troop that some of the kids had belonged to we just told them that it was “for a troop that is sad, to let them know that their sister Girl Scouts care about them.” I would go with vagueness all the way. If “to make the world a better place” doesn’t satisfy her, you could try something like “to ask adults to help children who are sad” or “to tell the government that children are important.” I would be prepared for her to pick up on some details (e.g., signs with pictures of sad kids) and have some responses ready to go.

        As we were discussing last week, traumatizing ourselves/our children with the news is not necessary as long as we understand what’s going on in the world and are trying to help. It does not help anyone to let a 3.5-year-old have nightmares about family separation.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        This is good. “To make the world a better place” or if she needs more specifics, “Family is so important” … yeah I can do that.

        • Mama Llama says:

          One more thought, since you’re taking her to the rally: I have sobbed my way through two actions related to this issue in the last couple of weeks. If you expect that you might get emotional, it might be good to prepare her by saying something like people are doing some things that make you feel sad but we are working together to make it better.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Thanks guys. Oh for the record, the nightmares about monsters are not, as far as I know, related to anything she actually knows about from the news. I haven’t talked to her about this thing. But it would, I’m sure, kick things up a notch if she heard that real people are actually doing what she fears.

    • This stuff is so, so sad. I’m still having trouble not thinking about it at work constantly.

      I agree to being vague and focusing on what you can do to help. You can explain that there are some rules that grown ups have that you don’t agree with, so you’re trying to help change the rules.

      When my nephew asked what was going to happen to the polar bears the other day (I think he inadvertently saw a documentary on PBS….), I told him he could be a scientist when he grows up and help keep the ice for the polar bears. That seemed to satisfy the climate change debate for the moment.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know this isn’t the same, but as a foster parent, I often have to answer/explain really difficult issues. The best advice I’ve gotten is to answer the simple answer to their question, then they’ll follow up if they need to.

    • Marilla says:

      At this age I wouldn’t try to explain the actual situation or mention anything about separating kids and moms/dads – I think it strikes too close to their own fears. I like the idea of giving a vague/”tikun olam” kind of answer (i.e. repairing the world, making the world a better and safer place) or at most saying something about making sure that all kids and families have a safe place to live. I’ve choked up a few times thinking about the issue while with my kid so if you think that might happen to you at the march, you might want to prepare her for that or prepare yourself to explain “mommy feels sad because she wants everyone to be safe and happy like us.”

    • KateMiddletown says:

      So, my daughter is 8 and is a pretty good governor of what’s appropriate for her and what’s not – ie when local news turns to murders, she’s like AHEM! Anyway, she is aware of our feelings towards Drumpf. We try to take a just the facts ma’am approach with what’s going on, and I usually ask her if she has heard anything about it yet.

      For a 3.5 year old kid I’m not sure that I would get into details of any News Items but I would concentrate on instilling the values that would cause kid to react in the way that you want the way you want them to react. Like, if you donate money, or send teddy bears, or march, or just have conversations about being kind to strangers, then they’ll be more likely to do those things. (Yes, I do recognize the ironic privilege of not talking to a kid about kids their own age being taken away from their parents.)

    • Does she need to go to the march with you? I’m all about getting kids involved in the political process, but given her age and the topic, I would think twice, honestly.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Yeah for logistical reasons, if I’m going she’s going.

        • Anonymous says:

          Then I think you need to not go. Sorry, but I don’t think this is appropriate for a 3 year old, especially one whose already having nightmares about being separated from her parents.

      • Mama Llama says:

        I think this is a “know your kid” thing. My kiddo hates noise and crowds so she’s never been to one of these things, but I see kids of all ages at all types of actions. Younger ones typically busy themselves coloring or something and don’t pay too much attention to speeches, which are usually tough to hear anyway.

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          Generally, she likes being places where people say, “oh, aren’t you sweet?!” at her, which tends to happen at these. (: She likes walking around purposefully with a sign, too. And clapping. And of course I’m totally prepared to whisk her off if/when she reaches her limit.

          • KateMiddletown says:

            Totally bring her (but I’d do a stroller for sanity :) Know your march, know your area. You won’t have to explain the more crass signs at age 3.5 like you would a school-ager!

    • Anonymous says:

      She’s 3.5. Dont explain and don’t bring her.

    • Anonymous says:

      My daughter is 3.5, and I’ve taken her to half a dozen protests/marches. She loves people watching and crowds, and yes all the “isn’t she cute!” comments. I’ve never explained to her why we’re marching, and she hasn’t asked yet.

