Budget Thursday: Traveler Jacket

This jacket is on major sale at Ann Taylor Loft. I like how the whole look of this jacket comes together — the fact that it’s collarless, that there’s a short fringe around the edges, and that the material seems substantial but doesn’t give the jacket a bulky look. I also love the fact that it has a vaguely ethnic vibe from the combination of the print and the material but doesn’t beat you over the head with it. I also didn’t notice until I read the reviews that it has bracelet-length sleeves, which I think means every jacket recommendation I’ve made on the site has that element. (Either I have a clear pattern or that’s what’s being offered nowadays!) Bonus: It’s machine washable. The jacket was originally $108, is now on sale for $64.99, and comes down to only $31.20 with code FLASH. (It comes in regular and plus sizes, but the plus-size version doesn’t have an additional discount.) Traveler Jacket

P.S. Note that Early Access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts today! Stay tuned on Corporette for a full roundup of what to buy in the 2018 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

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  1. When did your little one stop using a high chair? DD is 18 mos and increasingly difficult at meal times. I’m hoping a transition to a booster may help (she’s at a kid’s table in a chair at daycare for breakfast and lunch), but I also think it will be hard to find a big enough booster for her 1st percentile height.

    • Mine were small as well, so we used one of those hook-on high chairs until about 18 months. They liked being right up at the table. Then we used the Lionheart boosterpod (which is tall enough, but I hated because the straps got so gross and I could never get them fully clean) until 3 or so.

      The biggest factor in getting my kids to act correctly at meal times was to eat a family meal, like we all had to sit down together and eat at the same time and talk about our days and stuff. It was torture to get our schedules to work, but we are now all used to eating at 6pm (and then working at night after they’re in bed to make up for leaving work early) and the kids are so much better behaved. It’s been nearly a year of pleasant meals at this point and it’s amazing how much better behaved they are.

    • Octagon says:

      We used a Stokke Tripp Trapp pulled up to the table (no tray) until about 22 months when we transitioned to a booster. I would have liked to get more use out of the $tokke but kiddo was insistent that he sit in a big-boy chair.

      • mascot says:

        Keekaroo makes a similar chair and you can adjust the height so we used that until he was big enough for a regular chair. At the lowest setting, an adult can fit in it.

      • Anonymous says:

        We have a Svan chair like this and my 6 year old still insists on using it.

    • anon. says:

      We moved to a booster around 14 months. You can for sure do it. We got the OXO one with the belt and like it.

    • Since our son was 22 months he has eaten most of his meals standing on his kitchen helper at our kitchen counter. It keeps him in our line of sight while working in the kitchen, and he likes being at our level and part of the action of what is going on in the kitchen. It also allows us to eat meals with him – we sit in chairs at the “breakfast bar” part of our counter.

    • Spirograph says:

      We stopped using a high chair much sooner than that, maybe around 14-16 months for each, largely because our dining room is small, and our high chair is huge. I also have large children, so height wasn’t an issue. Things to look for when shopping for a booster:

      – Removable molded foam seat. The base stays buckled to the chair, but I can pick up the top of it and take it right over to the sink to dump out crumbs and wash off. It’s also probably more comfortable than just hard plastic.

      – 3-point harness. My older kids have boosters with no straps, but I like having the option to restrain the 2 and under types.

      -Rubber grips on the bottom. If you kid likes to climb in and out of the seat, herself, the less slipping the better.

      If you’re worried about it not being tall enough, you can stack a phonebook or some other large flat objects underneath. Even a pillow, if you don’t mind it probably getting gross.

      Ours is (or similar to) the Ingenuity SmartClean booster you can find on a m a z o n.

      • We have the Ingenuity booster and love it. I really can’t compare it on height because it is the only one we’ve had. But it is really easy to clean and the foam is a little cushy. And affordable!

        Can you take the tray off your kiddo’s high chair and pull it up to the table? We did that for a few months before moving to a booster.

        • Also, we have a Munchkin pad that goes underneath to protect the chair. I highly, highly recommend it or something similar.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      About that age, or earlier. For the same reason! Kiddo fought the high chair. First we used a booster, and then we got a used Tripp Trapp chair.

    • shortperson says:

      we started with the stokke tripp trapp at 18 months. still using it at 4.

    • Anonymous says:

      We did the tray-less high chair pulled up to the table before they were tall enough to use booster seats. Now we just use cheap FP boosters and they’re probably shorter than ideal, but the toddlers don’t seem to mind.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Just a PSA in case you are as clueless as I was- if you have flimsy or lightweight (e.g. cheap IKEA) dining chairs, don’t bother with a booster, or watch your child like an absolute hawk. I had the fisher price booster, which was totally fine and worked well. But when paired with an ikea chair, the entire chair/booster combination was lightweight enough for my kid to kick over while strapped into her booster by pushing her feet on the table. She probably could have tipped over in a booster even without pushing on a table because the chair was so lightweight. Luckily she didn’t break anything or get a concussion but it was terrifying. She started “sitting” (kneeling, crawling all over) a chair without a booster way young because of this incident.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ikea high chair until 3 with our enormous child, then straight to a regular chair. Just didn’t see a reason to obtain a booster when high chair was fine. Honestly at 3.5 he mostly wants to snuggle in someone’s lap for meals and since he has never been particularly snuggly we are happy to do it.

  2. PreK Backpack says:

    Which size backpack did you send your preschooler to school this? I am looking at the Pottery Barn ones and I can’t decide between the PreK size or the small size. I don’t really care if this lasts him very long, but I will occasionally need to send lunch in his backpack – will the PreK size be able to accommodate that or should I spring for one size up?

    • I bought a $15 16″ character one from Target. It might have been $10 on sale. Big enough to hold a folder without bending, big enough to stuff the lunchbox in. It didn’t hold snow day clothes – I had to send a separate bag for the boots, snowpants, scarf, etc – but otherwise fit everything just fine. My tiny preschooler was able to carry it, although it got heavy if she stuffed it full for special days. It lasted the entire school year and is being used for camps this year, and is holding up fine, although starting to show a lot of wear. We’ll get a new bag for the new school year this fall.

      • Sorry I didn’t answer your question. I meant to say, get a 16″ one. Most likely you’ll get folders sent home weekly with info from the school and it’s a pain if the folder bends (or if they don’t zip the backpack because the folder sticks out).

        I’d spring for a bigger one, but get it very basic (no straps, no buckles, etc) so it’s not too heavy for a preschooler. The PBK ones were so small and so complicated that I can’t see how they’re worth the money for young kids. Maybe when they’re in 3rd grade or beyond? But at that point, they probably want to pick out their own bag.

    • Anonymous says:

      get the small. The preK size is basically a lunchbox with straps. My kiddo has a small and can fit snow gear in it but has to carry her lunchbox. In summer she can fit lunchbox + change of clothes.

