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And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
I’d like to get an inexpensive stroller to keep at my mom’s house for when she has the baby. Is this something I should look for on craigslist or does anyone have any recommendations for something relatively cheap I can buy new? Ideally looking for something that reclines so baby can nap in it, not just an umbrella stroller. Would like to spend in the neighborhood of $100 or less.
I would suggest involving your mom/parents in the purchase. We have some gently used strollers, and they are impossible – literally – for my parents to fold and unfold. I bought one at a consignment store, and even the woman selling it to me was like, “I’m pretty sure it folds up like this” grunt grunt stroller not folding “but there’s videos on YouTube of how to do it correctly”.
I did end up watching a video on YouTube about HOW TO FOLD MY STROLLER, but I wish I’d bought something easier and less origami-like fo r my parents. Ah, well, good thing the next baby is on his/her way, along with a double-stroller…
Also, if your parents ever drive with the baby, keep that in mind – must be light enough to get in/out of the car.
I’d get a used city mini. Super super easy to fold and recline. Very grandparent friendly!
Carrie M says
I’d talk with your mom to see what she’s comfortable with. There’s no way my mom would be able to get the city mini out of her house, even if she could fold and unfold it, given the stairs and some muscle issues she has. If you want an easy place to nap the babe, what about a rock and play, which is fairly cheap and folds up easily to stash away? Obviously not a long term solution since there’s a weight limit, but could be an option.
CPA Lady says
Graco LiteRider. $65. I bought some other bigger better more expensive stroller, but it turned out to be an incredible hassle. So I bought the Graco LiteRider as a “travel” stroller, but now only use it. It’s lightweight without being a rickety piece of crap like some cheapo umbrella strollers can be, and opening and closing it is very easy. It has a nice big basket at the bottom and a decent cupholder.
If yard sales or moms groups are a thing in your area, shop there first. Also think / talk to grandma about how she’d use it. Will she keep it open and in her garage and pop around the neighborhood in it or will she more often be taking it TO places (and folding it into/putting it into) the car? Different recs for each of those.
Thanks ladies. I think primary goal is to take baby on long walks with the occasional shopping trip. My mom is big into “babies need fresh air all day long” and this means inevitably my daughter will be sleeping in this stroller for good chunks of time when she’s with my mom. She’s too big for a rock n play at this point, my mom already has a pack and play, stairs aren’t an issue and my mom’s neighborhood is all neatly paved streets, but something not light and easy to navigate is good. I’m going to look into your suggestions. Any others are welcome.
i’d highly recommend a stroller with a rear facing seat that reclines. That way your mom can talk to baby if she doesn’t sleep. It’s great for their language development too. Bugaboos or maxi cosi or quinny buzz all do this and are not too pricey if bought second hand.
We have a Summer Infant umbrella stroller that reclines. It was about $100. We initially bought it to take on a plane trip (didn’t want to take the big jogging stroller) and we really like this one. It’s pretty easy to fold and unfold and it’s lightweight for loading and unloading into a car.
The one I got for my mom’s house (and the rest of the time, the trunk of our car) is the Summer Infant 3D Light (?). For $75-$100 depending on your color / model. I also used it as the air travel stroller since it fully reclines for airport napping and is light & simple to fold. But unfolded it’s a sturdy full-service stroller. It was a good buy— I picked it over the McClaren, the GLight, etc., because of the recline.
Meg Murry says
Do you leave baby with a bucket infant seat with her? A snap-and-go – either the BabyTrend version that is compatible with lots of different carseats, or the brand that corresponds to her carseat is an easy lightweight option, and if baby falls asleep in the stroller she could just take the bucket seat into the house, or if she’s asleep in the car your mom wouldn’t have to wake her to put her in the stroller. And they are OFTEN available at garage sales, Craigslist, etc. It would only be a 1 year solution, but it’s an easy one.
But +1 to testing your mom’s ability to open and close the stroller and walk with it. Is she tall, petite, has a tiny trunk in her car, etc that would want stroller recommendations tailored to?
I’d like the option of wearing baby to my mom’s (I don’t drive) so I think we’d want a full stroller to have there. I do like the idea of something that can be both rear and front facing, which we have for our regular stroller but I also prefer the convenience of just ordering something on amazon vs. dealing with a person on CL. My mom’s average height/weight and drives a sedan with a large but cluttered trunk. She does have a bit of a back issue so something lightweight and easy is probably a must. Good idea to have her try opening/closing it.
If you don’t want to deal with CL, just go to a secondhand baby store in your area.
Any tips for getting over a cold quickly or preventing getting another one? My daughter is 14 months and in daycare. She and I have had a perpetual cold since February. Just as I seem to getting better, she gets sick again and the cycle continues. I’m so tired of cough drops, kleenex, and nyquil.
My kid was sick (runny nose) for probably the first 2/3 of her life once she started daycare. We got a nice reprieve in summer but from fall to spring she had a runny nose. Luckily, it only got bad a few times each year (ear infection, bronchitis, etc). Husband and I somehow built up immunity because we stopped getting since around the 9 month mark. However! She really, really turned a corner when she was 18 months-2. I would say you can expect to see this nonsense subside for the summer and taper off (with the inevitable fall and winter colds, but proably not constant) after that.
There’s probably no evidence to support this but I swear by Boiron’s Oscillocosynum capsules. Maybe it’s all mental but it works for me.