  8. In line with the thread about travel up top, can we discuss flying with two? We’re debating a 6+ hour trip cross country when oldest will be a few months shy of 3 and baby would be about 8 months. We’ve previously gone on 2-4 hr. flights with oldest but my mind is overwhelmed at the logistics of 2 kids. This would be somewhere where driving is required so just the notion of packing 2 car seats, a stroller, etc., seems like so much. How do you all do it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Truthfully, I’d probably look at checking some of the gear – real checking, not gate checking just so that I didn’t have to deal with it.

    • Does where you are traveling have a “Baby’s Away” style place? We just used one (Hilton Head) and it was AWESOME – highly recommend. We checked the car seat – free to check when you check regular bags – because we needed it for the rental car and rented other stuff from the company. They even set up the crib in the house before we arrived. Our child is almost two and we didn’t travel with a stroller – we brought a backpack carrier instead. In retrospect that made it challenging during an unexpectedly long layover, but was doable. You could consider packing a small umbrella stroller and a carrier that could be used for either child?

    • Anonymous says:

      I did this recently (by myself one way!) with two at 2 1/2 and 6 months. I only brought one car seat (got a second while we were there). I gate checked the big suitcase with our week of clothes and carried a big tote (LL Bean boat tote) with all the stuff for the flight. Wore the baby in the Bjorn. Toddler rode in our Vista through the airport with the travel car seat (Cosco Apt 50) smooshed in the basket of the Vista (thank goodness for the size of that thing!). This fit no doubt because the stroller seat is raised a few inches as required for having two seats on the Vista. Also in the basket was the gate check bag for the stroller; I gate checked it when we got to the gate although in retrospect I wish I had waited to closer to the boarding time. When we boarded, I kept the baby in the Bjorn, toddler walked down the jetway, and I had the travel car seat slung over my shoulder. Thankfully we had a direct flight, and other passengers and airline attendees were super helpful and friendly.

    • Strategy Mom says:

      Just did a flight to Europe with 2 and it was so much better than expected (they were almost exact same ages as yours). Got a seat for the baby and she used her carseat and got bulkhead row so they had extra room to play on the floor. Didn’t bring the 3 year olds car seat on board. Didn’t need it for our trip but I’d advise checking it so you dont have to deal with lugging it. Also go the Joovy Caboose ultralight too stroller and really liked it.
      The 3 year old watched movies and played with new matchbox cars and was a champ. Got a knock off of the fly tot cushion for the 3 year old (bc one flight was overnight) and we loved it (but Air France didn’t like it so we only got to use it for 2 hours – i think delta is ok with it). Stay away from candy – sugar is your enemy but other snacks were a great way to keep him happy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Twins here, so I have no idea what it’s like to travel with just 1 kid, but it hasn’t been that bad with 2.

      If we’re not traveling to family who has baby gear, we rent pack-n-plays and high chairs at our destination. I’m personally not comfortable with renting carseats so we always bring those. We also choose to bring the seats through the airport and gate-check the one for the lap infant, since I worry about it getting lost. We also bring the double-stroller, since we have it and it seems silly not to, but if you’re renting things anyway renting that may also make more sense.

      For getting through the airport we’ve tried stacking both carseats on the stroller (and gate-checking the stroller and one seat) and stacking the seats on a luggage cart (and either gate-checking the cart or bringing it on board and sticking it under a seat.

    • shortperson says:

      we have done this multiple times, and i have done it alone a couple of times. we squeeze a lightweight convertible seat (we have an evenflo but i just upgraded to the IMMI go) and the chicco keyfit into the britax bag that’s made to check one carseat and has wheels and a backpack. that has made everything else feasible for traveling w two kids. we have two mountain buggy nanos but often just bring one and put baby in carrier. and we bring huge suitcases so that we dont need many. when it’s just me with the two my max is: carseat bag with both carseats, one mountain buggy nano, two carry ons (diaper backpack and soft duffel with space for baby tula), and one big suitcase with super spinny wheels (travelpro). it’s not pretty but it gets us there, with occasional help from kind strangers.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a Go-Go Babyz adapter for our 3 year old’s carseat, so it basically becomes the stroller in the airport. Even if we want a stroller at our destination, we always check it. We check all of our bags, and only carry the supplies we need on the flight with us.