      If you haven’t seen it in person, the PreK one is TINY.

      • abigorangedrink says:

        +1 We have the pre-k one and it is in fact TINY. Barbies barely fit. My little girl mostly uses it to carry toys and a water bottle, mimicking her older brother, but the pre-k size is really not functional. One size up would have been more useful and given us more longevity.

      • Totally agree. The PreK one fit DD when she was about two. I just replaced my oldest’s; he had a small from kindergarten all the way until grade 3 (although it’s pretty gross right now).

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Lands End doesn’t make the exact, but their smallest worked for us. My daughter didn’t have a folder, and I wanted her to be able to wear it herself. The straps adjusted for adult wear, so we use it for park/day trips now that she’s in elementary school.

      Do not mess with Hanna Andersson backpacks. I had a whole round of returns before I just gave up – the quality isn’t there.

  3. I like this but it feels a bit like the dude sweater, lady lawyer blazer version. That’s not a con for me, necessarily, but it was the first thought that popped into mind.

    • Lana Del Raygun says:

      Now that you’ve said this it reminds me of a blazer version of those “drug rug” sweaters annoying white dudes buy when they go to Mexico to smoke week and get dreads. But I hate those and I still really love this blazer, somehow.

  4. dc anon says:

    Have you ever taken a collapsible wagon through an airport? If so, was it treated like a stroller and were you able to gate check it for free? I saw a genius tip here where the reader suggested throwing kids and gear into a collapsible wagon for easy airport travel and the wagon just happens to be on sale right now.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Oooh, which collapsible wagon is on sale? I’ve been really tempted to get one for park trips.

    • abigorangedrink says:

      I just saw a family doing this at the airport last week. They brought it through security so they must have gate checked it.

    • Anonymous says:

      You could always put it in one of those red or blue gate-check bags once collapsed and no one would know it’s not an official stroller.

  5. anne-on says:

    Parents of slightly older children – tips for parenting books/websites dealing with stubborn children? My six-year old is having a hard time doing ‘things he doesn’t want to do’ you know, like drying himself off after a bath, putting on shoes/socks, eating anything other than carbs/sweets, etc. etc. We’ve tried timers, charts, stickers, lectures (oh, so many lectures) on consequences and still every day is like a never ending series of reminders to do x, reminders of what will happen if he does not do x, and then the inevitable consequence for not doing x followed by tears/screaming. We (me, who is home dealing with 75% of it) are SO.DARN.TIRED.

    I also have a meeting with his pediatrician scheduled to make sure it isn’t some sort of learning/processing disorder but I really doubt it’s anything other than pure stubborness as he does beautifully at school/with friends. At home he is suddenly just SO stubborn and seemingly wants to revert to us doing EVERYTHING for him. No sudden changes at home, our style is very calm and ordered but he’s apparently preferring to take the Bartelby the Scrivener route….with more screaming and crying when he loses things.

    • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. There’s a reason it’s a classic.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is encouraging. My oldest is 6 and doesn’t have these issues but my 3 y/o…oh man it’s already started and I literally had the convo with DH last night about if she’s just THAT STUBBORN or if she has broader issues. Since she’s an obedient angel at school, I’m going with stubborn.

        • KateMiddletown says:

          Yep, stubborn. And as my mother loves to tell me, it’s all full circle from when I was a willful little girl.

    • avocado says:

      The two most effective strategies I have learned for getting kids to do things are:

      1. From How To Talk… — the one-word reminder, combined with pointing at the relevant item. “Shoes!” “Milk!” “Towel!”
      2. Phrasing the reminder as a question. “Are your shoes on?” “Did you finish your milk?” “Where do wet towels go?”

      • anne-on says:

        See, that worked really well at 3 and 4. Five was like the magical year of obedience. At six he KNOWS what he should be doing and just chooses not to and then cries and whines when we implement the consequences (yes, calmly, no yelling, just ‘it looks like you chose not to put your shoes on by the time we need to leave, so you’ll be losing X).
        I feel like all the usual strategies (timers, visual checklists, natural consequences, reminders, offering one or two pre-approved options, getting them to agree to a process – yes we do ALL of these) go out the window when the child knows what to do and just chooses not to. I’m getting to a point where I feel like I’m running out of logical consequences! He’s regularly losing books (books!) since TV time, iPad time, and dessert are all already gone.

        • avocado says:

          Ugh, that’s tough. With my 11-year-old, consequences and explanations just escalate things, to the point where she gets totally focused on being upset over the consequence and becomes even more resistant to doing what she’s supposed to do. The one-word thing usually gets her to roll her eyes and then do what she needs to do.

          We have had success with rewards, but only rewards that are so appealing that the desire to earn the reward overcomes her belief that she can’t possibly do whatever she is being asked to do.

          All kids are different, so our strategies might not work for you, but it sounds like you aren’t finding consequences all that effective and it might be worth trying a new approach. Kids aren’t always rational about consequences. Even when they understand that the consequence was the direct result of their own behavior, they can still feel that the consequence is “unfair.”

          I would definitely start by reading “How to Talk…”

        • Anonymous says:

          What are some of the major sticking points? A couple of ideas:

          What do you choose not to do things for him?

          If he’s refusing to dry himself off with a towel…let him be wet? What’s the worst that can happen? Is it that he drips everywhere? How about making him stay in the bathroom until dry whether it’s by towel or by air?

          Not putting on socks/shoes…so he goes to the car barefoot? Goes to school without shoes and gets in trouble? Idk how reasonable that is, but maybe it’s a do-it-once and you never have to do it again sort of move?

          What about sitting down and having this convo with him? Ie “I have taken everything away and it’s super frustrating. How can we be better?” That night be a bit much for some kids but it really helped with my 5 y/o when she was being a brat about bedtime.

        • Anonymous says:

          Is he looking for more independence? Can you give him more input into the rules or choices?

    • avocado says:

      Also, if a particular time of day tends to be difficult, try resequencing tasks or moving them to a different time of day. We were at our wits’ end with both mornings and evenings. It was a daily battle to get kiddo to finish her breakfast, get ready for school, and get out the door, and then again in the evening to get her to finish dinner, get in the shower, get out of the shower, dry off, and get ready for bed. For years we thought it wouldn’t be possible to have her shower in the morning because she was already so slow at showering in the evening and at getting ready in the morning. Because of a weird scheduling thing we had to have her shower in the morning for a couple of weeks, and we discovered that a pre-breakfast shower actually wakes her up and makes the entire morning routine, including shower, shorter than it would be without the shower. The evenings also became easier because she is motivated to finish dinner more quickly so she can have some free time before bed. When she had to take a shower at night, she was so tired that she moved slowly, and she thought it was impossible to finish eating and showering in time to have free time so she wouldn’t even try.

