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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?
Just wanted to share that I gave our nanny notice on Friday and she was very gracious and promised to stay the additional 6 wks until our au pair starts (we are offering a bonus if she does as an added incentive) and it hasn’t been awkward this week. I also have 15 potential families for her looking for nannies nearby that responded to my post on her availability.
Big sigh of relief (and fingers crossed that it continues okay). Now I just have to get through my massive to-do list to prep the house for the au pairs arrival
That’s so great to hear!!
We are still on the hunt for our au pair. It is a HUGE process and time commitment just to find someone. It looks like our au pair will start in July/August. We will let our nanny go at the end of June (my husband is a school admin and has July off. We had planned to keep our nanny through July but not anymore). We will probably give notice either before February or April break, so that if she does decide to just quit, we have a week to find a temporary back-up.
What are appropriate rules about t.v. / screen time for a toddler? My son was only exposed to t.v. beginning about 4 months ago, and now it’s his favorite thing ever – there’s always a fight brewing about “why isn’t the t.v. on right now,” or “why did you just turn the t.v. off?”
I’ve found it to be a useful distraction, for example, while I’m finishing getting ready in the morning, but he wants in on ALL THE TIME. Do you all have rules about ‘t.v. only when …” or “no t.v. except weekends” or … ?? He would be a much happier and compliant kid if it was indeed on all of the time, even just in the background while we did other things (puzzles, books etc.) but it can’t be healthy, right?
Growing up, we obviously didn’t have ubiquitous phones or laptops/ipads, but this is what my parents did and what we are hoping to do once our kid is old enough for screens: When we were very little, we could watch part of one show in the morning while my mom did our hair, and then particular programs that were pre-approved by parents in advance in the afternoons (probably one per day). As we got older, so probably 1st-8th grade, no more tv in the morning and we could watch up to one pre-approved show in the afternoon if homework allowed. Once we had more homework, no tv except weekends, and still pre-planned shows (i.e. you could watch a show, but couldn’t just turn the tv on to see what was on).
Meg Murry says
Could you turn off the TV and turn on the radio or CDs instead for some background noise?
We pretty much only let our kids watch shows that have been recorded on the Tivo or streamed on the Roku – so after each episode it stops and requires a parent intervention (until we taught them to get to the next show around age 4) to watch another one, instead of the TV just being on. Before the TV even turns on, we specifically say “you can watch 1 show” or “2 shows”, etc.
Pro-tip: if you have a Roku, the PBS kids channel has the each of the Curious George segments listed separately, instead of together in a half hour block. So if we have half an hour, my son gets 1 Curious George from the TiVo or Amazon. If he overslept and only has 15 minutes, he gets one of the PBS segments.
The only times the TV is just on nonstop is when someone is sick or we are snowed in or similar. Although now that they are older (4 and 8) they will go from TV to tablet to videogames with just one form of screen time after another unless we specifically say “you can watch one show OR play with the tablet for half an hour”
Maddie Ross says
I probably am the minority on this, but we’re pretty liberal in our use of the TV/iPad with our LO. Somewhere around 18-24 months, she started noticing it and becoming interested. Since turning 2, she definitely has shows she likes and asks for. Honestly, we use it in the morning as a distraction while we’re getting ready. We get up, eat breakfast, and the news goes on the big TV for us, and she gets to watch something on her iPad. She also watches a little Sprout in the evenings after dinner before bathtime. Some mornings, she isn’t interested at all. She wants to play. Some mornings, she wakes up asking for it. Thus far, we haven’t put any time limitations or specific limitations on it. She can’t turn it on herself, so we control it. My feeling on it is that I grew up with pretty liberal TV usage and I am just fine (well read, no attention issues, functioning member of society). I think limiting it, like almost everything else in life, is smart. But outright banning isn’t realistic.
To TK, have you tried playing music in the background? We’ve had good luck encouraging play time that’s not “silent” with background music from a speaker or even just our iPhone.
We’re the same way. We don’t strictly limit screen time, but we use it as a distraction while we’re getting ready for work. At night, the kids can watch their Kindles after their bath for a little while. And if my oldest gets up before 6:30 on weekends, he can watch his Kindle until we get up. After that, we make them play outside or with each other in the house.
