Maternity Monday: ‘Shannon’ Maternity Dress

We’ve featured a couple of Kimi and Kai dresses before — the brand has comfortable, affordable workwear like this stretch-jersey dress. It’s a pretty simple dress that you could dress up or down, it comes with a removable belt, and it’s machine washable. Pleats like this aren’t that common in maternity dresses, so it’s nice to see something a little different. The dress only has one review so far, but it’s very positive and notes that the style is flattering. It’s $88 at Nordstrom and comes in black, purple, and bright green in sizes S–L. Kimi and Kai ‘Shannon’ Maternity Dress

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  1. Anon in NYC says:

    I think this is really pretty! I would have loved something like this when I was pregnant.

    • I loved all of their dresses, but sadly they ran small for me and I was never able to fit into them at a “normal” size 14/16 at gap, lands end, old navy, etc.

  2. Only Child says:

    Okay, will someone talk me off the ledge? I have one child, and it’s likely going to stay that way. I feel insanely guilty about not giving my daughter a sibling, but I just don’t think I can do the baby and breastfeeding stage again. I breastfed my daughter for 2.5 years, which I am very proud of and loved, but partly justified the length because I was only going to do it once. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t treat both children the same, and I just don’t think I can give pregnancy plus another 2.5 years of my body. I’ll be 36 soon. Someone please tell me that only children aren’t lonely when they don’t have someone at home or on vacation to play with. Tell me that only children adults aren’t lonely after their parents are gone.

    • Mama Llama says:

      A couple of things. First, you don’t have to the exact same things for each child. They will never know the difference, and your needs/wants/desires count for a lot in making these decisions! Bf-ing a single child is a very different thing than bf-ing a child while also taking care of another child.

      Second, an only child might feel lonely as a child or as an adult. A child with 10 siblings might feel lonely as a child or as an adult. A child with siblings might fight with her siblings throughout her life and find that those relationships make her miserable. She could be estranged from them or one could die prematurely. Life is full of surprises and what-ifs. All you can do is make the best decision you can based on the information you have now, and then do your best as those decisions play out over time.

    • I’m an only child and never felt lonely. I also think parental guilt is inevitable no matter what decisions you make. We have two and my guilt is over the fact that if we didn’t have a second, we could probably devote a lot more resources to an only child in terms of time, money and opportunities. As far as treating kids differently, I get the impulse, too, but I think you also can’t replicate everything. I nursed my oldest for a year and am nursing the new baby but as much as I would like to think I can do another year, if I don’t that’s okay, too. Especially with stuff like breastfeeding, the returns diminish over time, so I wouldn’t feel bad about it. I’m taking it’s month at a time, which makes it easier. Hopefully I make it to a year again, but if not, the world won’t end and he’s getting other benefits of our experience that my oldest didn’t.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I’m an only child. I felt lonely as a kid and wanted a sibling. My parents (mostly mom) didn’t, so I didn’t get one. As an adult, I love being an only – I got a huge leg up in going to college debt free and even graduating law school with minimal debt. My parents are also able to help out with my kid now, which is huge. I don’t feel lonely now, but that is mostly because I have my husband, my son and some really good friends I can lean on. I have no idea what my life would have been like with a sibling, but I don’t think just having a sibling would have prevented loneliness or prevented unhappiness. On the other side of this is my husband, who has two brothers that he’s not particularly close to. He grew up fine though, mostly because of his friends, his general easygoing personality, and now with our family. There are just no guarantees.

      Do you want a second child? Not just to give your daughter one, but really want one for yourself? You don’t have to b-feed or treat them exactly the same, like Mama Llama says.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Collection of random thoughts:

      I found the book “One and Only” by Lauren Sandler very helpful while coming to terms with this. Lots of people blame character flaws on only child status, but there is no research that backs it up. Only children are no more or less lonely, selfish, etc. than their peers with siblings. The book helped me think through some ways to mitigate potential pitfalls though. I’m a lot more aggressive with my retirement savings since I really don’t want to be a financial burden to her. We also live close to a lot of people. I wouldn’t have an only child and then move to the country where we can’t do play dates, for example. Also, parental relationships are more important when you have an only child. The book was very comforting and debunked a lot of myths, and also made me feel like there were concrete steps I could take to make her life the best it can be.

      Also, I think lots of people blame things on only children the way they make racist snap judgments and only notice the things that back up their incorrect suppositions. For instance, you surely know people who have siblings who are selfish people. Lets say you know this guy Brad and he’s a selfish @$$. But you never hear “well, Brad, he’s so selfish because he had a sibling and he hated being forced to share growing up.” but you hear plenty of “Brad is an only child so of course he’s selfish.” Him being selfish gets blamed on something else (bad parenting, usually) if he has siblings.

      My sister is my best friend, and I am still very happy with my decision to stop with one. A second child is not a pet that you get for the first kid. It’s a whole other human being.

      Also, you can 100% formula feed a baby and she will turn out just as well as one you nurse for two and a half years.

    • Momata says:

      I will talk you off a different ledge than the one you are proposing. You do not have to bf a second child for 2.5 years. You do not have to bf a second child for one day. You do not have to justify how you feed any second child to yourself or to that child. If you want a second child, do not allow yourself to be deterred by a false impression that you must parent the second child exactly the same as the first. That fallacy is going to fall away as soon as the child is born, anyway – that child will have different needs, in every way, than your first child, and you will parent them differently because you will have to.

    • Everlong says:

      Only children are wonderful and thrive!

      But yes, do not base this decision on replicating the experience your first had for your second. They don’t need to be the same. I nursed my first, I am not nursing my second, and it’s wonderful. I am a much different parent to my second baby, and a more present parent in many ways because I am not nursing. The only difference certainly isn’t nursing, but it is a huge factor. Like you mentioned, that was not a road I could go down again. My second benefits from having a mom who is happy and can take care of herself. The first few months with my first were so, so foggy.

      • Anonymous says:

        What if #2 is ready to wean before 2.5 years – would you force the nursing relationship to continue just because that’s what you did with your daughter? Of course not. The same is also true if YOU are the one who’s ready to wean sooner.

        Also, equal does not mean the same. I regret my decision to wean my son because his twin sister was ready to wean and I thought I had to treat them both the same.

      • Delta Dawn says:

        Adding on to the advice that they don’t have to be the same. To reverse your situation, I had a terrible time bfing my first child; he would never latch and I ended up exclusively pumping. Supply dwindled, we had to combo feed, and I finally gave up pumping at six months because it wasn’t worth the one bottle of bmilk per day that I was able to eke out.

        When my second child came, I wanted so badly to get it right with bfing that I studied, took classes, hired private lactation consultants, and you know what? It worked. Bfing is going beautifully with this one. And now I feel horrible that I didn’t make it work for my first child. But they are both beautiful, healthy, and thriving. After basically forcing it to work for the second one, I wondered if that was unfair to my oldest since he didn’t get that. But I don’t think that means I should have formula fed my second just because I had to formula feed my first. Like someone said above, you would treat a second child differently anyway because they will require different things.