      The point of all this is to say that it’s worth trying some alternative schedules, even if they don’t seem like they will work. You might just hit on some magic sequencing that makes everything easier.

    • Anonymous says:

      I struggle with this too. I love “The Little Brute Family” book and I think my 5 yo gets the message.

    • abigorangedrink says:

      Raising Your Spirited Child. I wanted to cry when I read the intro because it was like she was writing about my own child. I have also tried every reward chart/system under the sun and he could care less. Natural consequences works best for us, but I have to work really really hard at following through and being consistent. My boy is going through a flat out defiant phase and it just pushes my buttons so hard.

      • +1. I read How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and I tried some things, but the techniques didn’t really work for us. I’m reading Raising Your Spirited Child now, and it’s helping right away.

    • I’ve done best by removing the power struggle when I can. For example, for drying off, I’ll set up a standing rule that I’ll read books before bed if you’re in your PJs, but lights out at X time. Then, if she doesn’t want to dry off, fine. I don’t want to see you again until you’re dry with your PJs on. I go downstairs and remove any attention. She knows that book reading is possible until lights out time. If she wants books, she’ll turn up downstairs in her PJs. If she’s not in her PJs at lights out, I tuck her into bed and turn out the lights. It won’t kill her not to wear PJs for one night (or even many nights).

      Same with shoes. It’s her choice. If she doesn’t put them on, I stuff them in her backpack and she gets in the car barefooted.

      Consequences are only for mandatory things like lights out, hygiene (you have to brush your teeth and bathe) and getting in the car for school. The fewer requirements, the better my DD does.

      • Meg Murry says:

        This is what we try to do as well. I’m not going to fight with a kid who is more stubborn than me, but I’m also not going to give him attention or baby him if he won’t do the basics. Don’t want to dry off after bath? Whatever, be wet, but you aren’t allowed to sit on the furniture wet and you can’t come downstairs without at least underwear.

        Sometimes if he hasn’t pushed all my buttons, being silly or goofing around can snap him out of it (my husband is way better at this than I am). So instead of issuing threats, when my son says he can’t put his shoes on, my husband will often do things like try to put them on his own feet, put them on the kids ears, try to put them on the kid’s feet backwards, etc. Usually gets my son giggling and then more cooperative.

        Appealing to his competitive side works as well, or offering extra rewards. For instance, in the morning saying something like “Last one to the car is a rotten egg” or “I bet I can beat you to the car” will get shoes on and out the door fast – and something like “if you get dried off and in pjs and in bed in the next 3 minutes we can read 3 books instead of 2” sometimes works.

        The other thing that sometimes works is allowing things to be earned back, mainly so I can take them away again. So if they lose screen time for 24 hours? A few hours later I offer the chance to earn it back for the next day.

        Some of this stuff works on my 6 year old still. My 11 year old, however, has reached the point sometimes where he has lost all his electronics for a week, had fun events canceled, sent to bed early, etc – and he still persists just to be stubborn. I’m still working on figuring what to do next with him.

        Last, watch out for the hangrys. Both of my kids get completely irrational when they are hangry – and my oldest is the type that literally forgets to eat and then refuses to when he’s in a rage as part of his irrationality. Even when they don’t want to eat the dinner I’ve served, getting them to drink some milk at least helps preempt a little bit of the craziness.

    • mascot says:

      The How to Talk books and Spirited Child books were helpful to us. We also like 123Magic for taking a lot of our emotion and reaction out of play during these moments.
      I’ve also realized that some of this “mom, do this for me” isn’t driven completely by laziness, but instead an indirect way of asking for attention/affection. Proactively filling his bucket on this is much smoother than arguing about it. So yes, I’ll give you a piggy back ride upstairs and turn on your shower, but then you need to get in and get bathed so that we can maximize story and snuggle time. Little tweaks like that seem to help my 8 year old. Adding more responsibility seems counterintuitive, but it has helped too when they have ownership of tasks and see that everyone in the house has to pitch in. Maybe involve him in solo tasks (making his bed) and group tasks (cooking a meal, helping with laundry)
      Avocado- that’s a good point about moving around the schedule. We’ve been doing shower at night, but the times that he’s done them in the morning haven’t caused any delays- I may need to offer that choice unless it’s a post-sports practice night or he’s covered in mud. I’ve also used the shower when he’s in a rotten mood and surprise, everything feels much better after 10 minutes of hydrotherapy.

  6. Toddler PJs says:

    Does anyone have a source for pajamas that are sold in mix and match separates rather than sets? I LOVE primary but they are somewhat expensive for how fast my kid is growing right now. Would prefer the mix and match, solids and stripes. Thanks!

    • shortperson says:

      maybe size up on primary so they will last a long time?

    • mascot says:

      Going the wrong way on price here, but buying one size up in Hanna Anderssen has worked great for us- we can get 2 seasons out of them and they are super durable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gap isn’t mix and match in that you don’t buy the pieces separately, but we do mix and match after buying. With their sales I can usually get them for $11-15/pair. Note that the toddler girls’ pjs have a fabric covered waistband and the boys’ don’t (wtf?) so I often buy girls’ pjs for my son.

  7. Trains says:

    My almost two year old loves trains and his bday is coming up. He currently has the little Brio starter one with just the round track. What do you all suggest we get him if we really want to up our train game? Thomas trains? A specific set? Is there a good pack of wooden tracks we could buy? I want this to be his big bday present and not sure where to start!

    • I would add to the Brio set. I heard that the ikea train set is compatible with brio, but double check that if you go that route.

    • I have a train obsessed 2 y/o. If you live in/near a city with a subway or metro you could see if anyone makes replicas of the trains that are compatible with Brio tracks (check Amazon or local toy store – I know you can get these for NYC/Chicago subways). He may find it exciting once he realizes the trains resemble the ones he sees in real life. Also: a trip to the railroad museum (our toddler surprinsingly enjoyed this, as well as getting to pick out a conductors hat at the gift shop) and train PJs were very popular with LO.

    • Definitely add to the Brio set; the Orbrium sets are well-designed (no bridges that keep falling down if you nudge them very slightly off-center, for example) and are Brio-compatible.

    • anne-on says:

      Check your local parenting boards and ask around, chances are someone somewhere will be happy to unload their bins full of train sets on you for cheap/free. We gave away SO many thomas trains/sets once our son hit about 4-5 to our neighbors and daycare.

      • Delta Dawn says:

        +1, I bought an Imaginarium train table and a box of tracks/trains/etc on Facebook Marketplace for $50. Best fifty bucks I’ve ever spent.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 – trains are expensive, and most wooden sets are mostly compatible with the others. IKEA’s track may be the exception to the rule though (IIRC – not 100% sure). At almost 2, I think he will find trains more exciting than track – my son was very happy with very simple layouts for a long time. (I however love building complicated tracks). Cranky the Crane – from Thomas – is worthwhile, and other things you can load and unload. The Play Trains! blog has some useful reviews.