I grew up with a lot of TV on in my house, and I think I turned out fine – active, reading books every night, well-informed, etc. I’ve just given up on strict policing of screen time for my kids in favor of other things to take up my head space.
We turn the tv on for our 9-mo-old sometimes. We have a nanny 4 days a week, and he doesn’t watch any tv those days or on Sundays when DH and I are both home. But DH and I each handle childcare solo one day per week, and we both turn it on sometimes if we need to do something else for a bit. The baby doesn’t really watch tv, but he is more content to sit and play with his toys by himself for a few minutes if it’s on in the background. In an ideal world, we’d do no screen time until he’s 2, but that’s just not happening.
My daughter gets TV time while taking her nebulizer treatments – we usually make it through one segment of Curious George per treatment, and sometimes I’ll let her watch a second segment while I get dressed in the morning. She loves YouTube videos of animals, choral singing, and motor vehicles, but tends to navigate away from the YouTube app on my phone, so I need to actively participate in the viewing (which means it doesn’t happen often, because why bother?). If she wakes up early on a weekend morning, we will watch one cartoon while hanging out in bed.
I don’t leave the TV on in the background, except for a few sports games (my college football team, March Madness, and a few pro football and pro women’s basketball games). My kiddo doesn’t really pay attention to the TV, so it doesn’t make my life any easier and I don’t get to pay attention either. I turn on Apple Radio (the Cool Family station is good) while playing or hanging out.
I am in the minority on this, but I am very sparing on TV usage. American Pediatrics Assocn recommends no screen time until age 2. So until my child was 2, we had zero TV or iPad time except for weekly 10 or 20 mins chat on skype with grandparents, who are in another country.
After he turned 2 (but really closer to 3), we would occasionally do iPad on weekends. Now my child is 4.5, nearly 5, and videos and iPad are special treats that he has to earn. He earns “stars” on a star chart for various things (getting ready quickly, eating his lunch at school (he is a terrible eater and plays during break instead of eating)) and he can get a video for 2 or 3 stars, which happens about 2 or 3 times a week.
Philanthropy Girl says
Yes – I would fall into this category, too. My 16 MO has no TV or tablet time. He occasionally sees the TV on at his grandparents, but usually a sporting event that has not attracted his attention. We intend to follow APA on screen recs. There have been some interesting studies I can’t seem to put my hands on, regarding the impact of screen time on behavior and play time which indicate less is better.
My teenage nephew is very negatively impacted by excessive screen time and it has really scared me off of too much exposure for kids regardless of age.
When DS is older we may look into some sort of “Screen allowance” – giving him a set amount for the week and allowing him to spend his time until it is gone (and maybe slip in a few little lessons on budgeting along the way).
I wanted to add that the APA has recently changed their position on this to recommend limited screen time before the age of two. Personally, we’ve continued to avoid it–my 18 month old daughter has seen one 1/2 hour documentary made in the 1970s about a local bluegrass band and a handful of Icelandic music videos where they are playing the xylophone so she could see how her toy xylophone could work–otherwise nothing (I know…we are setting her up for nerdom!). I mainly avoid it because, at 18 months, she will sit and “read” books on her own for up to 45 minutes–I’m afraid to lose that! What I do struggle with though is my own use of laptops, etc, around her.
Most of our local schools have gone 100% with electronic devices, so I figure she will more than make up for it someday.
We are the same with our 4 year old. We don’t own a tv (my spouse and I watch one show a night on a laptop) and so my kid’s screen time is through the iPad, which he only uses if we are traveling, he is somewhere he shouldn’t be (e.g., my spouse is traveling and I have to take him to a hair appointment or into the office with me on the weekend), or if I am solo parenting (my spouse travels for months at a time for work) and get the flu or something. About once a month, we will do a movie night with other kids from the neighborhood.
Screen Time says
We don’t stress too much about screen time either. It really helps to have firm rules on when it is turned off, though. So, my son will watch when he first gets up (we’ve found he really needs a little time to get going in the morning), and when he gets home from daycare while I’m prepping dinner (he is super introverted, and seems to need a little time to really zone out when he gets home). I get it – I need time to zone out too after a long day, so I try not to make it a super big deal.