      • FTMinFL says:

        “Do not base this decision on replicating the experience your first had for your second.” <- most definitely. My first was a high needs baby who still needs a lot of mom time. He nursed for comfort way more than for nutrition and only wanted to sleep on or right next to me for most of his infancy. My second just doesn't need me like that. Nursing=food and nothing more for her, and she won't sleep anywhere but a flat surface by herself. The difference between the two has really rocked my world!

        My point is that any experience with a hypothetical second will likely be very different than with your first and it is almost entirely out of your control. I am married to a wonderful, giving, selfless, strong, motivated, funny only child. He adores his mother and she him, and to this day he does not feel he missed out on having a sibling. Do what is best for your family!

    • Anonymous says:

      Only children are fine but not having another because you’d feel guilty not nursing for 2.5 years is a terrible rationale.

    • PatsyStone says:

      I have two sisters close in age. We fought all the time growing. One of them I’m close to, but both live on the other side of the county and I see them once or twice a year. Childhood is a relatively short period of time, and as time goes on, your relationships change, and it is easy to grow apart. One of sisters has addiction and mental illness issues that have and will continue to affect my life, and I resent what she has taken from the family, and fear I will one day be responsible for her care.

      I have one kid, he is wonderful, but I am done. Without family to help nearby, I can’t take on double the work of raising a second child, it would be tough on our finances, and tough on our marriage. I am firmly against the idea of “giving” a sibling out of some sense of obligation to your first.

    • I have an older sibling but we are 10 years apart so I felt like an only child growing up. I always wished I had a sibling to grow up with.

      We were torn about whether to have a second child and when to do it for a lot of the reasons you mention. When we finally decided to try for #2, I was 34 and husband was early 40s. Shortly after we started trying for #2, we decided to take a break due to a series of major life stressors. Little did we know, I was already pregnant.

      Flash foward and #2 is a blessing. My heart overflows for both of my children – I love them so much it truly hurts. However, life with 2 is HARD. WAY, way harder than I ever imagined. And #1 still has not adjusted to having a sibling, nearly 3 years in. Most days I feel as if #1 would have been happier as an only child. There are flashes of time where they get along and I can see how much they love each other, but most of the time we have to keep them physically separated. I keep praying that this is just the season of life that we are in and that it will get better as they get older. But having two -and I am sure this is specific to me and not universal – has put a lot of stress on us that we otherwise would not have had. And while on the one hand I cannot imagein life without #2, I also think we could have been very fulfilled as a one child family.

      I guess my point is, like others have said, you make the best choice you can with the facts you have at the time. But there is nothing wrong with choosing to be one and done as well.

    • This is silly. says:

      OK: first point- your only child will be FINE! HOWEVER, if the thinking is that you can’t give a second kid an exactly mirror life, that is so silly!! I have two, and am about to have a 3rd. My first was EBF for a year. I pumped and schlepped milk all across the country for her. My second was combo fed and I didn’t pump at work. My first went to (gasp, the horrors) daycare and was sick ALL THE TIME and has some lasting breathing problems from her infant RSV that she contracted at daycare. My second and third have/will have a nanny and my second has never been seriously ill.

      My first went to baby classes and had a 2nd and 3rd and 4th birthday party. My second had a first birthday and cupcakes thereafter.

      My first got a fancy nursery. My second moved into it.

      They love eachother and are happy as can be.

    • I haven’t read all the replies. I am an only child, and I grew up happy and am still happy. I really didn’t miss having siblings when I was a kid. I had some wonderful friends, so I wasn’t lonely. My parents could afford to pay for education and activities and opportunities that might have been too much with 2 kids. I also had a lot of freedom and was responsible only for myself, whereas some friends had to help take care of younger siblings or had to tag along to older siblings’ soccer games–although I know they wouldn’t change the way they grew up any more than I would). I married into a large family and live in the same metro area as DH’s siblings and step-siblings and their spouses and kids, so I get a lot of the adult-life pros and cons of the large family now. My parents, who are now retired, also spend a lot of time and money visiting us from my hometown and inviting us to join them on more expensive vacations than we could afford and showering my kid with love and more stuff than he ever needs. So, overall, an only child will be fine!

      But I second everyone else that you absolutely do not have to treat siblings the same. That’s a very unrealistic expectation. For instance, there’s a greater-than-zero chance that even if you planned to b*feed your second child, you wouldn’t be able to. But more generally, second kids (and third and fourth) are always treated differently. I met DH when he was in college and his sibling and 2 step-siblings were still living at home. I saw how his parents got less and less strict with each child, until the youngest was holding crazy parties with drinking and s*x while the parents were home (and collecting car keys). All four kids were loved, and they knew it, and they all turned out fine.

    • I have a younger sister, and we fought all the time growing up, but now are friends (I wouldn’t say best friends, as we’re far apart enough in age to have led fairly disparate lives and also have very different personalities). FWIW, I always thought the *older* sibling was the beta tester and the younger kids are the result of mom and dad perfecting their parenting or at least getting more practice! Both only children and people with siblings turn out just fine, so long as they have people in their lives who love them and care for them and raise them right. If you have another child, do it for you, out of a sense that it would fulfill or complete your family – not for the daughter you currently have.

      That being said – I have a dear friend who is an only child. After her father passed away, her mother essentially fell apart for various reasons and needs a lot more support, and my friend finds herself shuttling back and forth between her small hometown and my city where her SO lives, and in vulnerable moments has said she wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is super late, but I’m a very happy only child. I loved it growing up – we got to take cool vacations and I got to do an expensive sport that wouldn’t have been possible if my parents had a second child. They also paid for private college in full, which was a huge gift they wouldn’t have been able to give me if they’d had two kids. I’m not exaggerating when I say I truly never wished for a sibling during childhood. As an adult I can see the benefits more, but so far it has not been bad. I am close to my parents, but I don’t think I’m overly dependent on them or them on me (they are both still alive and married so they have each other when I have to do holidays with my husband’s family – I do think being the only child of divorced parents would be harder). We’ve all agreed that when one of my parents passes away the other will move into a retirement community right near me, so hopefully the remaining parent won’t be too lonely and I won’t have to uproot my life. I have two very close friends who are also only children, and they are like sisters to me and I consider their children my nieces and nephews (and my husband has one sibling and many cousins) so it’s not like I feel all alone in the world.
      We just had our first baby, so not ruling anything out, but it’s likely we’ll be one and done too.

  3. avocado says:

    My only child is happy and well adjusted. Sometimes she says she would like to have an older sibling (not younger—she finds her friends’ little brothers annoying), but that would be pretty difficult to get for her. Most of the time she is glad she’s an only, because she is old enough to see all the advantages of being an adaptable, well-behaved only child who can go anywhere and handle any situation. And because she wants to go to a ridiculously expensive college.

    If we’d had another kid just to give her a sibling, her life would be miserable because I just don’t have the capacity to parent more than one child effectively, and I would have had to completely ignore her for at least 18 months of pregnancy + hypeemesis + new baby. You have to do what works best for you and your family.

    And having a sibling does not guarantee family connections as an adult. Sometimes siblings just don’t get along.