  9. More Travel says:

    Another travel question! My husband has a conference in San Francisco later this year in October. Baby will be 11 months at that time. I’d obviously love to tag along, but am worried about the 5 hour plane ride and time change coming from the east coast. We just did San Diego in May and it was…OK, but definitely not great. I also got food poisoning which may have colored my view. I am really debating because of course SF has such good food, it’s generally expensive so going with the conference will help with cost (only one plane ticket vs. two, and lodging) but am really not looking forward to the flight or messed up sleep schedules.

    • lawsuited says:

      I took our LO from Toronto to LA at 11 months. The flight was rough because he’s 25 lbs and didn’t want to nap on me and didn’t have room to play and there 5 hours was just generally a really long time to sit on my lap. The time difference was not a big issue – I added or cut naps so that he went to bed at his regular time (7pm) in whatever timezone we were in. You know your kid best, but at that age my LO was not really doing mobile naps and he has always been very reliant on an early bedtime, so it was a lot of time spent in a hotel room while he slept. If I could do it again, I’d stay home rather than travel alone with LO (I don’t know if you’ll be travelling with your husband or not but I assume you’ll be on your own during the day while he’s conferencing).

    • We did this (East Coast to SF for husband’s conference) when baby was 8 months old and it went well! Sleep was admittedly a little messed up, but baby was never the greatest sleeper anyway so I just kind of rolled with it. We had enough friends in the Bay Area for at least one meetup a day and lots of walking around with the carrier/ stroller. Your kiddo might be just old enough to appreciate the Exploratorium…

      • I will add that he was a good carrier-napper till a year or so – ymmv. (Husband wore him through one poster session and got a lot of attention!) And 11 months is a bit of a tough age for a long flight because they’re hard to entertain till they have the attention span for stories/ stickers/ videos.

    • Anonymous says:

      Our families live on opposite coasts so we did plenty of travel with babies/toddlers. You can definitely do it. For me the cost/benefit analysis would only work out at that age if it’s a weeklong trip or longer. I found 10-20 months the hardest time to travel, although 11 mo was still easier than , say, 18. Some sleep disruption but not terrible; however we spent a good portion of time every day trying to get kid to nap, which isn’t a super fun way to vacation. At 11 mo kid would only occasionally nap in a carrier and never in a stroller, so the flights were pretty tiring.

    • We did it to Europe at 11 months and it was spotty. Fight there was rough but felt worth it. Flight back was rough enough that I don’t want to fly with DD for a long time. It’s a hard age b/c they need to be entertained but screen time doesn’t really work yet. That said, my friend flew to Europe with an 11 month old that slept on the floor the whole time so ymmv.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Having taken my husband and baby to my share of conferences, I encourage you to be realistic about what your role will be. Because we were at conferences for my work, my husband had basically full-time responsibility for Kiddo: he had her while I was working (they did fun stuff like children’s museums and parks) and then he had to take on dealing with her lack of sleep because I had to work in the morning. So it was pretty great for me — Kiddo got to pop into the social events, I got to see my family — but it was pretty exhausting for him, and he’s told me he won’t be doing that again for a while.

      • anne-on says:

        +1 – I’ve had close friends/family tag along every now and again to conferences in particularly fancy locations and they are ALWAYS surprised when I say I’ll be gone from 6-7am to 10pm ET with no breaks and then yup, I do exactly that. I try to make very sure they are aware it is a great deal for them w/r/t a free hotel room but no, I usually can’t duck out for drinks/dinner/etc. with VERY rare exceptions.

    • Regarding sleeping schedules, one option is not to adjust the sleep schedule that much. When we traveled out west with our young kids, we kept them on East Coast time. It was actually kind of nice (late bedtime and late wake-up).

      • Anonymous says:

        Wouldn’t it be early bedtime and early wakeup? If your baby normally goes to bed at 8 pm on the East Coast, that’s 5 pm west coast time. That seems pretty inconvenient, and we’ve always tried to adjust as quickly as possible.

      • LizzieB says:

        Wouldn’t it actually be the opposite? Early bedtime and early wake-up? I’m thinking my 18 month old usually sleeps from 7:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., and if we kept her on east coast time would be sleeping from 4:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Ugh. I think going from the west coast to the east coast would actually be much easier.

      • Betty says:

        Ugh. You’re right.

    • ElisaR says:

      Different strokes for different folks, but no way would I voluntarily take an 11 month old on a 5 hour flight with a 3 hour time difference….. does not sound fun for any parties involved.