Hello, fellow Chicago sickie! My sincere commiseration. My son is almost 16 months, in daycare, and we have both been sick since the fall. One cold after another (morphing into ear infections, of course), with some other awful virus mixed in for good measure during the holidays long with the occasional pinkeye. UGH. It is so demoralizing.
To your question– I have taken to using Cold-Eeze or Zicam lozenges to try to lessen the impact / duration. I think it helps shorten the symptoms a bit. The Throat Coat and Breathe Easy teas are pretty soothing, though of course they don’t cure anything.
Hang in there. The cold/flu season has to be ending at long last, right? (Not that you’d know by today’s weather!)
Meg Murry says
Total ancedata, but from my doctor so maybe it’s worth something? She mentioned that she has seen an (ancedotal, not hard science tested) between people who are constantly in her office for infection after infection, and people who test as low in Vitamin D levels – and once they get their Vitamin D levels back in control she doesn’t see them again for quite a while.
I’m testing this hypothesis myself, as my levels just came back really low and I caught EVERYTHING that went around this winter – I was sick even more often than my 4 and 9 year old combined.
The only other thing that usually works for me is to stop trying to power through the workweek being sick with cold medicine and instead to suck it up, take the sick or vacation day (and send the kid to daycare) and spend 24 hours in bed sleeping as much as possible, only getting up for chicken soup and to use the bathroom. Luckily, I work at a reasonable place that has absolutely seen that it is far better for me to take 1 sick day and then get past a bug than for me to drag my butt in miserable and work at 50%-75% for a week.
I strongly second the self-care suggestion. When I start getting sick I shut down all non-essentials and rest as much as possible, and it doesn’t progress. Other friends try to do too much and end up getting much sicker for longer.
Worried about my mom friend says
Hi ladies. I came over here from the main site. I’m trying to decide whether and how to reach out to a friend of mine to see if she is doing okay post baby. I’m trying to sort out what is just normal new mom chaos and what could be PPD / anxiety. Basically, I’m just concerned because I’ve seen a huge change in her behavior from baby’s month 1-3, to the last two months. Baby is now 5 or 6 months. But, I don’t want to reach out concerned if she’s just overwhelmed and busy because then she will feel like she is failing in the friendship department and that is the least of my worries.
Friend has always been a super busy bee. She works a full time job. She has two large dogs. Her husband works shift work. She also has a night gig where she teaches a class a few days/week. After having a baby, she kept up this crazy life. She’d bring the baby to the class she teaches or hire a babysitter. She’d come to girls nights and bring the baby. She was always on the go. She even traveled for her night gig and I think she left the baby with dad for that but I’m not sure.
Fast forward a few months. She has stopped going to anything we invite her to. She doesn’t respond to group texts anymore. She will respond to an individual text but it is days later usually. I was at our mutual friend’s house on her street. She had said she couldn’t come over because baby was napping. I said we would gladly move over to her house instead so we could all hang out while baby napped. She said she wasn’t up to it. They made it to one other group event we went to but only stayed an hour. Her husband said they were stepping out so she could feed the baby and they would be back. She didn’t come back and texted hours later that she just decided to go home instead.
At her day job, she actually works with my husband. They had to do a one night overnight training this week. Apparently she made a really big deal about it around the office, complaining that it was unnecessary and that they shouldn’t be required to go. She ended up attending but brought her baby and her husband and only attended the mandatory classroom part and none of the other activities, including dinner. Everyone car pooled to this and the guy my husband rode with didn’t want to drive all the way back up to our city. He asked her if he could ride back in her car but she made a whole bunch of excuses as to why it wasn’t a good idea. He understood he’d be sitting in the back seat with the baby but she just seemed like it was the worst idea in the world. These are close friends too so its not like having to ride with that awkward coworker you don’t well. They have done a bunch of work travel together and even stayed at my husband’s parent’s house together and kept their per diem instead of getting a hotel once.
I get that having a baby is a HUGE life change. I’m just really concerned that she went from “I’ll keep doing everything and bring the baby” to suddenly not wanting to be around other people, not wanting to go to anything and refusing to spend even one night away from the baby. I’m pretty sure the baby had done an overnight with the grandparents before so I’m worried that she brought her husband and baby AND didn’t partake in any activities.
Should I reach out and if so how without adding to her stress?
Can you reach out to her husband? Just say “hey, I miss you guys, but don’t want to bother Friend if she is super busy, how’re you/she doing?”
My initial thoughts are on the one hand, baby from birth to three months is a LOT easier to care for/bring places so that may explain the difference in behavior. On the other hand, post partum depression is very real and I have seen it have devastating consequences, so I would not just dismiss your concerns. If reaching out to husband doesn’t help, maybe just send your friend a text saying you would love to see her, no need to respond right away but when would be a good time to catch up and see how she’s doing. Ask her what the best time for her would be to see you. Maybe now that weather is warmer you could go with her one morning to take baby out for a walk or something simple like that. If she’s stressed and super busy she may not want to have people over because it involves cleaning up or hosting, but an hour in the park is pretty easy enough.