    • anne-on says:

      Are you me? Our only also says that he wants a sibling from time to time (but only an older sibling, and one of those magical older siblings who has infinite patience and always wants to play with you and not their own friends…sure). Also had a very difficult pregnancy (hyperemesis – woo!) and a complicated delivery. We try to foster very close relationships with cousins and friends…which is why I think ours wants an older sibling, he idolizes his older cousin who comes on many vacations with us. I am NOT close with my sibling and don’t see that as a given if you have multiple kids, it may happen, or it may not.

  4. Follow-up to the defiant three year old post- we have a three year old and it’s not so much that she’s become defiant… her tantrums now are just so violent! she really loses control and it’s super hard to get her calmed down. Does anyone have experience with this? She’s a pretty reasonable sweet kid but just completely loses it a few times a week now and it’s really disconcerting. We tell her her feelings are okay, etc., yay big feelings, but she’s usually pretty insensible for some time.

    Any other good strategies?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      If you’re in a safe place when this happens, perhaps disengage and walk away. We had a rough morning (hysterics almost as soon as she opened her eyes) and there were moments where she was just emotional and melting down and needed comforting (cuddles gladly given) and ones where she was freaking out because we said no to some request and she was face down on the floor (which we ignored).

      • Anonymous says:

        This. I stand nearby – like about 6 feet away. When he’s done getting out the physical aspect of the tantrum – I’ll offer a hug but asking if he would like one but I respect if he declines. Danial Tiger has a good video about stomping three times when you are mad and it’s helped a bit with redirecting the physical need to express emotion.

        Sometimes I need a good frustration cry about an issue, so I get that for my three year old sometimes not getting what they want will also result in a physical response.

        • Ha, whenever I sing the Daniel Tiger song about stomping three times, my threenager-in-training yells “I DON’T WANT TO STOMP THREE TIMES!’.

    • Delta Dawn says:

      I follow Janet Lansbury’s facebook page, and she has a lot of guidance on this. Her suggestions are usually about letting the child feel how they feel, not try to talk them out of it, not try to calm them down, and just let the feelings run their course. She says if they are violent (hitting things, throwing, etc), she recommends the “I won’t let you” approach… if you’re able to safely stop the behavior (hold her arm to keep her from hitting, take the item to prevent her from throwing) and then calmly state that you won’t let her do it. “I won’t let you hit the chair.” or “I won’t let you throw.”

      She also suggests naming the feelings, or giving play-by-play so the child knows you understand. “I see that you are very upset that you didn’t get the red cup. You really wanted the red cup!” and, interestingly, NOT trying to explain it away (I am always tempted to explain “the red cup is dirty in the sink, but we can use the red cup next time,” but she says it’s not about that– it’s about letting them know you understand they are upset, not about fixing the problem).

      • Interesting! I just started reading How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen and they say rather than using the “but…” phrasing, use “the problem is…”, which seems consistent with what you’re saying (just putting more words on it). So “I see that you are very upset that you didn’t get the red cup. You really wanted the red cup! The problem is that the red cup is dirty.”

    • Delta Dawn says:

      I typed a long response that is inexplicably in moderation, but do a search for Janet Lansbury; she has lots of advice on this.

  5. Has anyone been through an ADHD diagnosis with a kiddo? How long did it take to get a definitive answer? We started the process about a month ago, starting with the pediatrician. It is frustrating, emotional and I just want answers. We’ve filled out the Vanderbilt, Connors, and another evaluation, as have his teachers. The teachers’ evaluations don’t match ours — based on ours, he’s rated clinical, and based on theirs, he’s borderline or normal. Which, given the emails we’ve received from teachers and principals the past 3 years about his many issues with impulsivity, doesn’t seem accurate at all. His psych agrees. So kiddo is doing several more in-person evaluations with her, and the school psychologist has to see him, too. I have very little faith in the schools at this point, so we’ll see how that goes.

    And if it’s not ADHD, what the heck IS it? He struggles mightily with impulsive behaviors, and it’s affecting him at school, at his after-school program, with friends, and with us. I’m worried that his mood swings are getting worse, not better. I love him dearly and he’s an amazing kid, but incredibly difficult to parent. Parenting him and his sister is just a night and day difference, and it’s not because she’s so chill and laid-back. It’s to the point where I’m almost hoping for a diagnosis so we have some real direction on how to help him.

    We like his psych a lot and she has a great relationship with our pediatrician, so I’m trying to think of all the positives of having that team on our side. And the psych says our ped is not one to over-diagnose. It’s just hard.

    • How old is your son?

      This doesn’t answer your question at all, but one strategy that can help with impulsivity is to have your kid exercise before school. This can be running, biking, swimming, whatever. It just helps to get the wiggles out before having to sit at school. My brother used to do laps around our house after breakfast before we left for school. Another friend had his son ride his bike to school and he found that this drastically decreased behavioral issues. Whether what you’re seeing is ADHD or maturity or whatever, it might be a helpful strategy to try.

      My brother also found that wrestling (he started at 9 or 10) was really helpful for him. If you’re impulsive and don’t think, then you lose the match. You have to maintain your cool and think strategically, even under pressure. It made a huge difference for him, and in ways that soccer and baseball didn’t.

      Good luck. Kids are hard.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. We see a huge difference in our daughter’s behavior on the days that she walks to school in the morning and gets an hour of outside free play in the evenings. She’s 6 if that matters.

        If your kid is a youngest 1/3 of his class I would be particularly cautious about a diagnosis. Many times those kids are challenged by the executive function standards of the classroom so that exhausts them. That leads to acting out at home because they have used up all their executive function energy trying to follow the rules at school all day. I think Janet Lansbury had a good article about executive function and the post-kindergarten day meltdown.

        • Son is 8, and in the eldest 1/3 of his class. Physical activity is great and it helps some, but it is by no means solving his very real issues.

          • Totally didn’t mean to downplay his issues. I just thought it might possibly be one component of a more global solution. Good luck.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a fairly unique set of experiences with this as I am a foster parent who cares for kids both long term and short term with various diagnoses, including ADHD and a couple mood disorders.

      First, I’ve noticed that the difference in perceived maturity/impulse control between kids has a HUGE variation in what is normal and have seen some kids who exhibited behavior I would expect from a 3 or 4 year old basically ‘catch up’ in 6-8 months. There’s a chance your team will advise giving it a bit of time- that might be a frustrating answer but it might be one you get.

      Second- I’m not surprised at all if his behavior is different at school versus home because school is likely 100% routinized. Some kids really need much more structure than other kids, to the point where I had one kid stay with me who needed us to stay on such a strict schedule that she would start having behaviors if we let her stay up 15 minutes late one night. I may be preaching to a convert here, but with her (7 yo) we literally would write out the week’s schedule on Sunday night. Every morning we would point to the next activity on her ‘getting ready’ checklist. Every Tuesday we had tacos. It was uncomfortably rigid for me, but we saw such a benefit in her behaviors it was worth it.

      I’ll also add that we really like doing some ‘mindfulness’ activities with kids. It’s really helped. I also swear by TONS of physical activity – walking the dog before school, going to the pool on weekends, dance parties to get all our ‘wiggles’ out.