      • Anonymous says:

        Eh, I took a 13 month old from Boston to California to visit my best friend and her kids. It was a great trip, but we didn’t have much on the itinerary except hanging with friends and playing in the hotel pool.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks everyone for the input. Sounds like my inner debate is warranted since you all basically echoed what I was thinking, both for and against :) I just can’t stand the idea of not going anywhere for the next year or so while she’s a difficult age for flying because it isn’t like a road trip would be any easier on her boredom/sitting still wise. Ugh.

      • Anonymous says:

        Then you should go! SF in October is magical – it’s really the best month to go to the best city in the world. As long as you know what to expect…I would 100% rather be tired and juggling a baby in San Francisco than bored in my small podunk town (especially if I were stuck solo parenting).

  10. Another Travel Question says:

    Has anyone vacationed in Vancouver? Recommend? Would be with a child just turning 3.

    • Yes! We went with our 3 year old last fall and had a great time. We stayed in an Air BnB, which allowed us to put her to bed and hang out/watch TV for an hour or two. The aquarium was perfect for that age, and we also had fun going to Granville Island. Lots of parks, family friendly (but delicious) restaurants, and easy to walk places or take public transportation.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Gift ideas for grandparents who flew in to watch an infant for the week while the nanny was out of town? I know from this board how rare this kind of backup help is, and I really want to get them something so they know how much I appreciate their help. My mom did 95% of the child care, so its fine if it’s more of a gift for her than my dad. They are late 60s, have a lot of money and a very small home, so I’m not sure about anything physically large. They don’t drink and I normally do candy or flowers for birthdays/Mother’s Day. I send photos of the baby regularly. Their main hobbies are reading and travel and they both have Kindles with lots of unread books on them.

    • ElisaR says:

      the biggest hit grandparent gift I have given is the nixplay photo frame. It has to be connected to wifi (so my office is not a place to use one) and we had to set it up at the grandparents’ houses because they aren’t that technologically savvy. We update the photos regularly and they both love it – such a fun surprise when you see a new photo pop up unexpectedly. My MIL really loves it because she is a 5 hour drive and misses the kids a lot.

    • lawsuited says:

      Maybe a piece of jewellery with your LO’s birthstone in it? Or initials if the birthstone isn’t a colour your mom would wear?

      • I got her that when the baby was born, and she loved it! They actually share a birthstone, so it was extra special.

    • anonanon says:

      My parents are similar and I always give something consumable – a (whatever) of the month club for three months. We have done cheese and candy from different places. Another alternative is something like Food 52 – someone (not me!) recommended the wreaths on the main site last week and my mom has loved those as well. They have a limited life span so they don’t clutter up a space.

    • Meant to nest, and of course failed. See below – gift certificate for a local spa for some TLC to recover from all the work they had probably forgotten what it was like.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Do you have some good photos of kiddo with them? What about a photo book with a copy for your family and a copy for the grandparents? Or have you sent them actual framed photos of kiddo instead of just emailed digital pictures?

      • I’ve sent them several framed photos. I haven’t done photobooks yet but am planning to do one for “baby’s first year” after she turns 1 and will order copies for both sets of grandparents. I should ask them about a digital frame. It seems like something they’d like but I vaguely recall my mom saying she didn’t like them for some reason.

  12. Gift certificate to a local spa – manicure, pedicure, massage, etc.? If it’s anything like the weekend my parents just had watching my LO for the first time, they may be physically exhausted, sore, sleep deprived, and in need of some TLC. Or maybe your kid is way easier than mine. I will say when we got her back last night, she slept 8 hours straight, so I am unexpectedly grateful for their 2 days of no sleep, since it tuckered my gremlin out well enough for her to sleep well before I had to go back to work.

  13. Yet another travel question! My husband has a sabbatical next year. 8 weeks off + 3 weeks vacation. So technically 11 weeks off. I have my usual 3 weeks off. But I have Ok from my boss to work remotely for a few weeks. I have always wanted to spend more time in Europe, and DH and I have been discussing where? He’s from eastern Europe, so we are thinking somewhere other than that region will be great. Since we’ll be in Europe, we can easily take a weekend to go visit family, or even have them visit us. We will have our currently 5 month old baby with us. Any suggestions for a family friendly, nice place? When to take this longish vacation? Air bnb or local rental?

    Fyi, I am seriously considering Barcelona or Seville. I spent 2 beautiful days in Seville two years ago. Never been to Barcelona.

    Thank you!

    • COtoNY says:

      Definitely both, since you have so much time. We visited many spots in Spain for our honeymoon and Seville and Barcelona were by far our favorites.

      Maybe May/June? The weather will at least be mild, if not warm, and you’ll be in the early part of tourist season instead of right in the middle of it.