Maddie Ross says
Unless you are equally friendly with her husband, I wouldn’t reach out to her husband. I would probably be concerned to some extent that a lot of what your friend is going through (which I think sounds relatively normal) is probably caused to some extent by her husband. For me, in the beginning, esp. while on leave, it was easier to do things with my friends – baby was portable and there was no question she was coming with me. When I went back to work and she was more aware, it became more difficult. And not to fault my husband, but he wasn’t always the 100% partner I needed him to be. Perhaps she’s having trouble getting him to keep the baby for her to do something social. Or perhaps she feels guilty asking him to. And sitters are hard to come by and expensive. Fair or not, life went on a lot more normally for my husband than for me in that first year.
Agree that this is a know-the-husband type of scenario. But for the person I know who battled PPD, husband would have been able to say “Friend is not well” – which may or may not apply in this situation depending both on husband and OP’s relationship with him.
I think this sounds really normal. Babies are a lot easier to bring along places in the first couple months, and you’re still delusional (a little) that hey, this isn’t so bad, I have a baby but I’m still me! I’m still cool! I can still do all the same stuff! Where a one month old will happily sleep 20 hours a day, by 5-6 months they are a little louder, a little more opinionated, sleep a little less, and need a little more interaction and time/space to move around.
Your friend also may be coming to the realization that she can not, in fact, have it all. No one has the energy to keep up a busy social schedule and a full time job while taking care of a baby. No one. Unless their baby is a total outlier in terms of sleep, and they have a lot of help.
All that said, do reach out to her. Not in an “I’m concerned about you” way, but in an “I miss you, help me find ways that we can still enjoy spending time together” way. Invite her to do things one-on-one, offer to bring over some lunch and catch up while the baby naps. BY YOURSELF, or with only one other person. I find it really overwhelming to do big group activities, and often I don’t *want* to after a long day. Going out is a hassle. I just want to sit on my couch and enjoy peace and quiet. But I would almost always be happy to have one or two good friends over in a low-key way.
Really good advice. Reach out but not in an “I’m concerned” way. 5-6 months was when I made a bunch of priorities changes, too — baby stopped napping anywhere but home, I hardly saw baby during the week b/c of work so wanted to maximize baby time on weekends, and some social things just … dropped down the totem pole.
IN terms of driving, she may have needed to pump, or her baby — like ours– may scream bloody murder if someone sits in the back seat (but is fine if we’re up in the front — seems like if he can see us he wants us to get him out of the carseat).
Hmm… If someone took the “I miss you” approach, I’d feel burdened by their expectations and frustrated that they want me to be more energetic to make them feel better. I’d rather hear directly that someone wants to make sure I don’t think I need help for postpartum. But that’s me.
Worried about my mom friend says
Thanks for your input too.
I agree with Anonymous @ 12:00. I’d rather hear, “I want to make sure you’re OK, I’m here for you” than “I miss you.” Also, I think it’s normal to check in and ask how things are going, and it doesn’t have to sound judgmental or critical.
Really good point. like someone said below, there are land mines you don’t know are land mines, and they’re really different for each person. I would have probably been miffed that someone thought I couldn’t take care of myself, but would have taken “I miss you” at face value without any guilt. I miss my child-free friends, too, but logistics are hard, spontaneity is harder, and our schedules just don’t line up well anymore.
I think the important thing is that you say something so your friend knows you’re thinking of her. Try to take initiative to make it as easy as possible on her to get together with you, but with no pressure. There are a lot of good suggestions in this thread. Personally, I like e-mail better than text, because I read it and think “oh I want to respond to that but can’t right now” then mark it unread so I remember later. Texts, not so much… I’ll forget for days.
Sounds pretty typical, actually. New moms can run on adrenaline alone for a month or two post baby before it all comes crashing down. Then the exhaustion of sleep deprivation kicks in. If the baby is 5 or 6 months old, this person is likely still getting out of bed two or three times a night. If she’s nursing, she may be getting up to pump even if the baby is at grandmas.
With the schedule you describe, it sounds like she recognized that she needed to cut something out, and she may rely upon the income from that second job. So she completely reasonably choose optional social time with friends. The woman needs to sleep sometime!
As to not wanting to carpool back with a coworker, she may have wanted to pump breast milk in the car, which isn’t something you want to do in front of a coworker and, you wouldn’t want to have to explain to him.
You sound critical of her. She doesn’t need that. Ask her how you can help – in a way other than asking her to host an event for multiple people while baby is napping.
Worried about my mom friend says
I’m really really not trying to be critical. I had no idea how she was doing everything she was doing before. I’m just worried with such a drastic change. I’m not a mom and I’m relieved to hear that it makes sense because tiny babies are easier than bigger babies. The reason I asked for advice was to find a way to reach out without sounding critical.
I think another poster hit an important point – the concern over household cleanliness. She cancelled plans one night because she wanted to stay in and catch up on work. I was relieved because I had to catch up on work too so I offered to come over in PJs and we could do our work at the same time. She didn’t reply. That’s still an imposition though because she would want her house to presentable, have a snack for us, and still have to make some small talk while in my head I was thinking it was an easy solution.
I also don’t want to keep reaching out if that is adding to her pressure and stress. I think I’ll just keep reaching out and make it clear “no pressure, just want to see if you want to ….”
If I get too concerned, I’ll ask her husband how she’s really doing too.
Thanks for the input everyone!
Worried about my mom friend says
Also, I think you are spot on with the breast feeding/pumping. She is super shy about that and would not want to do that with my husband there (or discuss it with him – good friend or not). I didn’t even think of that!