      • Spirograph says:

        Ikea is compatible with Brio but they’re not perfect, the joins are a little too snug sometimes. The bridge height on the Ikea set is too low for Thomas engines, but my kids don’t mind some of the train cars needing to jump over the bridge. Or they just use the short trains from IKEA.

        +1, You can usually find used wooden train track sets used and I highly recommend it — my mom got a giant box of train tracks + train table for $50 and it is awesome.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Our 2 year old loves trains too and we recently got him a small set from PBKids. It’s nice because you can fit the tracks together in various combinations and the trains themselves have those magnets that let them fit together. That’s probably the case with all train sets, but we’ve liked this one. They also sell biggest sets with bridges and whatnot.

      • IKEA and target knockoff are compatible, but obviously cheap. Also, the nicer trains are magnetic on both sides, whereas the cheaper ones are only magnetic on one side.

    • I love that there are so many train-obsessed two year olds! My son’s 2nd birthday was yesterday and he had a birthday donut with a train drawn on it. Trains are all he cares and talks about. We bought an Imaginarium train table and set when Toys R Us was closing (this was before he got super into trains). It’s been awesome and totally compatible with any other wooden train stuff. I’m pretty sure Thomas, Brio, Imaginarium – they all fit together.

      Brambler Boutique which is local to me has a few fun train set items that are unusual – like a few wooden tracks you fit in with your others that make monkeys shoot out, or play musical instruments when the cars run over them. They have an online presence if you want to check those out.

      We also bought my son a train shirt (from Amazon – it’s not great quality but wow I could NOT find train shirts anywhere) and he is obsessed with it.

      I would love to know if there are cool train toys that are NOT the wooden train set. I’ve picked up some at Goodwill etc but would love some other options. It’s impossible to search online because only train sets come up.

      • We had some diecast trains, the kind that are sold in museum gift shops. Try searching for train museums, some of them have online gift shops. We also had puzzles, of course. Also, look for model train shows. They will usually have awesome set ups. There are a couple in the Bay Area, as well as a couple traveling ones that that will set up for a weekend.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yes, look at the NY Transit Museum online shop. There is also a website selling train themed birthday party supplies that has some interesting stuff – we liked the sponge capsules – http://www.trainparty.com/

        And check out https://play-trains.com/ – she has reviews of other train toys.

        The Thomas Trackmaster trains are kind of cool because they are self-propelled (obviously that is an option for wood too), but I think they tracks are harder to put together than the wood. Duplo has some train sets too. And there are a couple train TOOBs.

    • Melissa and Doug’s wooden track set is compatible with the Thomas trains.

    • ElisaR says:

      It sounds like you’re getting great advice on the train set. I have one other suggestion that was a BIG hit for us. We live outside of NYC so one Saturday we drove to the next town over and took the commuter train 2 stops to get pizza. WOW. Blew my 2 year old’s mind. Cost about 4$. I guess $20 when you include the pizza.

  8. Boston Legal Eagle says:

    Sort of a random thought, but have any of you taken into account whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert into deciding how many kids to have? I get the sense that those with larger families must thrive on having constant interaction with others, while I definitely need my alone time to recharge. The main person I don’t feel like I have to be “on” with when spending time together is my spouse and I wonder if that will eventually also be the case with our kids? Right now, our toddler is really draining and I have a feeling that the biggest challenge with two (after those sleepness nights are done) will be the loss of my alone time.

    • anne-on says:

      Yup. I am an introvert and it is definitely part of why we are 1 and done. My husband isn’t around much during the week due to work/commute, so having to be ‘on’ most of the weekdays is truly draining for me. Maybe for some kids it is different but mine is VERY talkative/interactive and has a lot of questions/requests/etc. even now that he’s out of the very hands on baby/toddler stage. I have come to realize that if I don’t get a set amount of time to myself to recharge quietly every day/on the weekends I am not a very good wife or mom, and I feel like that limited time would be totally gone with another child.

      • My older two are more introverted and also really close, so I didn’t feel this until my youngest was born. She is an extrovert (needs to be with people, talks non-stop) and it drives me batty! So, yes, but not until it was too late.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep. I’m an introvert and it was a factor (but not the only one) in our decision to only have one. I NEED alone time and life is pretty manageable with one child – I have plenty of alone time after she’s in bad and when she and her dad so stuff together on weekends. I can’t imagine adding a second one, especially a younger baby with a different schedule.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmm see I’m the poster below with 3 and I had more kids so they would leave me alone!! DH is an only child so his parents always did stuff 1:1 with him.

        My kids often play with each other-not me- which gives me time to do stuff solo. And they like their alone time too, or we do activities together but separate (eg all read outside or at the beach on a nice day).

        • Anonymous says:

          All the only children I know (including my own) are very independent and very happy to play or read alone. I think many kids are pretty independent by age 4 or so but all babies and toddlers require a lot of parental attention and it’s so much easier for one parent to wrangle one kid. If you have two toddlers, there’s no way parental alone time won’t suffer.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are a family of 5 and we are all introverts. Well…just is still out one one of us but she at least has introvert tendencies.

      We have a house that allows us to have our own spaces. DH has a workshop for his projects, I have a garden and hom office, kids have playroom and their own rooms (though 2 share by choice now). We actually like each other quite a bit so will do things together as well as independently. My 2 older kids play legos and read books alone for hours at a time.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t think you know what introvert means. It’s not that you don’t like other people. I adore my husband and daughter – they are the absolute best people in the world. And I do enjoy doing things with them a great deal, but I need alone time to recharge my batteries. If you find spending time with your family of 5 relaxing and rejuvenating, you are not an introvert. You might be a mix of intro/extra, which is very common.

        • I think she does know what introvert means. She is saying that because their house allows them to have their own spaces, they each have the opportunity to be alone and recharge/re-energize themselves. She didn’t say that spending time with her family of 5 is relaxing for her, but she did say they will do things together as well as independently (which both introverts and extroverts can do and enjoy, but which can be draining for the introvert and energizing for the extrovert).

    • I also think it’s the opposite! I am an extreme introvert, but I’m also one of four kids, very close in age. Our best friends were each other – we weren’t looking to socialize with our parents very much. I have two really young kids, and it’s amazing how much they already are playing with each other. Of course they still want attention from me, but…in a way that is less draining for my introvert self. I imagine that in a year or two I will be watching them play with each other, which is a much more natural posture for my introverted self than actually playing games with them.