      Kids behavioral health is HARD. Meds can help (and the psych might suggest meds even with a ‘borderline ADHD diagnosis), but it’s often just a guessing game to find the meds/dosage that works… sometimes they’re a magic bullet but sometimes you’re not sure if they’re doing anything. I don’t know if you’re dealing with any violence, but coping with a child who’s exhibiting violent behaviors is literally one of the hardest things I’ve had to do emotionally… ever. In general, much love to you.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ll also add that one of the hardest things for me to accept is that much of this has zero to do with my parenting. When kids have Type I diabetes, we don’t blame their parents. We know that parents can help support and manage their kids’ health, but it’s not their parenting that is resulting in their kids’ diabetes.

        Much of behavioral/mental health in kids is seen as an issue of needing a parent to do something rather than needing to figure out how to treat the issue – whether thorough therapy/meds/ various coping techniques. Be kind to yourself, poster. Don’t think of this as a refleciton on you.

        • You have no idea how much I need to hear this right now, so thank you. I’m a highly routinized person, and yet it’s on a completely different level for my son. It is hard. It is exhausting. He is not physically aggressive, but he absolutely has behavioral issues at home and school. The schools call it “bullying behavior.” Which it kind of is, but believe me, he actually does recognize right from wrong, but can’t always control it in the moment when he’s stressed and frustrated, or even just excited! That doesn’t prevent me from feeling like a failure as a parent because WHY CAN’T HE GET THIS? Positive reinforcement, consequences, charts — you name it, we’ve tried it.

          The psych has told us to consider a medication trial. I have mixed feelings about doing it without a definitive diagnosis, but at this point it feels like we don’t have much to lose. We are walking on eggshells around him, always trying to find that find line between teaching and coaching, without frustrating him so much that things get worse. We’ve had to pull him out of Sunday School and any kind of unstructured activities because he can’t handle it without acting out. I learned long ago that what works for typical kids usually does not work with him.

          • Anonymous says:

            (same Anon, btw)

            With kids, diagnoses are hard because then they have a label. It’s a balance of figuring out what’s them being on the kind of difficult side of ‘normal’ and what is a brain chemistry thing. Kids also can change really rapidly and fit into one diagnosis one month and a different diagnosis another month.

            Sometimes labels don’t fit kids because what they really have is a touch of ADHD with just a smidge of DMDD and a pinch of being kind of difficult 8 year old. Trust your team, trust your instincts.

          • NewMomAnon says:

            To piggy back of Anonymous – a friend who is a child psych once told me that the diagnosis doesn’t actually matter as much as a comprehensive description of the symptoms, and that parents get really frustrated when they don’t have that “label,” but it isn’t clinically that important. She would suggest building your team (school psychologist, trusted teacher(s), pediatrician, psychiatrist, therapist, etc) and then delegating as much as possible to them so you have the energy leftover to be a loving, caring parent.

            Hugs. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth the effort.

          • Thanks, NewMomAnon. That actually makes a lot of sense. It stinks to feel like you have to become a full-time case manager, but that’s exactly what we need to do. The good news is that when DS is firing on all cylinders, he is a joy of a kid. He’s one of those magnetic personalities. It’s when his impulses outpace his brain that we run into the biggest problems. His hyperactivity is an asset on the basketball court; it makes things insanely difficult in the classroom.

    • My threading failed. See my response below.

  6. Can we talk about bouncy seats? I never really bothered with any fancy contraptions with my oldest; we had one of those fisher price loungers someone gifted us and then borrowed a swing and excersaucer from friends, but my daughter never cared for any of it beyond ten minutes here or there. But the new baby like to be held/rocked and I’m finding myself looking for ways to contain him when I need to deal with my daughter. I no longer have excess to the excersaucer and don’t want the swing given how much space it takes up.

    Im finding myself tempted by the Baby Bjorn bouncer or one of those 4moms loungers. Are they really worth it? Am I just buying into the aesthetics?

    • LegalMomma says:

      The Baby Bjorn bouncer was a lifesaver when my second was an infant. We didn’t have it for my oldest, and rarely used containment devices with her. But with my son, who ALWAYS wanted to be held (and still does), we got the bouncer and it was amazing. Tip – there are usually a bunch on EBay, that’s where we got ours for at least a little less than full price. I would absolutely recommend. It was also so easy to slide the baby into it, even as an infant, not having to take the time to strap him in when an emergency arose was really helpful.

    • Marilla says:

      The swing was amazing and worth the space for my daughter who needed to be held All The Time. I actually ended up with two, one upstairs and a portable one on our main floor. We had a bouncy seat too and it was useful early on but not as great as the swing (not a Baby Bjorn or 4Moms brand, we just borrowed one).

      • Yes, the swing was the only thing my must-be-held baby sort of tolerated. The bouncer only worked if I vigorously bounced it myself, the automatic bounce/vibrate it came with was not good enough, and thus it was useless as a containment device.

      • +1 My parents bought a swing for us against our will and I referred to it as “a monstrosity”.

        The hours the baby spent napping in that thing probably saved my life.

      • +1 for our colicky need to be held all the time baby. Sadly at 7 months she is now outgrowing it and we are losing our sure fire overtired baby nap solution for our child that hates to sleep.

        • Sabba says:

          It gets so much better, I promise. Really. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child saved my life, but no matter what the path gets easier each day. -colic mom

    • We had a cheap $25 dollar Fisher Price seat that my daughters loved. It wasn’t nearly as fancy as the electronic and light up seats, but it was even more popular. We called it the baby crack seat. She could kick her feet and watch the animals on the toy bar wiggle. Total baby joy.

    • Everlong says:

      We have a bouncer and a stationary little chair. Both are Fisher Price and do the job for much less than what you’re considering.

    • We have a ~$25 Fisher Price bouncer seat & it was great for when my daughter was younger (and now she likes to use it to pull up on and play with the activity bar). We have used the Baby Bjorn one and while it looks nicer (to me, it may not be as fun for a baby), have yet to see that it’s worth the much higher price tag. I guess it converts into a chair for a toddler, maybe that is worth it? I don’t know.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ymmv of course but bouncy seat didn’t work for me for 2nd kiddo. Baby crying in bouncy seat = easy target for 2.5 year old to hit. 100% used Baby K’Tan to contain 2nd kid in a safe place.

    • AwayEmily says:

      We have a hand me down baby bjorn bouncer (~10 years old?) that has gone through maybe six kids. I looooove it. We had a couple of other hand-me-down bouncy seats (including ones with way more bells and whistles) and the baby bjorn has been both the parent and kid favorite, despite the ancient poop stains. It’s so light you can move it with a baby in one arm, I love that you can bounce it with one foot while eating (like I did at breakfast this morning), and it’s easy to fold up and take in the car if necessary.

    • YMMV but we loved our baby bjorn bouncer so much. LO hated the swing seats.

    • If you get the Baby Bjorn bouncer, ALWAYS use the safety straps. The bouncer can be used by a toddler as an inadvertent sling shot, with baby as projectile.

  7. Anyone have birthday gift ideas for two 2 year old boys? One is a friend and the invite says no gifts, so just something small/token to bring. The other is a family member so more in the $30-40 range, and would love something somewhat unique – they already have most of the usual suspects/classic stuff.

    Looking for Amazon accessible. TIA!

    • For no gifts, I usually do s card with some stickers or temporary tattoos.