This also sounds normal to me, but I do think you should listen to your instincts. The first year after baby is born is TOUGH. I wouldn’t necessarily confront your friend or approach her about the situation, but I do think it would be great if you could offer to help your friend. Even something as simple as dropping off a meal could be a huge help. It took months for me to feel normal after having my first child. It was also hard to engage with friends because I could not (and still can’t) keep up with stuff around the house. My husband is a huge help, but we still don’t have our act completely together. To me, it’s embarrasing to have friends over and see our lower standards of living, so I did try to shut my friends out. It was too much work to clean up to have them over. My friends also didn’t understand my baby’s schedule or my desire to keep my baby’s schedule, so that made it harder to hang out with friends. And honestly, during my baby’s nap time, I didn’t (and still don’t) want to see anyone. I am so tired that I want to nap myself and weekends is the only time I get to do so.
Meg Murry says
+1 to being embarrassed to have people see how much of a disaster your house is (even if it isn’t actually a disaster but just lower than your personal standard). This is still my life, and I hate it, but not enough to be able to get it together to get the house cleaned up.
I also think it’s possible that something is going on like breastfeeding is going really badly and she’s pumping like a fiend or spending hours at home nursing and doesn’t want
One thing that could make a difference is don’t ask her what she wants, but rather make an offer. Like “How about I pick up [a pizza, her favorite Chinese takeout, a giant fancy salad, whatever you know she likes] and we hang out on your deck/stoop/porch/yard with the baby monitor? How about Friday, or would Saturday afternoon be better?” I would have taken you up on that offer probably, since it wouldn’t have involved you coming in the house.
Basically, don’t ask her to make decisions other than yes or no, and don’t make her feel guilty. You are a good friend for wanting to help without smothering her.
One of my friends also said to me “I know you are really busy with your kid and your job, but I do still want to see you. So I’m going to keep inviting you to things, and I totally understand if you can’t come to 99% of them, so don’t feel guilty, but I want to let you know I do wish you would come when you can. Let me know if you would rather me just stop inviting you.” That made me feel much better about the shell I had crawled into, and eventually I did start saying yes to her.
I agree that it’s harder to take babies places at 5-6 months than 0-3. When my son was 0-4 months, I could take him literally anywhere for almost any length of time. I had also been on bed rest while I was pregnant, so I was overjoyed to get out of the house. Around 5-6 months, it became a much bigger deal to go anywhere. Baby’s schedule, including nap time and bed time, was much more important around 4 months. Baby became a little more challenging to take care of (and he’s not a “difficult” baby by any means), and the newness of everything wore off, and his grandparents cut back on their offers/pleas to watch him for us.
That said, PPD is very real, and I wouldn’t ignore your instincts. Reach out to her. I would love it if some of my friends would offer to bring takeout and go on a walk or meet me at the park. But it’s normal if, at this stage, spending time with her is all about baby.
Hmm, I tend to agree with the other responses. As a new mom, a couple of things come to mind – in the beginning she was probably on maternity leave, so time was a lot less structured and she was able to go to more things. Back at work throws in a whole new level of craziness, and I think one that just keeps changing constantly. I literally now count the hours that I’m not at work and awake, and am extremely choosy about how I spend those hours. There are “needs” and there are “wants” with time, just as there are with money. Sometimes I’m up for things, but often I’m not. I get the sense that this first year will be wonderful and oh so tough, and I’m just along for the ride.
Also, the sleep thing is tough. The first few weeks/months it’s a bit of a free-for-all (they can sleep whenever, wherever, and you take what you get). But after 3-4 months things like naps and being home for consistent bedtime start to matter (caveat: they start to matter for some people; this is by no means a universal truth). I find this really annoying as the first iteration was a lot more fun! Now I’m having to pay attention to how long he’s awake, where he’s falling asleep, how his sleep is, etc so that his little brain can develop and he has energy to grow. Also when he wakes up from that nap? Could be sunshine and rainbows, or could be epic stormclouds. I wouldn’t want 3-5 friends over at my house when that happens. At least not yet, when I’m still trying to figure things out.
And finally, the car thing. We gave a ride to a friend last week who sat in the backseat with LO. My LO screamcried for maybe 10 minutes during that time. Those 10 minutes were painful to me as I was stressed out about not only LO crying, but the impact on the friend sitting next to LO. I wouldn’t want to subject someone to that for long periods of time, so I would probably tell someone carpooling wasn’t a good idea either.
Sorry for the novel, but you gave me lots to chew on here! I guess long story short is there are enormous amounts of slack to be cut here. That being said, if you really and truly think she’s in trouble, go ahead and gently reach out to her SO or a closer friend.
As someone who experienced all the things falling apart completely postpartum – please keep reaching out to your friend, and be mindful of trying to plan events that are easy for a person with a completely out of control schedule, limited free time, limited attention span, and possibly limited alcohol intake.
Some social events that helped me:
brunch at your house and bring baby if she wants (with an understanding that you have done some simple baby proofing and won’t mind if things get tasted/broken by baby)
a trip to the park with baby
a yoga class together
grocery shop together
lunch during the workday, when baby is in daycare
an evening craft project or watching a TV show together at her house after baby is asleep for the night (if baby sleeps at night, which mine didn’t, so this would have been off the table)
And to give you some insight on my triggers as a mom of an infant:
I felt judged when people asked about baby’s sleep “schedule” (nonexistent)
I felt judged when people asked whether I was “still” nursing and felt like I couldn’t admit that I was “still” pumping
I felt judged for not wanting to go through the hassle of getting a babysitter
I was sure that I would be judged if I did get a babysitter because the babysitter would realize that my kid didn’t sleep and would be frustrated and think I was a horrible mom
I was worried that the whole world would realize that my marriage was in shambles so I didn’t want to admit that my now ex was a crappy partner and a crappy dad (at that time, he is a much better dad now).