    • Anonymous says:

      OMG if you are an introvert, you are your kids only friend as well as their parent if you only have 1 kid. So unless you can live on zero downtime, the one-and-done thing may backfire. Esp. if you have a girl, esp. in middle school. Can you be a 24/7 therapist / confidant? Your kid will have friends by then, but they aren’t at home and full of empathy like you are :)

      • Anonymous says:

        Huh? My tween and I have a good relationship but she definitely doesn’t want to hang out with me 24/7. She’s much rather be off with her friends or on her own reading or using the computer. She does come to me for big talks (as opposed to her dad) but it’s not even close to an all-consuming thing. Plus she goes to sleepaway camp for a large chunk of the summer and is involved in after school activities. Because I don’t have any younger children, whenever she’s out of the house I’m totally free. I’ve never had to be her “only friend” – she’s been in daycare since she was 6 months old and has always had friends through daycare and school. Since she was an infant, I’ve had way more downtime than my friends with 2 or more kids.

    • lawsuited says:

      My mother’s theory is that having multiple children can give you more time alone in the long run because your child has a built-in playmate(s) so you don’t have to be the playmate. My second is still in utero though, so I don’t know yet whether she’s right!

    • Emily S. says:

      Yes! DH and I are both introverts, so we’re stopping at 2. 2 is manageable to give one person (honestly, more of the time it’s DH) the necessary alone time. Both girls have been so easy and fun I seriously considered going for a 3rd, but then I thought, I won’t have any time to myself until 2022, and boy, did it curb that train of thought fast and flat. We also thought that with 2, eventually they will be able to entertain themselves and each other, taking some of the pressure of us.

    • ElisaR says:

      I don’t think introvert/extrovert is a factor in number of children – as these responses show, it is just a matter of preference for each individual.

      I’m not trying to be obnoxious, but what is with the obsession with labeling oneself as an introvert? I feel like I often see it on this s*te with an attitude of “YOU don’t know what’s its like, I’m an INTROVERT” as if it’s a medical diagnosis or something. We all have different personalities, some commenters seem h*ll-bent on the definition of an introvert and the owning the label.

  9. Memories? says:

    I’m not sentimental. I just had my 3rd and final kid and cannot wait!!! To unload all my maternity and baby stuff. My mom thinks I’m insane/heartless and of course my kids will want this one day!

    However, I’ve wanted none of the outfits my mom saved for me. All the cribs/toys are 30+ years old and largely not usable. DH is an only child and we get boxes and boxes of crap his mom couldn’t bear to throw away (so I do it).

    I’m definately donating 100% of my maternity clothes. For infant stuff, I am ready to take all the <3 month stuff to goodwill. I pulled out 1 outfit that reminds me of each baby, and 2 baby blankets for each kid. I have grand plans to get them all turned into a stuffed animal (Etsy has a couple cute vendors) and of not, well, my kids can throw them out.

    Are there reasons to keep more than this? I have nonuse for rattles, playmates, high chairs etc that have seen 3 kids use/abuse and can’t wait to curb alert them.

    Do you have stuff you wish parents kept, or are glad they did? My mom argues that we have the space so we should keep it- and I told her if she wants me to keep it, she has until the end of the summer to take it and put it at her place.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s no reason to keep it for your own kids. Safety standards will change and stuff like cribs and high chairs likely won’t be useable. Books and clothes show a lot of wear and tear and your own kids will want new ones. I only have one kid but got rid of everything as soon as baby outgrew it with no regrets.

    • Clementine says:

      If it doesn’t bring you joy, ditch it!

      I officially give you permission. Signed, someone who just turned down my MIL’s friend’s 34 year old crib as a hand me down.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My mom is a semi pack rat and the only things that I’ve actually appreciated and used are books and old toys. The sentimental clothes are sweet, but I would keep that to a minimum. If it doesn’t fit your future grandkid in that particular season, then your kid is saddled with an outfit that has some meaning so they can’t get rid of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you have space, it’s really nice to have some baby/little kid stuff on hand for houseguests or other social events at home where little ones might come- high chair, some toys, etc. My parents kept a bunch of our toys and have used them at least monthly for 35 years when they have friends over, house guests, or parties (they are maybe the exception in that they’re in their late 60s and still have friends my age with toddlers, but still).

      • Anonymous says:

        Monthly!? Wow.
        My parents kept all my old childhood stuff but never touched it until I had my own baby at 33. We wouldn’t accept the furniture and toys for safety reasons and the clothes really weren’t my style and I thought some of them might be safety hazards too (long dangly strings, loose buttons, etc) so I just donated those. The books were the only useful thing and they were mostly dupe of books friends gave us. We didn’t have a registry so pretty much everyone gave us books. The books will all go to the library when our kid is done with them. I’m not sentimental about stuff at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        My parents didn’t use them monthly, but did save roughly one box of toys and a lot of books that get intermittent use when they have guests. (Including us now, 30+ years later). Everything else I vote toss but I’m also not sentimental at all.

        • Yep. My grandparents (!!!) saved a box of toys from when my dad was small. My own kids (so now the third generation) will play with those whenever we visit. They’re more special because it’s the ones that grandpa and mama played with when they were little, and they’re also different than anything else – the real metal cars and tractors are super cool even to 35 year old me. And everyone loves the super basic unfinished wooden rectangle blocks that were cut 60 years ago but are still awesome today.

          Those fond memories have convinced me (a minimalist who isn’t sentimental and donates everything as soon as I can) to keep a box of semi-high-quality baby-through-age-10 toys for whenever visitors come over, for the rest of time.

    • I have a friend with a little boy 10 months younger than mine and offload clothes and things to her as he outgrows them. I kept the PJs we brought him home from the hospital in and his cutest hats as I figure they are small and a nice little sentimental piece.

      My mom saved loads of my handmade dresses which are gorgeous but I had a little boy and someone might have been enjoying them in the 32 years since I last wore them.

    • Mama Llama says:

      If you don’t want to keep it, don’t keep it! There are families out there right now who could use your stuff. If there’s anything you feel like you want to remember, take a picture of it before you donate.

    • Delta Dawn says:

      Don’t feel obligated to keep anything! I would definitely donate ALL the maternity clothes. If you do want to keep a few baby things, my mom kept a LOT of our things, and I can tell you what I appreciated: my first tiny pair of little crib shoes (leather), a few board books that my kids read when they visit her house, a few classic wooden baby toys (also kept at her house), a blanket that my grandmother made for me that I used to bring my babies home from the hospital, that sort of thing. But I am more sentimental, and that was really special to me.

      I have one smallish sterilite bin for each child, and that’s my limit for baby things– a few special outfits, one pair of shoes, two or three books they loved the most, the things they wore home from the hospital, and that’s it.

    • My mom and MIL saved some stuff. I was happy to have old baby blankets-my mom passed on hers and mine, and MIL passed on DH’s, and I loved wrapping my baby up in them. Other than that, we’ve used old toys and books. The Sesame Street record player was passed on from DH to his sister to his 3 cousins, and his aunt gave it back to us last year–Kiddo is the 6th kid to “own” it, he plays with it regularly, and it’s still going strong.