We use eating as a natural boundary – TV goes off while we sit to eat – full stop, no negotiations. So, when he comes for breakfast, morning TV is off (unless he’s super speedy about getting dressed after breakfast and has time before we leave – it does create a nice incentive to get ready), and when dinner is ready, TV goes off. He fought it at first, but now it’s just what happens. He may ask for it to be turned on after dinner, but I usually suggest another activity and he goes with it. He is usually ready to play with me/his brother for a bit before bath.
We just got a Sonos speaker system, and that has been awesome to have something in the background. I can put on Baby Einstein or another fun Pandora station, and he’ll get into dancing while we cook/clean whatever.
hoola hoopa says
Our rule is that if screens make them cry or angry, they lose screen time for the day. We include incessantly asking for screen time or arguing about screen time, which sounds like what you are dealing with.
In the bigger picture, we try to have consistency in when screen time is allowed. On school days: after school (when we are prepping dinner and they are decompressing); never in the morning; only after dinner for rare exceptions (ie, family movie night). On the weekends: upon waking until breakfast; some time between nap/quiet time and dinner.
I have a 2.5 year old. She got “hooked” on TV (actually, just Curious George, which makes the whole thing even worse! There are only so many episodes!). We did a sort of unintentional de-tox where from Friday until Tuesday she didn’t watch any TV (and neither did we). Come Wednesday she stopped begging for it!
Our rule of thumb has been no more than 1 hour/day, but on long, cold, snowy weekends this gets hard to enforce. Especially when I am pregnant and slow-moving myself! Cookie baking has become a seriously dangerous (to my waistline) alternative.
Cdn Lwyr says
Not a mom (yet–TTC, fingers crossed!) but a long-time lurker… Until we were school aged my siblings and I (3 kids in total) were with babysitters/play school during the because both of my parents worked. My parents knew that if the babysitter was turning on the TV we would be watching it (and thy generally didn’t care–until my older brother came home singing the “Cheers” theme song…). Once we were in elementary school (from ages 5 on), the rule was “no T.V./video games during the week”. We had music lessons and other kid activities during the week after school anyways, so there wasn’t much time for T.V. We mostly read books, played with each other, rode bikes, did random kid stuff, etc. during the week. My parents also had a “no friends during the week” policy because they did not want to have to try and track us down at other people’s homes after school when they were trying to get dinner on the table/shuffle us off to a lesson or activity.
But come Friday afternoon we were camped out in the basement steadily until Sunday night glued to the T.V. screen. We probably ended up with more screen time in the end than if my parents had let us watch an hour here or there during the week, but there were never any arguments/whining about not coming to dinner until we had finished a show, or putting off homework until we had finished a show, etc., because the no T.V. during the week rule was non-negotiable. During the weekends things were way more laid back as the only meal we all had to be at the dinner together for was Sunday dinner, so I think letting us binge on T.V. gave my parents time to do all sorts of things without having us under foot. The rule was okay until we were in middle school/junior high and all our friends did at recess was more or less chat about the Friends/ Seinfeld/ 90210/ Simpsons episode they had watched the night before–which definitely sucked.
I can’t imagine how hard it would be to keep kids off of smart phones/iPads during the week now–you can’t go far without seeing a screen, and kids pick up on how to use technology so quickly it’s scary.
We are a house divided on this. I hate TV as background noise in general, and I similarly hate personal electronic devices in the company of others, but my husband is the type that lives in front of one screen or another. My son (almost 3) loves watching any sport on TV, but hasn’t gotten into Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger or anything age-appropriate, and will often ask me to turn it on — I almost always refuse unless I’m out of energy and I just want him to sit still and be quiet for a while. He has figured out how to get to his favorite youtube videos, “Little Baby Bum,” on the tablet without help, though, and sometimes I’ll think he’s playing so nicely with his toys in the other room, but pop my head in to discover he’s zombie-staring at the tablet. I don’t try to police too much, I just make a point to take the kids outside on the weekends and have other things for them to do so we don’t end up watching TV as the only alternative to boredom. We have zero time for TV in the mornings, and there is no TV at their daycare where they spend the bulk of their waking hours during the week, so I’m not too worried. I more dislike that my husband plays video games and son likes to watch.