Being a new parent is a total minefield. Tread carefully and understand that you are probably detonating bombs you never meant to touch, but don’t be deterred when you don’t understand her response to your suggestions.
This is good advice. Don’t expect her to be comfortable leaving the baby. If she’s working full time she may want to spend every possible non-working moment with her child – not every mom is like that but some are and that’s okay.
My child was 2 years old before she spent the night away from me. This is typical in my friend group.
Even now, most of my life is work, parent, sleep, repeat – do not estimate how exhausting and time consuming it is to be a full time working parent of a small baby or child.
I tend to agree with everyone else — I think this is totally normal. Honestly, it sounds a lot like my experience. I have a 7-month old, and he was a pretty easy baby for the first three months. He’d sleep anywhere, nurse anywhere, etc. I would take him anywhere with me — out to lunch, to meet friends for drinks, to work to meet up with co-workers, etc. But then around month 5, that all changed. He won’t nap anywhere but his crib, and god forbid his nap schedule get disrupted. He also is more distractible, which makes it much harder to nurse him in public. He’s also become aware of who is a stranger and who isn’t, which makes social settings more difficult. And of course, I have a baby so my house is a disaster. I’ve definitely become much more of a homebody the past couple of months, as a result of all of this.
Honestly, I think you’re a good friend for being aware of this, but if you reached out to me with an “I miss you” or an “are you okay?” I’d probably feel pretty resentful, and somewhat judged about how well I’m doing adjusting to motherhood.
+1 to all of this. I forgot about the stranger thing. I always felt embarrassed when my son, who from 0 -3 months was happy to be passed around to anyone and everyone, started crying loudly any time someone besides me, my husband, or our nanny tried to hold him.
I remember one time a few months ago, my MIL threw a “small” party of about 20-25 people I’ve never met because a friend of hers was in town and wanted us to bring our 8-month-old over in the middle of nap time. All I could picture was complete mortification as we walked into a party full of fancy people and baby had a complete meltdown from a missed nap and stranger anxiety. My MIL kept emailing, texting, and calling about it, and she refused to listen to any polite declining or excuses. Finally, the morning of the party, she called my cell, and my husband picked up and said, in a very firm voice you don’t often use with Polite Southern Ladies Used to Getting Their Way, “Mom, it’s not happening.” I’m tearing up just thinking about it now :-)
Your husband sounds great!
Even now for my 3 year old, I balk at the idea of anything that makes him miss his nap unless it’s really special. Overtired kids are a nightmare that apparently people forget really quickly once they’re past that phase.
Ano no no says
I agree with what’s being said here, but with a twist, maybe. Babies do get (in some ways) much harder around 3-4 months, when they stop sleeping everywhere and start needing more schedule and structure. But also, PPD hit me pretty hard about 6 months after my baby was born. I stopped being able to do anything besides the absolute necessities, and spent a lot of time crying and sleeping. I think the first way it would be obvious to my friends was my failure to respond to texts. So… I don’t know what to tell you, really. I think that if a friend had reached out to me like “I know having a baby can get even harder after a few months, and I’m thinking of you. Let me know if there’s anything I can do!” I might’ve really appreciated the chance to vent/hand off the task of calling therapists to someone else.
Thank you for saying this. I totally crashed around six months out. Irrational anger, extreme fatigue, weepiness. The works. I resented being back at work and wanted to spend every spare minute with my child. I quit everything but my job. Everything. My kid went to be around 6 pm, and I was often in bed by 7. I would go a week without checking my personal email or responding to messages. I felt like no one noticed and no one cared, but trying to go anywhere or do anything was awful.
Maybe just offer to make a meal and drop it off. If she feels like talking, great. If not, give her a big hug and tell her you look forward to catching up when she feels up to it.
Worried about my mom friend says
I like this wording. I’m TTC (which she knows) so she would likely believe I had just read something about babies getting harder a few months in. And I did just read it here so it’s true!
So, we’re headed to Florida for two weeks while husband does work training. Baby is 6 months old. I feel like we should just bring ALL the things. I’m planning on buying diapers and wipes down there, but what else can make my life easier?
We’ll be in a condo and have laundry access.
(I used to pack for a trip like this in one carryon…)
We just did a v. similar trip. Also always used to pack in one carryon but we did one checked bag this time.
Bought diapers and wipes there. Ordered a very basic pack and play to ship to the condo and left it there for future trips (I figured if we use it for 2-3 trips there in the next 2-3 years, it will be worth it not to bring with us). You can order diapers to ship too. Brought our own car seat and stroller base (both could be gate checked and made being in airport easier, but could have probably just worn baby and rented a car seat/bought cheap stroller to leave there). I got a gate check bag for the car seat and the stroller – highly recommend to keep everything clean/unexposed to the elements and you can throw extra jackets etc. in there. If you have a washer/dryer there you can minimize what you need to bring clothes-wise. Stuff we ended up really using: hats, large muslin blankets to keep shady in the stroller. If you have, bring a sheet for the pack and play with you. If not, order to ship there. Make sure you have lots of sunblock. Also, get some swim diapers if you’re going in the pool.