      I definitely wouldn’t worry about clothes. Most baby clothes, even expensive ones, aren’t that well-made, and in 30 years of storage, they probably won’t be looking that great. The clothes might be for the wrong season or different gender. Plus, I’m pretty sure it will be easy to find free or inexpensive, gently used baby clothes in the next generation, just like it is now.

      I don’t think it’s worth it to keep high chairs etc, unless you host people regularly, and they’d use it in the near future. It’s bulky and takes up lots of space, and after 3 kids and 20-30 years in storage, they won’t exactly be attractive.

    • Everlong says:

      No! I’m also on the getting rid of everything team. My parents saved nothing and I’m great with it. My in-laws saved plenty. The only thing that they saved that I love is books. They had boxes of books from both my husband and my father-in-law’s childhoods. We get a lot of use out of those books. The books Parents Magazine but out for kids in the early/mid 80s are our family favorites with my toddler.

    • Your plan is fine. I will say, though, that my husband’s parents kept a lot of toys and books and my LO does use them every time he goes to their house (monthlyish, if not more). But they definitely have space for it and bought relatively high end stuff and it’s all in good shape.

      I hear you on throwing away old [email protected] parents give us. I’m pretty annoyed mine gave me stuff from when I was in pre school to deal with.

    • Spirograph says:

      My mom kept favorite books, and baby blankets that were knitted or crocheted by various relatives, including my late great-grandmother. I like having those, and will keep them or at least pass them on to my siblings if they ever have kids, and keep the blankets made for my kids. My mom also keeps my childhood stash of duplos at her house for when we visit. My grandparents still have toys from when my mom was a kid. There’s a huge age range among their grandchildren (I have cousins in elementary school), so they’ve been in pretty regular use for at least the last 35 years, and my kids enjoy them.

      I won’t save anything bulky like furniture, but like others have said, favorite books, high-quality and/or long-lasting toys, and sentimental things like handmade blankets are worth the space to me. I have a small box of my absolute favorite baby clothes, more “just in case I have an oops baby” than to save for my own kids. In a few years, I’ll give them away if I haven’t needed them.

    • ElisaR says:

      I agree, my mom gave me some hand knitted booties that were gifted to her 40 years ago when I was born. What am I supposed to do with that?

      On the other hand, my MIL is a packrat and my son now wears ,u DH original Michael Jackson Thriller t-shirts, Knight Rider t-shirts, Dukes of Hazzard t-shirts among others. It’s kinda cute. But not cute enough where I’m going to save my sons old t-shirts for his kids because…. space.

  10. Anon for this says:

    DH and I have been married for ten years and get along well. But I have to say he acts really weird in certain social situations. He makes weird jokes that he thinks are funny, but are not funny at all (and often rude). People ask normal small talk questions, and he gives five-minute-long answers. Particularly where there’s a new group of people that he wants to impress, he’s only comfortable being the center of attention. Most of the time, we hang out with mutual friends who know him well and sort of see past these quirks. But there other situations where I really don’t want to bring him along. For example, I recently made plans to go to a family reunion in August for a quick weekend trip. DH originally said he would stay home; now he wants to come. I realized that my heart sank when I heard this – I was looking forward to being there without worrying about what dumb thing he is going to say next. I feel like this is such a classic “old married” problem. Anyone else relate?

    (Yes, I’ve tried to bring these things up a few times during our marriage – and DH is always extremely hurt and defensive and shuts down entirely.)

    • My husband has Aspergers and can be a bit like this – he doesn’t read social cues well and I have acute secondary embarrassment (can’t even watch silly comedies). I cringed this afternoon when he was bragging about all our baby’s skills to a mom friend.

      A few things have helped: Firstly, realizing that I’m much more sensitive to this than other people – at worst they walk away thinking, ‘ok, he’s mildly socially awkward’. Secondly, recognizing that while my husband isn’t a stunning conversationalist, he’s a fantastic husband and father. Thirdly, letting him manage the conversations and walking away.

    • lawsuited says:

      I can relate to all of this, including trying to raise it with my husband and getting a devastated reaction from him.

      I’ve decided to think of it as my price of admission. I can’t expect him to be perfect, and ultimately I think I’m doing pretty well that this is his big flaw. It helps to remind myself that I am not perfect either, and that my husband undoubtedly notices behaviours of mine that irritate him but is gracious enough to focus on the good stuff I bring to the table rather than confronting me with my flaws.

      It also helps to be less paternalistic about it – your husband can manage his own awkward conversations rather than you feeling like you need to save or teach him.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful replies. It helps to know I’m not the only one.

  11. BabyBoom says:

    Do you share the same name as your partner and your children? If not, is it a problem? As a lesbian, it never occurred to me to take my wife’s name. But now that we have two children who are about to officially have my wife’s name, I feel like changing my name as well. Although I’m not opposed to changing my name, I also don’t want to go through all the logistics of changing my name if it’s really not a problem. Random other considerations – kids are not the same race as either mom, and we have mutually decided on last name being other mom’s name.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My husband and I do not share a last name, and neither of us share a last name with our kid. From an emotional perspective, I occasionally want to have the same last name as my daughter. From a logistics perspective, that seems like a huge hassle.

      It has not been a problem in any respect as of yet. I also find that depending on the first point of contact, people either call my husband by my last name or me by his. So far, childcare hasn’t been a big deal. If a provider uses the wrong last name, we just correct them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kids have my last name. My wife hyphenated my name with hers when we got married explicity so she’d share a name with the (then theoretical) kids. All other lesbian couples we know both parents hyphenated their names when they got married and gave that to their kids.

      We both have different last names from our mothers and it’s never been an issue even while traveling with only one parent, but there’s enough complicated stuff around who is the “real mother” (even though we’re all white) that we wanted to all have a name in common. We still also always travel with their birth certificates despite having last names in common, just in case we need to prove our relationship.

    • No and no. Out of precaution, I take the birth certificates with us when we travel and I think I probably have a picture of them in my phone (from a trip, not as a special measure). I’ve honestly never considered it as an issue. That said, I think I might think of it differently – especially in today’s political climate – if my kids weren’t my biological kids and didn’t look like me. Probably even more so if I was in a same sex relationship. I really hate that the practical, paranoid side of me thinks that way now but with the current administration (and SCOTUS as it will be) I think it’s prudent to leave as little room for potential issues as possible.

      • I hate to say this, but I think I agree here. While I want to say it won’t be an issue, I feel like today’s climate means that you’ll be doubly challenged if you travel out of the country with the kids, given a same-sex couple and a mixed race family. Yes, travel with birth certificates, but common last names would likely be another layer of protection.

        I may be biased, but I have a female friend who is of Middle-Eastern birth but now a US Citizen, married to a European birth but now US citizen male husband. The kids are paler skinned, speak perfect English, and do not share her last name. Every time she travels with them without her husband, she gets stopped. Even with a birth certificate, they question her (and the kids) HARD about different last names and different skin colors and different accents. Her husband doesn’t get stopped nearly as often.