      For the other, legos always work at this age, even if they have some already.

      • +1. I am also a fan of the pop-up cards like those from LovePop. They seem ridiculously expensive for a card, but perfect for giving to a child when the invite says “no gifts.” For your family, do you want a toy or something practical? I hate to give toys because I always think our child has too many, so for gifts I usually stick with books, art supplies, or high-quality clothing items, including socks and outerwear.

        • I am open to either a cool toy or something else. They also have a ton of books already. Any favorite art supplies for this age? Thanks!

          • Sabba says:

            For art supplies, at that age stickers were a big hit. My child liked the kind that you could use to make faces by selecting different eyes, noses, mouths, etc. I think Amazon has a jumbo set with different animals. Large crayons, fingerpaints, watercolors, bath crayons, and big drawing pads were also a hit.

      • I usually do a coloring book that comes with pages of stickers in it, branded with whatever is the kid’s favorite at that moment. So Cars, Paw Patrol, Thomas the Tank Engine etc.

    • For the first, I always do a book in this instance, assuming that “no gifts” is the parent’s way of trying to keep more toys from coming into their house.

      For the second, one of those box memberships might be fun?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Stickers, play doh, bubbles (look for fubbles, if you can find them – basically no spill!) are all good token gifts.

      For the family member, my daughter (2.5) got kidnoculars for Christmas and looooves them. They’re inexpensive, but we take them on walks and she loves to “explore” and “discover” things. They might be a little old for a new 2 year old, but he could grow into them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Small gift – Water Wow, stickers, washable dot markers. For the bigger gift, Picasso Tiles – Amazon prime!

    • shortperson says:

      blueberry hill fox or raccoon hat.

    • Redux says:

      FWIW, We had a “no gifts” party and I really, truly, meant no gifts! Most people brought a card, a few people included a sheet of stickers or some other truly token gift, but I would have been really surprised to see a book, or play-doh, or anything that wasn’t invisible inside a card. As it was, I stuffed the cards into a bag I wore on my shoulder so that no one would know who brought a card and who didn’t (including my kid). You know your friend, but consider the (hopefully liberating) possibility that “no gifts” really means no gifts!

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Same. I knew I couldn’t stop EVERYONE from giving her gifts, but I was relieved that it was only a few things.

  8. Rainbow Hair says:

    Llama Llama Misses Mama — yes or no?

    I’ve got a just-turned-three year old and she loves Llama Llama. I travel for work and am, in fact, going away for a week in a week. I wanted to buy her the book but my husband is scared it will make her too sad. She *is* a sensitive little fish, like was moved to tears by the “sick feet” in that Dr. Seuss foot book (like, “slow feet, quick feet, something feet, sick feet”). But I thought it might be helpful.

    • The book is about the llama going to school for the first time and missing the mama during that time. Not sure it’s right for your contemplated situation, except for the fact that you can explain that mom will always come back. Other options: Daniel Tiger episode where they sing “grownups come back,” or Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find you by Nancy Tillman.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Oh! I definitely assumed Mama was going on a business trip. Huh that’s different. Maybe we should do more Grooooownups Come Back!

    • Anonymous says:

      Bought it for my then-1.5 year old in advance of a spate of business travel for me and he LOVED it. It’s one of the most beat-up, well-loved books in his little library, and it definitely conveyed the message that mama always comes back. He quickly started saying “mama come back!” anytime I left the house, for travel or otherwise. It’s been about 6 months and he’s still really into it.

      This was our experience on the sensitivity front: Sometimes he comes in for more cuddles when we’re reading the couple of pages about llama being sad, but he really perks up and gets excited by the 2nd half of the book about how much fun school is, culminating in showing mama all the cool stuff there and concluding “he loves mama, and school too!”

    • avocado says:

      I vote no, at least until you see how she reacts to your absence. With my kid, books or shows like that inevitably turned a new experience that would be no big deal into A Great Big Deal that Should Make You Very Sad. For us, the best strategy was always just to warn the kid ahead of time in a low-key way; she usually took things in stride. If kiddo does get really sad while you are gone, then maybe she and dad can go to the bookstore and buy the book at that point.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Hmm yeah, that’s a good point. She is currently trying out “I’m scared of monsters” based on a cartoon where a character is scared of monsters. I am pretty sure she is not really scared of monsters.

        • Mine was like that. We just work on an action plan. Like,

          If you see a spider, what do you do? Smoosh it.
          If you see a monster, what do you do? Spray it (with a water bottle).
          Our dog would NEVER let a wolf come in the house, he’d bark and scare it away.
          If you’re missing mom/dad, what do you do? Hug the special bear we made together or talk to a picture of us.

  9. First Flight says:

    Taking our first flight with LO (almost 7 months) tomorrow. Contrary to my mother’s instructions, we are not drugging her with benadryl, and contrary to my aunt’s instructions, we are not bringing goody bags for all of our seatmates. I feel like everyone was a baby once and can just get over themselves (we too would obviously like to minimize the crying, however much there will be). Cross-country flight + first class with a lap baby, but hoping it will go well. Send good wishes!

    • avocado says:

      Have a great trip! 99% of the people on the plane will be understanding, will not even notice, or will enjoy making silly faces at your baby when they go by in the aisle. Plane engines do a good job of drowning out most kid noise, and most first class passengers will have noise cancelling headphones. As a frequent flyer, I am much more annoyed by obnoxious adults than I am by babies.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        All of this. Remind yourself that babies are fully human and have as much right to be out in the world as any other human.

        My kid was pretty good on flights at that age. Sending you good vibes!

    • The toughest thing about lap baby is getting them to sleep. If you can nurse to sleep it might work best to prop a pillow/blanket under your arm and nurse her down. I flew recently with a 6.5mo as a lap baby and the hardest part was staying still/comfortable after he fell asleep. He really didn’t nap well at all given that the tiniest move on my part meant he woke up. My arm went numb.

      See how it goes, but I actually have a better experience flying in Comfort+ or even Economy and getting baby his own seat, rather than first and a lap baby for this reason. Once he’s out in his carrier, he won’t wake up (I put baby earphones on him so the DINGGG Captain has turned on the fasten seatbelt light! doesn’t wake him) and I can enjoy a meal and a movie or two in peace, rather than as a human couch.

      • First Flight says:

        We already nurse to sleep for the first wake up and for naps when I’m home (sleep training failed for my stubborn LO) and she loves to sleep on us (my husband is a SAHD) and hates her car seat, so hopefully that will make it just like home!

        We did first because 2 seats in first vs. 3 in coach was the same price, and my husband is rather large (both size and height). TBD if that was the right call, but coach seats are so tiny these days!

        • You’re probably good then. I’d ask for extra pillows and blankets and make yourself a little Boppy-like shelf for LO to sleep on. My LO has been on 6 flights, starting when he was 3mo, and I have never gotten a mean glance or comment from anyone.

          • When my kids were that age, I actually brought a boppy on the flight. Was totally worth it because it made both of us more comfortable.