When I was a toddler, I know I watched Sesame Street, Mister Rogers, Sharon Lois and Bram, etc etc because SAHM + 3 kids meant my mom needed a break sometimes. When we were school age, though, we were only allowed to watch weekend morning cartoons, Carmen Sandiego sometimes after school, and NOVA specials and the like that my mom thought would be edifying. And videos; we had a healthy collection of Disney movies. This relaxed further in middle/high school, but I’d never developed a TV habit, so I just didn’t watch much anyway. I was NOT allowed to watch The Simpsons, Ren and Stimpy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 90210, and lots of other things that are supposed to be cultural touchstones for my generation, to my husband’s constant amusement. But I turned out OK.
DC mom anon says
Interested in hearing how people are handling this. We started out pretty strict about no screen time, but it has been pretty difficult to maintain. It was especially difficult while we were visiting peoples’ homes over the holidays. Baby is 16 months and we still do not watch tv/ipad/phone as an activity, but she does grab our phone from time to time and stares at the glowing home screen. Our plan is to go screen free until age 2, and then maybe 5-10 minutes of tv a few times a week..? I guess I am not sure what happens after age 2.
TV early? says
Can I ask a silly question about infants and tv time? Do I need to worry about my planned binge watching of Downton/OITNB/HOC during mat leave with a new baby (planning for ~3 months), or is there a grace period before you should start limiting/barring baby exposure to tv? Sorry if this is a ridiculous question, but I realized I didn’t know the answer when I was working on my Netflix queue.
I wouldn’t worry about it at that age. They’re mostly sleeping and their eyes can’t focus anyway … I watched The Sopranos and The Wire on Amazon Prime while on parenting leave.
Haha. I binge watched a lot in first 3-4 weeks especially. Baby can’t focus more than a foot or so in front of their face. You’re fine. At some point they’ll start noticing the flashing lights and noise. It will be obvious- my son would almost flip out of his bouncy seat trying to turn around to see the TV. That’s when you need to start thinking about limiting it (or not).
Meg Murry says
Binge away! That is the only thing that got me through breastfeeding my second was watching ALLLLL the shows on Tivo/DVD (we didn’t have streaming services yet and surfing the internet on my phone). As long as you are paying attention to the baby enough to notice when s/he is latched on properly or needs attention, TV isn’t going to hurt either of you at that age. The concern with screen time is when parents turn it on and kids are watching it for hours at a time instead of interacting with other people, or when parents are watching tv instead of talking or interacting with their kids. But as long as you are talking and interacting with your baby and doing something other than watching TV for 24 hours a day I’m sure it’s fine.
Ditto. My son was born 4.5 weeks early and slept most of my 12-week maternity leave. I watched a lot of Netflix and Youtube while I was on leave. I turned it off to nurse, although I definitely turned it back on to pump. I did avoid violent tv shows, even if he was asleep (and this sounds silly, but I didn’t realize how many shows and movies are really violent). I also sometimes read a novel or whatever out loud while holding him. They really can’t see or do much at the very beginning.
I am the above poster who is strict about TV time and I certainly binge watched House of Cards during my mat leave with #2. To be fair, the baby is not “watching” at that time, usually nursing with eyes closed, and unaware of any goings on.
Oh, caveat to this is I often had the volume turned low and subtitles on since loud sudden noises would wake the baby up.
Another idea: listen to podcasts. This is what I did during the newborn phase (partly out of necessity as our only TV is in the basement) and it was really enjoyable. The pediatrician also said it was good for baby to hear other voices / steady stream of conversation.
Preemie Mom says
Echoing what everyone else says – totally fine. I’ll add that I used my iPhone for much of my binge watching – it was the only thing that kept me awake during marathon middle-of-the-night nursing sessions, and it actually made me not dread them quite as much because I would look forward to seeing what happened next on the Gilmore Girls (which I missed the first time around).
Piggybacking — how have others handled keeping other people’s screens away from the baby? We don’t use laptops/ipad when baby is in the room and only use phones for talking or taking pictures if baby is there, and usually not for talking at this point because baby tries to grab the phone. Part of this is our own mishegas about using screens when having social time (we try not to use our phones around each other, either). But what do you do when your houseguests pull out the laptops and then all baby wants to do is stare at them and try to poke them?? It’s exhausting to keep him away, and I’d rather that he actually play with toys and stuff instead of starting at grandpa with his laptop, but hinting that laptops should not be used in our one main living space (apart from guest room) hasn’t gone over that well so far.