Honestly, my approach for trips has been to just bring ALL the things. Baby gets the large suitcase, and husband and I get carry-ons. If you’re flying, you probably have to check a bag anyways, and there’s no reward for packing less. Depending on where in Florida you’ll be, you can probably rent things like a pack n play and high chair, although it may be cheaper to buy inexpensive versions than to rent for 2 weeks. Plan to buy the consumable stuff like diapers and wipes and laundry detergent there. And just throw whatever clothes, hats, blankets, books, toys, etc. in the large suitcase.
Meg Murry says
Someone on here gave the good advice to pack the Roku/Chromecast/Fire stick if you have one, and you and H (or just you) can have a movie night or binge watch some shows to give you something fun to do if you’re stuck in the condo while baby naps, since it’s small and easy to pack.
You’ll inevitably forget something (and it’s more likely to be for yourself, like socks, underwear or swimsuit since you’ll be so focused on packing for baby) so Google map where the nearest Target, mall or drugstore is for the items you forget and put it in your phone.
Some (or most) of this could be due to the baby getting older, especially if they’re trying to sleep train or get a routine going. Newborns are way more portable, and they usually don’t have a consistent schedule, so you have a lot more flexibility early on than when they start having clear scheduling needs for naps and feedings–basically right around 5-6 months. That’s also when you might be moving the baby into their own room, so sleeping elsewhere could be fraught, hence maybe not wanting to send baby to grandparents. And teething!
I have a five month old and had to read closely in case you were talking about me–I only have 1 large dog (and this is my second baby) so I breathed a sigh of relief, ha! Obviously you know your friend and if it feels like something is off, do check in with her, but this sounds well within normal to me. The first few months are such a fog, and it’s just now that I’m starting to see what kind of “balance” (ha) might be workable longer term. My baby goes to sleep at 6:30 now! I barely see him on the weekdays so I’ve gotten really picky about what I schedule on the weeknights. So, anyway, a retrenchment period seems reasonable, particularly as you consider the developmental things I mentioned above.
You sound like a good friend. I’d recommend asking what might work best for some time together to chat–coffee in the morning? Lunch? Daytime is often better for me because I already have to be away from the baby for work and I hate to take away from family time…even when I know it can be a good thing, it’s very hard to do. Check in with her and give her a safe space to talk. And check back in, if she doesn’t respond the first time. :)
Oops, this was supposed to be in reply to “Worried” above.
Worried about my mom friend says
Got it! Thanks!
Mixed Bag says
I have a 2.5 year old and she’s finally getting through the night without any accidents! She doesn’t wake up and pee, but she sleeps rock solid from 8pm-7:30am and wakes up dry as long as she/we remember to pee before bed.
The downside is that in order for her to go to bed and sleep so well, her naps stopped (ie she stopped napping so started to go to bed earlier and sleep more soundly). So, we only get 1-2 naps/week now. But no more diapers!! ::tear:: my little baby is growing up.
Congratulations! No more naps is more than a fair tradeoff for uninterrupted, dry nighttime sleep, especially at such a young age.
Let’s talk socks. Baby socks! For those that send your littles to daycare, do you send them with socks? I thought they were completely ridiculous items, but now that LO is going to daycare I like his little feet to be covered, and we’re using them more than I thought we would. The Hanna Andersson ones actually stay on his feet, but they are expensive. Like more expensive then my socks, or multiple pairs of my socks combined.
He is only ~3 months so not crawling or walking. And he does wear footies/sleep & plays-or-whatever-they-are-called sometimes but not every day of the week. Are there other brands that stay on? Or should I just not care this much about socks?
footie pants! For the most part, I didn’t bother with socks until my son was maybe 6 months old. But if you do want to put your little one in socks, google “Sock Ons” They are like little baby sock garters and they work great!
hoola hoopa says
Hanes fold-over are my favorite for staying on. I’ve also had good experiences with Old Navy and Children’s Place fold overs. For more expensive and cutesy, Trumpette are also good.
+1 for Trumpette, we could usually find multi-packs on sale. http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Pack-B-Boys-Socks-Trumpette/dp/B00II481GA Since they weren’t getting lost, I was fine with washing the same half a dozen each week.
BabyGap stayed on well too.
Anon in NYC says
Trumpette socks stay on my LO. Love them. Also, these are going to be too warm for summer, but I like the Zutano booties (you can find them on Amazon). They are expensive, but they mostly stay on my LO’s feet.
We put my daughter in socks for the trip to/from daycare, but we pull them off when she arrives because she likes to pull her socks off. They keep the room warm enough that no socks are necessary.
+1 for Old Navy
I think we had garanimals that folded over (can’t remember – they were a gift from Nana) – any of the ones that folded over seemed to stay on for me.
Meg Murry says
Now that summer is coming up, you should ask daycare – they may wind up taking off the socks as it gets warmer. Or not if the AC is like most office buildings and they have to bundle up the baby more.
We used the little leather (or faux leather) soft soled shoes like Robeez or the Target knock offs to keep socks on the kid’s feet when we weren’t using clothes with built in feet.