    • Marilla says:

      We had two long (11 hour) flights with our daughter just under that age and it went really so much more smoothly than we feared. Just nurse, cuddle, walk up and down the aisles when you have to. Everyone was super kind and understanding (even a little too much…like multiple passengers tried to hand my 6 month old baby pieces of their egg salad sandwiches… no thanks?). But pack at least two extra changes of clothes for baby more than what you planned, plus an extra pair of yoga pants or something for yourself. Something about the airplane experience leads to some explosive poops… we brought 3 changes of clothes and needed all of them.

      • YES! Blowouts always happen in airplanes for some reason!!

        Another tip if LO is teething – we used a pacifier clip to affix his favorite teether to his bib so it wouldn’t fall on the floor when he dropped it.

        • Already packed one of those in the carry-on! Will add a 3rd change of clothes for her though.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Definitely an easy-to-access change of clothes for everyone. At least one!

    • rosie says:

      Put together some ziploc bags with what you need to handle a blowout (or even a reg diaper change, those bathrooms are tight) so you don’t have to dig for stuff or bring your whole diaper bag. Ours had a disposable changing pad, a couple diapers, small pack of wipes, extra outfit, and plastic bag to contain dirty clothes. Ask the flight attendant which bathroom has a changing table.

      Bring some wipes for pacis & toys that fall on the floor (we have munchkin ones). You can also use them on the armrest, tray, whatever else baby finds to put in mouth. I think bringing a lot of wipes is generally a good idea.

      • First Flight says:

        I checked already – our plane doesn’t have a changing table, so TBD how that gets handled.

        • rosie says:

          For a cross-country flight? Is it an older plane? What airline?

          • First Flight says:

            United, 737-900. It wasn’t listed on United’s website for a plane that had a changing table. “Changing tables are available on Boeing 747, 757-300, 767, 777, 787 and select 757-200.”

        • I flew with a 2.5 year old last week for the first time. Our family had three seats together. When she needed a diaper change, my husband stood up, and I changed her on the seats. It was pretty easy, but she didn’t poop on the plane.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        +1 I think I got this tip on this website over 3 years ago. Best flying with diapered kids advice ever.

    • You’ll be fine! If you can’t nurse at takeoff/landing, a pacifier works just as well for averting clogged ears. Our first flight I was so focused on the nursing at takeoff and trying to time everything properly that kid ended up having a brief meltdown from being hungry before we took off.

    • Jeffiner says:

      We did the goody bags your aunt is describing, and they were more trouble than the 4 month old was. You’ll be fine. Babies on flights get a bad rap, but most of it is undeserved. If baby is snotty, do some nose suction to avoid clogged ears. Otherwise just do whatever baby wants to stay happy. The only time I flew first with my baby, the flight attendant was more nervous than I was. We threw off his routine because he wasn’t sure how to serve me the multiple plates of food, snacks, etc, while the baby was squirming around.

  10. Turtle says:

    Could use some advice in dealing with my in laws. I’m in the northeast. They’re in GA. Baby is due first week of May. Our first child and their first grandchild. SIL lives in Asia and has a long term boyfriend, potentially soon to be fiancé? DH and I haven’t met him.

    We have a small (1,600 SF) 3BR, 1 BA home. One guest room with a queen bed and no room for much else.

    SIL and BF want to stay with us for 7 nights in mid June. MIL and FIL want to come up at the same time. Baby will be maybe 7 weeks old, depending on actual birth date. All are well intentioned, but not helpful in the slightest. MIL is also a smoker and while she smokes 4-5+ cigarettes outside per day when she visits the smell is god awful and tracks with her. That’s a whole other issue I’m not ready to navigate..

    I refuse to have 4 house guests/people crashing on my couch, which is their strong preference. DH is completely on board with that and is actively working on setting that expectation.

    My gut is always defensive and “no” with them – I recognize this and am asking the wise hive if having two house guests with a 7 week old is nuts. It would prob be SIL and BF I’ve never met, mostly because of MILs smoking. But on the other hand feeding, my hormones, lack of sleep, etc with someone I’ve never met in my tiny home is also unnerving. Am I being crazy? DH is supportive and will have the hard conversation with whomever based on the final decision but I don’t know if saying no house guests with a 7-8 week old is way too harsh, even if it is my gut reaction. Thoughts?

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Say no. Say no say no say no. You don’t want them here NOW, imagine when you’re tired, nursing, crying, and in the good peaceful moments all you want to do is snuggle that baby… you don’t want to have guests in your house. You don’t. Tell them to get an AirBnB in your neighborhood so all the inlaws can crash together, but nope nope nope nope to them in your house.

      • Spirograph says:

        All of this. I didn’t read anyone else’s responses, I just stopped at the first emphatic “no” to co-sign.

    • Totally reasonable. The smell sounds awful, and if you are planning to try BFing, it’s going to suck to have people in your space that may make you uncomfortable about trying to feed wherever/whenever you want, which I assume would be the case at least for the BF you haven’t met (and maybe the rest of them, depending on the relationship). Even if not planning to BF, having to worry about what you’re wearing & share the bathroom with that many people sounds terrible.

      Not sure how many options there are in your area, but would an Airbnb/VRBO. Since your SIL is in Asia, I assume she doesn’t see your ILs all that much? Could be a nice way for them to spend time together and not be underfoot for you, while still getting in time to see you and the baby.

    • First Flight says:

      Your inlaws probably want to come up to see SIL as much as they want to see the baby. I think given the space constraints that only having one set (either ILs or SIL + BF) stay in your house, and the others stay at a nearby hotel. Each of my sisters came to visit at 6 week and a 8 weeks for a long weekend, and I wish they could have stayed longer. They were “helpful” in that they were happy to hold and snuggle with the baby, which bought time for me to nap, take longer showers, do other things around the house. You’ll (hopefully) be into the swing of things by then with feeding (sadly not likely with sleeping).

      On smoking, my dad likes to smoke cigars, which he did when they came to visit a couple of times. I made him shower and change clothes before holding the baby so as to reduce the second-hand smoke, which I think is a pretty serious concern (and I think it also contributes to SIDs). If it were me, I would ask her to shower (including washing her hair) after she smokes each time before holding the baby. That seems like it will be a lot at 4-5 per day, so at least maybe at a hotel she can smoke at least 2-3 there and maximize the baby visiting between smokes? I’m kind of crazy about that sort of thing because the smell bothers me too.

      Or maybe they both stay in a hotel and can take turns visiting the baby and visiting with each other?

      • Betty says:

        Agree with all who are saying that your instinct is spot on! My in-laws and SIL came to jointly visit when my oldest was about 7 weeks old. SIL stayed with us, and in-laws stayed elsewhere. It became obvious to me that much of the visit was my MIL and SIL catching-up after my in-laws were out of the country for 4 months in the winter, and I felt very much on the outside of the family for that visit. I wish that they had visited separately and not stayed in my house. On the other hand, my sister visited two weeks before and stayed with us. Her oldest was 18 months at the time, and she was awesomely, amazingly helpful.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      It’s not too harsh. They can collectively rent an AirBNB or stay in a nearby hotel. Keep in mind, your kid may be 1-2 weeks late. When my daughter was about 5 or 6 weeks old, she went through a growth spurt and wanted to nurse every hour. I literally didn’t have time to leave my house, let alone my couch. And there’s a growth spurt at around 8 weeks too. And your kid may be colicky or a not-good sleeper yet, so just double down on the exhaustion. And at 7-8 weeks, your kid hasn’t had his or her first shots yet (SIL + BF being on a plane for 16 hours is less than ideal). Also, you might not feel comfortable nursing in front of people.