Philanthropy Girl says
This is tough. I have a feeling you’ll either need to directly state “The baby isn’t allowed to view screens. Please keep your laptop in the guest room/at the dining room table/out of the baby’s view” or you’ll have to continue to run interference. I’ve been pretty direct with my dad, who constantly forgets – but as soon as I direct the child away from a screen dad realizes the baby can’t sit on his lap while the screen is running and he’ll put it away. My sister and I have been trying to train him for over two years; it’s been a slow process,=,
Can you make it about imminent harm to gadgets instead of your preferences versus theirs? My daughter eventually always came back to chewing/smashing/licking screens until recently (and sometimes still does), so I warn guests that they use laptops, phones, tablets at their own risk and point to my own mangled phone as evidence that the risk is substantial. And if daughter is making a beeline to someone’s phone, I make no effort to stop her. It didn’t take long before regular visitors remembered to stash their gadgets in our coat closet.
Also consider why the guests are using laptops when visiting your house – my ex got very anxious in many social settings and would bury himself in his phone or tablet to calm down. If your guests are struggling to just sit around and socialize/watch baby, maybe consider giving them a helpful task when they visit?
I’m pretty strict about screen time, but this does happen from time to time–she loves to look at pictures of herself on my phone, so occasionally when we are out to eat or something, we do that together (she is 18 months). The worst though is that EVERYONE wants to give her their smartphones to play with. Sometimes I ask them to put it away and other times I don’t. It feels like a losing battle!
I got contacted last week by a recruiter for what would be my dream job. The catch is that i’m currently 30 weeks pregnant. I know that isn’t supposed to matter, but of course it does. So just trying not to be too depressed that these opportunities never come up when it would be a good time to make a move.
GO FOR IT!!! Interview! Tell them you can start 3 months after the baby is born! Don’t be depressed!
Anon in NYC says
Go for it. I interviewed while very pregnant, got a new job, and started after “mat leave” (I really left my job so was technically unemployed for that period of time. It was slightly less than the mat leave I would have received at my old job, but in line with the standard U.S. leave).
I think 30 weeks isn’t actually bad at all. It may take them until you actually HAVE the baby to decide! Then at that point, assuming it’s a senior ish role, waiting another 2-3 months isn’t that big a deal.
I am 14 weeks along and job searching, which is a lot harder. Disclosing would mean “well either you can hire me and i can work for 3-4 months then take 2-3 months off unpaid….or wait 7 months for me to start.”
Has anyone had any experience with a kid with language delay and/or a low need for interaction? One of my sons was a very late crawler/walker and so has been getting physical therapy through the county. During his evaluation (which covers gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, speech, and emotional/social) when he was 13 months, he scored 13 months or 15 months on everything except gross motor (which we knew and which was why we were there) and speech. The truth is he’s just a really quiet, introverted little kid. He has been since he was four months old. He makes eye contact, smiles, brings things to show us, likes to snuggle, doesn’t react inappropriately to loud noises, likes other children. But he also seems to be most happy sitting on the floor by himself paging through a stack of books (he’ll even drag big adult books off the shelf and page through them — I found him “reading” my college copy of Pamela yesterday). He also likes to wander around the room, “talking” to himself, and he likes leaning on the window sill and watching the cars outside. But mostly he loves looking at books on his own. Although he does also like to look at books with an adult, and will point to different things and say “da!” which means “please say the name of this for me.”
He had a session with the physical therapist and speech therapist this morning, and I asked whether any of his behavior was a red flag. It’s pretty much impossible to get an answer to any question that gets anywhere near “is there something wrong with my kid and if so what is it” but I did get the answer: the lack of engagement is something to watch and he may need additional support. And that the fact that he likes to sit on his own with his books so much of the time is concerning.
On the one hand, I don’t want to ignore a real problem. On the other hand, in my heart of hearts, I’m not worried about the boy. I really truly feel like he’s just a quieter, more introverted person. His twin brother will suck up any and all adult attention in the room and is constantly asking for engagement. We try to have one-on-one time with each of them on the weekends, to mitigate some of this. But I feel like a lot of it is that they have these very different personalities and that, as twins, they have a very particular dynamic. This little guy is probably more okay on his own than he would be if he were an only child just because some of his behavior is in reaction to his brother (and his brother would likely be different if he were himself an only child).