Also, I know most people are not me, but matching up socks is the bane of my existance, and one of those “adult” tasks that I utterly fail at. So I highly prioritize having a dozen (or more) identical pairs of socks for my kids (and myself). For a cheaper option that stay on ok, we got a deal on the Jumping Beans brand at Kohls – they were sold individually, not in multi-packs, but were cheap enough with all the coupons/deals they always have going on.
Zutano Booties or nothing. Really. I hate baby socks.
Target brand socks are the only once that have ever stayed on for us. (And we did not start using socks till daycare demanded them… still only rarely use at home because they are more slippery even with treads.) The Target ones ALWAYS stay on!
Thank you all! All great suggestions and advice, especially to check with daycare in the summer months before I go on a sock purchasing frenzy.
I don’t recall if anyone on here has twins older than mine (~26 mos.) but looking for some twin advice. I was thinking about potty training at some point this summer. I’m positive that B will be ready for it, but I’m not sure about A. A has been a little delayed in everything and he doesn’t communicate well yet. It might be that he’s ready by, say, July, but I don’t know. Has anyone potty trained twins separately? Part of me thinks that could be a disaster and just so much extra work, but I also know that B will be far easier to train now than once he’s older. (B hit the terrible twos when he was 9 months. I know he’s going to be the most threenager of threenagers and I’d rather do this thing while he’s still relatively compliant.)
On a somewhat unrelated topic, has anyone had experience with unexplained developmental delays? I’ve posted here about A in the past. I’m not really worried he’s autistic. He doesn’t have any repetitive behaviors, he makes lots of eye-contact and is very snuggly, he loves peek-a-boo or hide and seek (where he hides in a closet and jumps out when you say “where’s A?”), and he isn’t at all rigid about schedules or anything at all. (He’s incredibly easy-going in fact.) But he doesn’t say more than a couple of words and doesn’t often use them for communication (e.g., he’ll say “apple” when he sees an apple, but he won’t say “apple” to ask for some apple to eat). He recently had a one-year assessment after a year of physical and speech therapy. I realize these assessments are used just to determine if the kid qualifies for services, but they still must mean something. When he was first assessed at 13 months, he was at 13 months for fine motor and social/emotional, and was at 15 months for cognitive. He was delayed and developing atypically in speech and gross motor. In the last assessment, he was still at 15 months for cognitive! And he wasn’t past 18 months in any category. I realize that these tests don’t capture atypical development. So for example he can name all the colors, shapes, letters, and numbers (up to 20), but he doesn’t get “credit” for those because there are things in the 18 month cognitive category he can’t do, so he’s at 15 months since that’s the highest level where he can do everything in the category. We have an appointment with a developmental pediatrician in December (an appointment we made in January — it’s crazy how long it takes to get an appointment!). But I don’t even know where to start to understand this. I don’t know what might be out there that could cause these kinds of delays. The pediatrician just referred us to the county for the therapy services and to the developmental specialist. And the therapists and county coordinators seem to be prevented from addressing the problem holistically (I understand — they’re not doctors and can’t diagnose, but it’s still frustrating). Has anyone else experienced something similar? We know that putting him in speech therapy is the most important thing at this age, but it’s so frustrating having no information about what any of this could mean. Anyone have any thoughts?
Wow that was a novel. Clearly something that’s been weighing on me. TIA for any responses.
I’m not looking to diminish or discount your concerns in any way, but it’s so interesting how much parenting philosophies have changed since we were little.
My mil recently told us that my husband didn’t speak in a way that could be understood until he was 5. He was just a ‘late bloomer’ language wise, she told me with minimal concern. That used to just be a thing- until they were 5, you took care of them (she says he met with a family friend who was a speech therapist) but being a ‘late bloomer’ was just something that happened.
My guy got evaluated by a developmental ped (who was awesome and had minimal waiting for an appt, but isn’t in dc) and it was really interesting to watch.
Yeah, I think if all these interventions weren’t available, we’d just kind of shrug and say “eh, he doesn’t talk as much as his brother.” But then you get assessments and there’s Dr Google, and it just becomes a bigger deal. Ultimately it’s probably for the best. In my entirely inexpert opinion my mom probably has a learning disability or some sort of information processing disorder. But things like that weren’t diagnosed in the ’50s and so she grew up just really struggling in school with teachers thinking she was “stupid.” That struggle, and the lack of coping strategies, has stuck with her even now she’s in her 70s. More anxiety now, but I think better outcomes in the end.
I don’t have any specific advice. I think sometimes kids move in spurts developmentally though and it’s hard to reconcile all the different stages. My guy also didn’t really start talking until he was 2 and then there was a language explosion and he’s never quiet. Ever. Now we just have to keep working on making him intelligible. Therapies to catch them up can take a while. We’ve been doing speech therapy 2x a week/ 9 months a year for 3 years now. I think it will continue for several more years and we’ve been told its only a mild speech delay.