        While that shouldn’t be the only reason to change your name, if you can’t decide or are relatively neutral, it might be another factor to consider.

    • I grew up with a different last name from both my parents. Even back then, it was not a problem at all. No one was ever like aRe tHeY eVeN yOuR rEaL pArEnTs?

      Seriously, no need to go through the logistics, unless you want to. Also, you can sit with it for a bit, see if at some point you do want to change and then change your name too. If you want to, great! If not, also fine.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I do not have the same last name as my husband or kids, but my kids do have my (unusual, Slavic) last name as their middle names. It’s never been an issue, but I’ve also never taken them on a flight or out of the country without my husband.

      • Blueberries says:

        Similar—my kids have my last name as a middle name. No real problems, though plenty of relatives can’t seem to get my last name right. I’ve never taken them on a flight or out of the country without my husband, though. My husband looks Asian, I look white, and our kids look mixed.

    • No and no. My husband had a child from a previous marriage who has his last name (her mom doesn’t, FWIW) and it seemed easiest to have our son with the same last name. We did give my son my last name as a middle name, but that was just me loving my name. :)

    • avocado says:

      I have no useful advice on the name, but I remember your first post a while ago and just wanted to congratulate you on finalizing the adoption (or at least that is what it sounds like?)!

    • Anonymous says:

      No and no. It is really common in our city/socioeconomic circle.

      • Anonymous says:

        This just made me realize that I have no idea what the last names of most of my toddler’s friends are. The parents in all the couples we socialize with have different last names, so I guess I’ve assumed kids always have Dad’s name, but now I’m wondering if that’s actually true!

    • Anonymous says:

      My husband and son have the same last name which is different from mine. I don’t have any more difficulty doing things with or for my son than my husband does. We both have to take a letter when we are travelling alone by air with son.

  12. Preglet says:

    Has anyone here paid for childcare that essentially broke even with one parent’s salary? Is it crazy?

    My husband is a carpenter and makes $20/hour, about $2300/month after taxes. I’m pregnant and daycare will be around $2000 a month.

    He loves his job – he used to be a miserable attorney and the change in our overall life quality is remarkable. He also has excellent work/life balance which has been great during my pregnancy and will be awesome once baby arrives.

    I make enough to support us with more or less our current lifestyle (though maybe less savings). But I think him being a stay-at-home-dad would make him unhappy. He thinks so too. He’s had periods of unemployment which obviously is very different, but he was so restless and bored. And emasculated as well. I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t be happy as a SAHM either.

    He keeps talking about going back to law and making six figures again, which TBH I don’t think is possible and also I don’t want. Our life is so much better now that he’s out of law. But netting $300/month after daycare expenses also seems a little nuts. He’s asking for a raise soon and also likely has much higher earning potential now that he is union. Has anyone had a set up like this?

    • Anonymous says:

      I haven’t personally been in this situation, but I don’t think it’s terribly unusual. These very high day care costs presumably won’t last forever and years out of the work force affect long-term salary, so staying in the work force and somewhat breaking even for a few years is usually worth it in the long run financially–and that’s not saying anything about mental health/life satisfaction, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      This was basically the first few years with my first, and I was a single parent. 1) Is part time an option? It would suck to not have him home on the weekends, but if he has projects he can do on Sat/Sun/evenings while you are home, can kid do 3 days a week in care? 2) Daycare bill goes down as kid gets older, so it’s a temporary break-even. Not sure what the long term increase in earnings looks like for your husband or if there’s a problem re-entering the work force after time off, but that’s essentially why many people who are breakeven keep working vs SAH. 3) Happiness is key. Yours, his, and kiddos.

      Also, make sure you have a conversation about the fact that his work schedule is more flexible (I assume), and therefore it makes more sense for him to take off when kid is sick (which will be more frequent during early years in daycare.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Does he get any benefits like health insurance or retirement accounts? My after tax salary is basically equivalent to daycare, but I save thousands a month with my employer health insurance and retirement contributions.

    • Artemis says:

      I think this is a really normal situation to be in, not crazy at all. I am an attorney who is now in a legal-adjacent job and am only now starting to clear a few hundred dollars a month above and beyond my youngest’s daycare bill. But, our family work-life balance is overall much better, my youngest is almost done with daycare so I’ll be getting a “raise” very shortly, and I don’t just work for my paycheck. I have excellent cheap health insurance that covers me and the kids, I have great PTO benefits that let me cover kid issues without major stress, and one of the reasons my paycheck is so low is because I also made it a priority to keep contributing to a retirement account.

      No way would I have quit my job, for many reasons, even when my monthly take-home was less than the monthly daycare bill (it was, at the beginning). So, I’m basically your husband. Find a daycare you are comfortable with and, most likely, your whole family will thrive. Congratulations!

    • Spirograph says:

      Yes. My husband is a federal government employee and his monthly take-home pay (after taxes, after 401k contribution, after benefits) is less than our daycare costs. Granted, this is not exactly an analogous situation since his benefits and future pension are big reasons to keep his job, but I absolutely think that having a career is important to him, and would be worth it even if it were truly a break-even situation.

      There is so much more to life than money; if your husband loves his job, his job gives a good work-life balance and is working for your family, and does not want to be a SAHD, imho, he should stick with carpentry.

    • This is our situation. We are in fact basically paying for me to go to work as my pre-tax income barely covers childcare. On the one hand it feels ridiculous, but I’m hoping that in the long run me staying in the workforce will be better for my future earnings and I’ll be able to take advantage of things like my emploer’s 401k match

    • lawsuited says:

      Once we have Baby #2, we will be spending my husband’s entire salary on daycare. I think it makes sense given that daycare is a short-term cost whereas leaving the workforce for years at a time impacts long-term employability and pay. Also, daycare does a great job of engaging and socializing our toddler and I’m not sure we or our kids would thrive as much if one of us were a SAHP.

    • Anonymous says:

      My husband is a teacher and we are about to start 2 kids in full time daycare, so yes, that will be my husband’s entire after tax income. Private school so he doesn’t have the state pension or anything, but still worth it for him to work. Retirement, social security, for one, but also would be challenging to jump back in after 5+ years out of teaching if he stayed home. and he goes crazy enough just watching one kid all day during school breaks-it would not be a good set up for us.

    • Formerly ANon, Now IHeartBacon says:

      I agree with what has already been said. I will also add that since your husband found a job that he loves and he has no desire to be a SAHD, you two should consider sticking with the status quo because it sounds like you two have found a great balance. You can afford the daycare because the cost of daycare pretty much equals his salary. If he gave up his job, your household wouldn’t earn more money, your household would just be giving up something that makes your husband happy. If he had to make that sacrifice (or if you did, if the shoe were on the other foot), would that make him a better parent? It would be different if he was saying that he really wanted to be a SAHD, but he had a huge salary he was giving up that would adversely affect your household finances. In that case, the consideration would be: is it worth giving up all this money to spend more time with his child. His (and your) answer in that case might be yes.