      I don’t say any of this to scare you, just trying to give you all the reasons you need to support your gut reaction! If your inlaws were easier guests or if you actually knew the BF, I might tell you otherwise, but this would be a no for me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Say no and do not feel guilty in the least. The most important family members to protect in all of this are you and baby. Don’t feel guilty for putting your needs first as that is the best thing you can do to be protective of your baby.

      Could you find an Air BnB nearby where they (4) can stay as a unit? You can visit them there and they can visit you at your place.

      • Marilla says:

        + a million to this. Focus on creating a comfy environment for you and baby. I think it would be a nice gesture to check out some local AirBnBs and send them the links, but also not totally required/your job.

    • It’s totally your prerogative. If you are nervous about it and don’t feel comfortable, it’s your house and your time recovering from birth so you are 100% in your rights to say no.

      However, just as anecdata, I actually had like six people staying at my house when I came home from the hospital, which was insane, but I mostly ignored them. The most difficult part was being immobile and thus not being able to fetch things from around the house when people asked for them (like, extra toilet paper or sheets). If your husband is competent and knows where things are and can run a house, you can effectively hide in your bedroom tbh.

      We had even more people (8?) staying with us at 7w for baby’s christening. I hosted 25 people at our house for the party. I don’t recall having any problems, because I was totally healed from giving birth and able to function. I also had a cousin’s BF who I’d never met staying with us in fact! So, it’s possible you will feel up to it.

      I’m not sure why I agreed to all this bc in general I am not crazy about my inlaws but I think I knew that I would just hide in my room if necessary, which I did.

      • rosie says:

        But do you have more than 1 bathroom? (if not, I cannot even imagine…)

        • Anonymous says:

          This. I can’t imagine 8 people sharing one bathroom – it’s a logisitical nightmare for trying to get a shower when baby is napping.

        • Also, no one needs their in laws seeing all that blood…..shudder

    • Nope. Nope. Nope. Your gut is spot on. My husband told his family – who we love, but are not helpful in the slightest and, in fact, create tons of work – that they couldn’t visit until baby was at least 4 months old. The space will be lovely. It’s also wonderful that your partner is enforcing boundaries with his family.

      I was hanging out topless at home most of the time when my kid was that young, as I had some issues nursing. Having my mom over was not a concern, but having my in-laws would have added to the stress of nursing not going so well.

    • FTMinFL says:

      Nope. You don’t want this. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt, and wish so hard that someone had told me to put the in-laws in a hotel and establish visiting hours based on baby’s current routine and my physical condition. If you’re up to it and DH will be around (definitely let him run point on this), offer two “events” per day: a morning walk at the park or coffee/walk at the mall were my favorites, then a late afternoon/early dinner get together (happy hour?) at your house or a local restaurant.

      All of that said, my MIL did this at 9 weeks with my first, I learned my lesson, and invited her to visit at 5 months with my second. If you can push it off due to your physical condition and baby’s fragile lungs/health at that age, I would.

      Don’t feel guilty. This is the first in a long line of situations where you and DH will have to decide what is best for your family and draw a line in the sand.

    • Sabba says:

      Nope. Your gut is right. Say no now. They can look for an AirBnB nearby or stay at a hotel. Six to seven weeks is at a time that some babies can be unusually fussy and if you are b-feeding this sounds like a potential disaster. DH needs to stand up for you on this one. He’ll get it by the time the visit arrives.

    • anne-on says:

      Nope nope nopeity nope. My inlaws who are not helpful on the best of days visited for when my baby was about 2 weeks old and only wanted to hold him when he was asleep and insisted in putting him down for naps early/off schedule. Guess what? He was up ALL NIGHT and I totally lost it on my husband. They were not invited for overnight stays for a long time after that (we are within 2 hours driving of them, so they did see baby, just not as house guests). +1 on the poster who mentioned sleep regressions/fussiness – it peaked for us at about 7 weeks, I would have killed any house guests at that point unless all they did was cook/clean/and do tummy time with the baby allowing me to shower, nurse, and veg in peace.

    • I have a slightly different opinion than most (all?) of the others. Provided it is healthy for your child, I really don’t think you can deny your in-laws a visit with their new, first grandchild. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% on board with keeping smoke away from a newborn and would freak out about it. I think you need to have a no smoking policy in your home (and immediately outside your home) and around baby. I think you also need to find out from your pediatrician what MIL needs to do to make herself safe to visit baby after smoking and enforce “pediatrician’s orders”. From there, I think you need to tell MIL what the rules are, and, within those rules, welcome grandma and grandpa into your home, including as overnight guests. I don’t think you should be expected to host strangers or a family reunion at that stage. Once you lay out all the rules, my guess is that they’ll want to find alternate lodging and/or will offer the “free” lodging to SIL. Again, 100% within rules that are safe for you baby, I think you need to attempt to foster a good relationship between your child and his or her grandparents.

      • Anonymous says:

        But this involves uninviting SIL + BF who are already invited to stay for a week? That seems kind of rude to not let them stay anymore. I can’t imagine trying to get a baby to sleep with 4 adults visiting. And if either the grandparents or the SIL/BF are at the house, then that will be the home base where they all hang out.

        There are lots of other times to foster a good relationship. The in-laws should be trying to foster a good relationship with her by accepting her boundaries around her needs and the needs of her baby.

        • Perhaps I misunderstood the initial post, but I didn’t think they’d said yes to anyone yet. Maybe I just have a good sleeper, but I think adults can behave appropriately to allow a six week old child to sleep. At that age, they can sleep through a lot. Other than the smoking, I don’t think the in-laws have done anything wrong. They’ve expressed a desire to visit after the birth of their grandchild. That is totally normal and understandable. No boundaries have been set yet to be pushed against. Just make sure you put ’em all to work!

      • I agree somewhat with this (get the pediatrician’s strict instructions as reinforcement re: the secondhand smoke issue!), and I don’t think 1,600 sq ft is all that small of a house; there is enough room for everyone, there are actual rooms you can go into if you want to nurse (I still have semi-PTSD from trying to entertain guests while living in a studio with a baby), plus it’ll be summer and the weather nice enough to be outside a fair bit of the time.

        That said, it really needs to be what OP is comfortable with, and if she isn’t comfortable with 4 guests at the same time, then I would say hard pass and also let husband run interference…it’s his family, after all. The most diplomatic way to do this would probably to say you only have room for two, and you feel everyone would be more comfortable in an AirBnB (that perhaps you can chip in for, if financial considerations are a concern for SIL and that’s why she would like free lodging – flights from Asia aren’t cheap, either.) At that point, it’s easy enough for you to bring baby over to see them and leave whenever you need to.

      • I agree with attempting a good relationship with the grandparents. But OP gets some say on when the grandparents visit, and whether they visit at the same time as other in-laws, and how long they can stay. It would be perfectly reasonable to say grandparents can visit for a long weekend a couple of weeks before or after SIL.