So my kid is much younger, so no personsl experience in that sense. But I work in an area where I encounter kids who have developmental issues (though that is not my area of expertise, I’m a lawyer- Ive just had the opportunity to follow a lot of these kids and read a lot of evals). It is pretty common for there to be no clear explanation for delays, especially at that age. Sometimes it will become more clear as the kid gets older, but even then it’s common not to be able to point to a cause. Its common for kids who have delays to catch up and be typical by the time they start school. Its also common for them to have ieps and be diagnosed with auditory processing disorder or something like that (but still no explanation for why, exactly). Sorry. I can imagine it’s really frustrating. Just wanted to say that, based on my limited experience, it’s not uncommon for there to be no clear cause or explanation. And I think it’s also really natural to feel like you do and be searching for an answer. I hope the developmental pediatrician can provide more clarity.
kc esq says
I have twin boys who will be 3 in a few months. I haven’t potty-trained either of them. I’m pretty sure that one of them is ready — he is generally more interested. But his brother — who was the first to hit other milestones, like walking, talking — has zero interest. My personal philosophy is that I don’t want to bother with diapers and potties at the same time if I can avoid it. But that’s just my own choice. A friend who has triplets (God bless her!) trained them all, two boys and one girl, when they were 3. Her take was that when they’re older, they can be trained more effectively in one long potty-training devoted weekend, daytime and nighttime. I hope to try that in a few months.
Meg Murry says
under 2.5 is on the early side for full potty training – honestly, at under 3 it is far more that the adult is trained to take the kids to the potty at regular intervals than the kid being fully relied upon to stop playing and tell you they need to go.
Could you plan to do more of “potty readiness” this summer than full out boot camp? One thing that you can do is focus your energy and attention and praise simply for sitting on the potty, as much or more than actually going. So you work into your routine that they sit on the potty at set times (before nap, before bath, before meals, etc) and focus all the praise just on sitting, since that’s something both boys can do successfully. And who knows, maybe A will surprise you by regularly going in the potty, even if he doesn’t communicate the need to you.
I hear you on the stubborn one being easier to train young – my youngest was trained in his early 2s, and it was so much easier than his brother who had no interested until he was 3 and developed a severe stubborn streak.
Regarding the uneven development – I know you said you plan to enroll them in preschool in the fall. Is it a regular preschool, or one that focuses on special needs? Given his delays and that he still tests at 15 months, you probably qualify for a preschool for special ed, and he would get a lot more attention from teachers trained in special needs on bringing up his areas of concern. Even just being in regular preschool with teachers who have worked with tons of preschoolers and with peer pressure from someone besides just his brother may make a huge difference in his development, as opposed to being with an au pair who can probably anticipate his wants and needs so well he doesn’t feel the need to ask for the apple, for instance.
But I also agree with everyone else that it’s super annoying but you almost never get a “reason” behind what is causing a delay or problem – sometimes you just get a name for it, but that often doesn’t tell you anything more than what you already know since that doesn’t give you any advice on how to fix it.
It’s a regular preschool but the county coordinator has also mentioned the special ed preschool option. We’re somewhat inclined to just send him to regular preschool and see how it goes. We totally 100% think that at least part of it is exactly what you say — they’ve always been at home with either me, their grandmother, or their au pair, three people who know them extremely well, are totally focused on just them, and have always anticipated all their wants. Add to that the fact that B is really vocal and A just hasn’t needed to speak up. If there are apples, B will ask for some. If B gets some, A will also be offered some. Even when they were 4 months old, A might start crying but he’d stop if B started. B was a LOUD crier (we called him “wildcat” because he’d get this screechy thing going when he built up steam) and insistent, so A would just sort of drop out. The food was coming, right? So why bother crying?
Meg Murry says
FWIW, you may be able to do something like regular preschool in the morning and special ed preschool in the afternoons if that’s something you are interested in. Also, special ed preschool is almost always free if your kid qualifies, if that’s a factor, and his brother may be able to attend as a “typically developing peer”.
Any chance you could have them try A and B in two different classrooms at the preschool and see if it makes a difference for them to not be able to rely on the other to speak for them?
Unfortunately the regular preschool has only one 2.5 yr old room. But they do have two rooms for 3 and 4 yos, and it’s their policy to split up twins (we would have requested it anyway). Also the school knows that B is a little chatterbox and A is more reserved, and they’ve said they’ve dealt with that dynamic with twins many times before. We’ve also started splitting them up during A’s therapy. The therapists always said that having siblings around is great, etc., but B is so much in everyone’s face all the time; he’ll suck up every bit of adult attention there is. So my MIL has started coming on the days that the therapist comes and she takes B upstairs to play while A has his therapy. We only just started doing this so we still need to see how it goes.
I have no advice and I hope you get the resources and peace of mind you need. But I have to say, I love B – “The food was coming, right? So why bother crying?” It’s so logical and adorable.
I boot camp style trained my kid at 2 because I knew she’d get stubborn fast. She’s a smart cookie and understood everything. Wasn’t hugely big on communication but I pushed a little and she took to it easily.
Well, now she’s just over 2.5 and I cannot imagine trying to train her now. She is so stubborn and ah, opinionated. We just conquered night training and the only problem was her insistence that she GULP a cup of water before bed. So obviously she had to pee at night, and went in her bed (diaper). I upped the ante with some Very Special Undies (she’s super into a particular princess and I found underwear with her!) and in order to sleep in the like a BIG KID she needs to skip the water. Whaddya know, 100% success rate. She’s also really into Big Kid Stuff these days, and we always talk about how big kids don’t wear diapers.
I’m in shock that in her daycare, she’s one of only 2 potty trained kids in the older toddlers and a good few of the preschooler 3s are still 100% in diapers. I cannot imagine stilly a hung her at this point; she can actually (and did!) change herself.