    • ElisaR says:

      I think this is common and I think the book “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg kind of addresses it. She basically says it is worth spending one persons whole paycheck on daycare because 1. it is temporary, 2. work can be a source of happiness and fulfillment 3. getting off the work-treadmill to stay home with kids can make it hard to re-enter later and likely means re-entering with lower pay or same pay years later.

      I’m paraphrasing but I think that basically covered it.

  13. I’m expecting my first child and wondering how others have handled the TDAP recommendations for people in contact with the baby. (My doctor said that the current advice is that everyone who has contact with the baby must have had a TDAP booster within the past 5 years.)

    For others who have had a baby recently, how did you handle this? I want to be careful and protect the baby (whooping cough would be horrible!), but I also feel really odd calling up relatives and telling them they have to go get a shot. I’m also sure I’m going to get some pushback on this from my in-laws, whose other kids tend me be pretty lax about stuff like this. Any advice?

    • Anonymous says:

      We made it mandatory for anyone visiting our home before the 2 month vaccines. My parents were happy to do it, DH’s parents and siblings grumbled but eventually relented. I don’t gamble with my child’s health. We also had everyone get flu shots since we had a winter baby. Just tell them it’s doctor’s orders.

      • anne-on says:

        +1. I made my parents do it and my husband made his parents do it. It helps that now you can get the booster at CVS, and it is a great idea for older people anyway to have it! We (shockingly, since my husband’s parents hate doctors) got absolutely no push back.

      • We were strict on vaccines for visitors (both flu and whooping cough) during the newborn.

        For whooping cough, we just explained that, due to crazy people refusing to vaccinate their kids in our area, the doctor recommended anyone coming close be vaccinated in order to protect baby because the disease is deadly. It helped that my family was already prone to believing that our geographic area is filled with weird, irresponsible people.

        My mom refuses the flu vaccine for reasons that are not rooted in science/medicine, but rather just irrational fear and unfounded belief. I talked with the pediatrician, who was like “let me tell you about hospitalization and what happens when a newborn gets the flu.” That made the decision easy—my mom wasn’t invited to visit until after flu season, even though we really wanted to see her and get her help.

    • We got the shots and grandparents got the shots because they were going to be visiting a lot. No one else was asked but we did generally limit visitors in the first 2 months, and also asked that no one come over if they were sick/thought they might be sick/getting over something/etc. This especially applied to other kids – I basically tried to limit anyone under 10 and watched them like a hawk. Our doctor was fine with this protocol. We also made everyone wash hands, said no kissing the baby, etc. I don’t think you need to make shots a prerequisite of seeing the baby and neither did any doctor I spoke with. I think these rules apply for people who will be in regular contact with the baby, not someone who is going to sit on your couch for an hour and go “how cute!”

      • Everlong says:

        This! We didn’t ask. I would have loved to ask, but this. Anytime we had anyone over for the first few months, I generally wore Baby in the Ergo so they couldn’t touch him. That was for baby #2. I wasn’t as strong with baby #1 but I should have been.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gently, don’t borrow trouble. Ask first, and hold off on fretting about it until someone tells you “no.” I don’t think this is weird at all. I asked my parents and siblings to get the TDAP (and flu, when seasonally appropriate) shot, and my husband asked his. I didn’t quiz every friend who came by to drop off a casserole and hang out for an hour, but for relatives who were planning to sleep in our house when we had an infant, we just told them it was something we’d like them to do. I subsequently learned my niece is the daughter of an anti-vaxxer and she visited with grandma for a week when one of my kids was only 4 months old, but you can’t win them all, I guess.

      My parents and sister are in professions where they were up-to-date anyway for job requirements. Everyone else was happy to oblige and updated us a week or two later that they were all set. Grandparents may be pretty well aware of this, anyway. At least in my area, there have been some public health campaigns around protecting your grandchildren by getting these shots, and my OB’s office had some brochures to share about grandparents and TDAP.

    • It helps (I guess?) that Mom was going through chemo when I was pregnant – so that made the flu shots non-negotiable on my side of the family and my inlaws are usually pretty good about those, so it wasn’t an issue. My parents had gotten TDAP boosters recently as part of their physicals (their doctor flat out told them they’d have to get them for grandkids anyhow) and we made my husband, inlaws and sisters get them too. Everyone else had to wash hands before holding the baby and wasn’t allowed close to the baby if they were feeling the slightest bit ill.

    • Parents and grandparents had them. Most grandparents already had it because of other grandchildren/travel/routine health maintenance. At least in our area, it is pushed on folks of a grandparent age by their own doctors – whether for the grandkids or their own health. It’s a routine vaccination. We had no other overnight visitors during the first few months, and the folks dropping by were also parents with young kids. I didn’t think to ask them, but am pretty certain they would all be up-to-date because of their own kids.

  14. IP Associate says:

    We asked anyone planning to spend a significant amount of time with our baby in the early months to get the TDAP and flu shots – so our parents. We asked that everyone else wash their hands before handling the baby.

    • That’s basically what we did. Grandparents had to get TDAP and flu shots, everyone else had to wash hands and not be sick. Frankly, with DS2, I was dropping DS1 off at daycare after two weeks and all the little kids were crowding around him and patting him (only his clothes), so in retrospect I felt a little silly. But seriously, grandparents should be getting a TDAP and flu shot anyway, so I don’t feel that bad.

  15. Patty Mayonnaise says:

    Talk to me about weaning side effects. I stopped bf about a month ago after a gradual decrease (I was down to once per day at that point) and over the past week or so, I’ve just felt off. (And Ive already confirmed that I’m not pregnant!) but cramps, aches, low appetite and stomach issues very oddly combined with a high sex drive. The latter is what makes me think this is hormonal… just wondering about others’ experiences…

    • Anonymous says:

      I actually just weaned a few weeks ago after months of once per day and many, many months before that of only twice per day. I feel really good am am (happily) also having the latter symptom. Which is great, because it was definitely lost for a while. I wonder if the stomach issues are just a coincidental bug?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Weaning can lead to weird hormonal shifts, but that’s a long delay. Have you gotten your first postpartum period? Because those sound like my pms symptoms.

      But also – get your thyroid tested. I had two years of constant thyroid med adjustments postpartum and post weaning. Those symptoms line up with thyroid symptoms too.

    • I weaned very gradually and was shocked at what a crazy reaction my body had. My first two cycles after weaning had a couple of RAGE-filled days to the extent that I actually went to the doctor to discuss. It took maybe two months (maybe longer?) for things to feel normal.

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