    • I studied abroad in Barcelona for three months in college (January – March) and found it lovely – and looking back I think it would have been perfectly family friendly. My only concern currently is there is a lot of political unrest about Catalonia being separate from the rest of Spain which was present to a small degree when I was there 10 years ago but I think is a bit more at the forefront currently. March was only barely starting to get warm enough for the beach, so I would definitely go more in April-May. And also consider where you will be working from. I’m sure it’s improved in the 10 years since I lived there, but at the time, reliable wifi was a challenge and you’ll want to be able to have a good connection to work. I am wondering if you would be able to access a local university or library to ensure a better connection or be able to find a hard-wired connection.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      That sounds so awesome! Can you take a mini-trip before you go for the long-term and then decide which place you want to spend an extended period of time? I would prefer a week or so at each, but not knowing anything about the locales it would be hard to book an AirBnB or whatever.

  14. COtoNY says:

    Looking for recommendations for your most fun and minimally cheesy baby shower games/activities. I’d really like to avoid anything that focuses on the sex/gender stereotypes of the baby. Thanks in advance!

    • Gift bingo. At mine they decorated wooden blocks with markers and some sort of w-something tape, they were really cute. At another one they went to they decorated headbands for my girl, but that sounds like something you’re not interested in. Onesie decorating (although I didn’t keep my kid in a lot of onesies). Have guests submit baby pictures of themselves and try to match babies to adults – most correct wins a small prize. My mom went to one where it was fill in the blank for nursery rhymes, again, most correct wins a small prize.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        A friend did fill in the blank for nursery rhymes / kids books, and it was fun and legit hard.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 to the matching baby photos to adults and also onesie decorating. I’ve been to several showers where they had children’s books at every place setting and you were supposed to write a note to mom and baby. I liked that.

        • For my home-town shower, in lieu of a card I asked for your favorite children’s book with a note to the baby in the front cover. Shockingly, we only had 1 duplicate (Goodnight Moon).

    • Anonymous says:

      Onesie or bib decorating. I went to two showers this weekend and much preferred the fabric marker-type decorating to the puffy paint decorating (dries almost instantly VS forever…, easier to draw with markers)

      I also like some type of “at your own pace” fill in the blank games: nursery rhyme , candy bar, or names of baby animals.

      I liked the questions about mother-to-be’s pregnancy game – ask the dad (or mom-to-be) a list of questions about the pregnancy and then everyone writes down what they think the answer will be.

    • Match ridiculous baby name with celebrity parent.

      • Anonymous says:

        We did that at my shower, and I got an embarrassing number right. Everyone found out I spend way too much time on and have a great memory for stupid sh!t.

    • At my baby shower, there was a table to write messages on diapers. Participation was optional, but it was fun to read encouraging or funny messages when we changed LO’s diaper for a couple of weeks.

      We also did the match the baby photo to the adult attendee. A couple of people didn’t have any baby photos (Hurricane Katrina), so they couldn’t contribute a photo and were sad about losing all their sentimental stuff, and I felt bad even though I hadn’t planned the game. Hurricane Katrina is pretty specific to my area, but people may not have baby photos for other reasons–fires or other disasters, or foster/later adoption, etc. So I’d lean toward something more neutral, or at least nix the game if not everyone has a photo.

  15. Tfor22 says:

    I have a much older kid question–what should we do this week? The lad is off at scout camp until Saturday. Yesterday we had wine & Thai food and watched the Crown. Today we might walk 2 miles to the pub. What else should we do? I haven’t had this much free time in ages! Friday we are taking the day off and going to the Cloisters in NYC. If weather permits we’ll also get a long walk in as prep for our pilgrimage later this summer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Movies! I have a toddler and feel like I’m never going to go to a movie in a movie theater again.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you in NYC? If so, Shakespeare in the Park! There are some interesting-looking shows at the Guggenheim and MoMA right now. Most of the museums are open late one night a week, often for free.

    • avocado says:

      Whenever our kid is out of town we eat All the Vegetables.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d shop by myself, maybe lay by a pool, and definitely drink more alcohol.

    • Not sure where you are but check listing for free outdoor things. Movies under the stars, concerts, Shakespeare in the Park, etc.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Garden in a different room in the house than would normally be available to you

    • Anonymous says:

      Not helpful now, but we always go away together while our elementary schooler goes to summer camp. We go somewhere in the US and make sure we have cell reception (eg no national parks) so we can get home quickly if something goes wrong. But it’s become a yearly tradition we really look forward to.

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