  11. And you said you weren’t ready to address the smell, but just throwing it out there that I think your husband telling her she needs to change clothes before stepping foot in your house with such a young baby would be totally reasonable as well.

  12. I could use some recommendations for sippy cups. At our 1 year check the pedi said to start offering most liquids in a cup (looking at you, day care!) He drinks water from the Take N Toss cups, but he definitely enjoys tossing them and the lids come off. That’s fine for water but not for milk. We had some of the 360 cups but he didn’t get it and he’s big into chewing lately so I’m not sure those are right either. He can’t quite drink from a straw yet but I’m not opposed to teaching him. I just want something that doesn’t spill when he drops it…4x per meal. Tips? Try the 360s again?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Thermos Foogo straw cups. It’s not 100% foolproof, but nothing is. We’ve had them for > 1.5 years and they’re really great. We use the insulated one for milk.

      I found that my daughter didn’t really get the 360 cups until she was a fair bit older. Closer to 18 months/2 years.

      • Marilla says:

        Yeah, the 360 cups didn’t take off for us until probably 15 months at the earliest, closer to 18 months. We tried a bunch and before then the ones that worked best were the Oxo hard spout cups first and the straw cups second.

    • Mama Llama says:

      The best that I’ve found are Re-play Spill Proof cups. We’ve been using ours for 3 years, and they still look new. The valves don’t pop out when they hit the floor, and they don’t leak, ever. My kid is long past needing a sippy cup, but I still let her have one of these filled with water in bed with her because I know it won’t leak on her sheets.

    • Weirdly my son never took much to cups but LOVES the Contigo water bottle from Costco. He started using it right around 12-13 months, I think. He just drinks water out of it but I think it would be fine for milk.

      • This is a great idea – daddy drinks from a contigo so maybe I can get him to mimic! Thanks!

    • I posted a month or two ago about how on earth babies figure out sippy cups. What I ended up doing was teaching our 11 month old how to use the 360 cup (by taking off the silicone piece at first so he got used to the sipping feeling) and then also teaching him about straw cups. What we use now by default are the take and toss straw cups (super cheap and easy to clean!) for home and have an Avent bendy straw cup for the diaper bag.

    • My favorite are the Nalgene Grip n Gulp. My kid’s daycare uses them, and they are truly indestructible and leak-proof. They also sell replacement valves if you lose one. Seriously, daycare sent one home at the end of the school year last May, after daily use for a year there, and it’s still going strong. And we bought 2 more for home so we can rotate in the dishwasher.

  13. Question – does anyone get kid help from neighbor friends, and how do you keep the favors even? A few ladies in my neighborhood have mentioned being willing to take my daughter to the bus stop occasionally. I took one of them up on it once but I don’t want to take advantage of their kindness. Any idea for things a working mom can do to help out in return? Feels weird to offer to pay but I’m willing to do that too.

    • anne-on says:

      Can you offer up weekend playdates when their kids might have different schedules (like – hey the next time junior has a birthday party, senior is welcome to come by for a playdate!). I also try to make it a point to do ‘nice surprises’ for our close neighbors like drop off flowers from our backyard on their porches in the summer, or deliver an extra dozen cookies/muffins/etc. when I’m baking.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Another post regarding the multiple children question…can anyone share anecdata if you seriously considered having another child but ultimately decided not to?

  15. I’ve posted before from my experiences as an adult with ADHD. One thing I’d look for are what things trigger him into sensory overload? There are certain things I find extremely challenging and they can put me in a bad mood for a few hours. If I was an 8 year old, the response would probably be a tantrum.

    My number one struggle is the grocery store. There are so many sights and sounds and smells and colors and choices and people! So many people. Everyone’s in a rush, everyone is trying to get by, everyone seems to need the same thing in the same aisle at the same time. If you can find a similar trigger, maybe you can find a way to take that out of his life for now. He waits in the car (when old enough) or you get groceries delivered or you go on a day Dad watches him. If he has to go, maybe you let him use noise cancelling headphones and ride standing on the back of the cart so he’s always out of the way.

    I also get irrationally angry when I’m cleaning. I try to break the tasks into smaller tasks and it takes a lot for me to not fall off into a completely different task. This past weekend I started out cleaning one sink and one toilet and ended up scrubbing a cat door and two regular doors as well as my washer and dryer and then was exhausted and miserable with no energy for the chore I still really had to do – mopping my floor. I got it done but then had to sit alone in my room for awhile to decompress before I could get ready for friends coming over.

    “Get ready” can also be overwhelming. Sometimes I wish I had a life coach to just stand next to me and talk me through each step, keeping me on task. Brush your teeth. Good. Now take your meds, good. Put on clean underwear. LOL. The stress of forgetting something is always ticking away in the background.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      OMG, this is me. Is this a symptom of ADHD?

      • Anonymous says:

        Everytime Anon posts about adult ADHD I literally feel like I need to get checked out. I have a ten year old car but I have to have a weekly cleaning service because I cannot stay on task with the cleaning. And the getting ready thing is completely me – I have an actual ‘get ready for brunch/work/dinner out’ list on my phone because I can’t remember everything without getting distracted.

    • Thank you; this is so helpful to hear from your perspective. I was reticent to pull him out of anything for a long time, but I’m finally realizing that some situations are set up for failure … or at the very least, kiddo is going to have a very, very hard time succeeding. What you’re saying about bright lights and tons of stimulation makes a lot of sense. I will continue paying close attention to the circumstances when he’s in meltdown mode. Unfortunately, I know that I’m part of this. If I act stressed in ANY way, he cannot deal. And I’m not even talking about yelling, or being snappy. Even the wrong look on my face can send DS into a spiral. That’s really hard for me to deal with because I feel like I need to be this chipper mom-robot, which is not at all realistic.

  16. Divorce attorney? says:

    Divorce attorney recommendations for Richmond Va? Wife is a SAHM and husband just asked for a divorce. Thanks.

  17. layered bob says:

    Re: adult ADHD (can’t reply properly on my phone)

    My DH was diagnosed as an adult. His therapist said she sees ADHD as a positive brain adaptation to certain time periods/cultures/lifestyles that just doesn’t provide those positive benefits to most modern office workers/parents. So medication is a good coping strategy if you can’t realistically change your entire job and lifestyle.

    DH started on the lowest dose of Adderall and from my perspective, all his most annoying characteristics immediately disappeared, and from his perspective, his mild anxiety + depression got 90% better because he felt subtly more in control of his life. Made me a big believer in trying meds for adults who think they might have ADHD.

  18. Baby haircuts in dc? says:

    Anyone have a good experience at a kids salon? This would be my son’s first cut…

    • Knope says:

      What neighborhood do you live in? We just took our son to a no-frills salon right by our house and had a very positive experience.

    • AwayEmily says:

      We’ve had the easiest experience at ones that have TVs for them to look at, but we’ve been to a bunch and they’ve all been great — those guys are pros.

  19. Rather late, but remember that Old Navy dolman sleeve maternity dress from a couple of weeks ago? On the enthusiastic recommendation of folks here I ordered two. They’re a bit baggy for my 18-week bump so I’m not breaking them out regularly yet, but they are cute and fit well!

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