Has anyone dealt with anything like this before? I don’t want to create a problem out of what’s just a personality quirk, but I don’t want to give him less than he needs either.
I’ve read a lot of the Alpham0m blog and Amalah’s posts about her sons. I think that as long as you truly feel, in your heart of hearts, that your son does not have a real problem, you should go with that. Most language delays are not diagnosed until 2 or 3 years old, so you have quite some time before you need to seek additional support, even if he does need it. You’re doing great!
I think you are right to be concerned about the level of engagement. It is possible that it could be an indicator for mild autism. With early diagnosis (esp. 18 mths-2 year)and treatment, if it is only mild, some children will test off the spectrum (i.e. no longer meet the criteria) by the time they go to school.
The Mayo Clinic has a list of signs to watch for that includes: seems to prefer playing alone — retreats into his or her own world, Has poor eye contact and lacks facial expression, Doesn’t speak or has delayed speech, or may lose previous ability to say words or sentences.
On speech, the Hanen Centre is great. In particular, you can order their ‘It takes two to talk’ program which is a book and dvd – it’s great for helping kids who have good receptive language (they understand what adults are saying) but poor expressive language (they don’t talk much).
If I remember you previous posts right, they are at home with an AP, right? Do they do lots of playdates? Could you get them out socializing in groups individually vs in a pair?
We have an introverted daughter, but she has never been flagged for any delays. She takes a really long time to warm to people, prefers reading books (she’s 2.5 and has no fewer than 10 books totally memorized) to group play etc. She is in daycare and it really, really helps her. She still prefers to read books in the corner, but they have recently started using her as an “intern” in the young toddler class…she goes over there when they need to balance out the numbers toward the end of the day and does “story time” for the other kids….it is absolutely the most adorable thing in the world to see her sitting on the “teacher pillow” and reading (reciting from memory) books to a group of enthralled 18 month old kids.
For peace of mind, if nothing else, you might consider scheduling developmental evaluation for him. The results likely will show that you have nothing to worry about. In the unlikely event they do indicate a potential problem, he is young enough that intervention may significantly improve his outlook.
My daughter recently received an autism-related diagnosis; however, we’ve known for quite some time that her social engagement is atypical and started her in speech therapy and a joint attention intervention program at around 20 months of age. I cannot overstate how much these early interventions have helped her: at 20 months she was twice assessed at being “at moderate to severe” risk of ASD, but six months later she did not meet the criteria for ASD (notwithstanding her ongoing social engagement challenges).
You know your children best, and if you believe there is no issue, then I agree there probably isn’t one. But, I wouldn’t discount your son’s therapists’ concerns since they likely have a lot of experience with children with delays or disabilities.
Yes, and to echo another great tip from Amalah – “Don’t Worry, but Don’t Wait [to seek intervention]!”
Thanks. I think when we go to their 2 yr check up I’ll ask the dr what he thinks. If he can’t rule out ASD, I’ll ask for a referral to a specialist.
Preliminary note: your quiet twin’s life choices sound like what I want to do at a party usually. Power to the introverts!
Substantive note: I used to nanny for a family that had twin girls – they were 3-6 when I nannied, so a bit older than your boys. One girl was super outgoing, engaged with everyone and everything, never paused before jumping in. The other one was frequently by herself, and would carefully observe everything her twin did before trying it herself. She didn’t talk as much or as skillfully as her twin. She didn’t make as many friends as her twin, and it took her longer to warm up to people.
They found that it was really helpful (although hard) to separate the girls in a preschool setting (one went in the morning, one went in the afternoon); the more outgoing daughter actually took it harder because it turned out that she took a lot of confidence from her quieter twin’s stable presence. The quieter twin in turn made a couple good friends and had to try things without the safety net of learning from her twin’s mistakes. Not sure if you have the option of giving your boys separate social opportunities, but a thought.
As far as an ASD diagnosis; I have no idea. The advice I’ve heard is that there is no harm to providing OT to a child who doesn’t need it, so if there is any concern at all, it’s worth doing.
Am I alone in being conflicted about the number of kids to have? I feel like this has been discussed here before, but I can’t seem to find it. We have two right now (1 and almost 4). My husband does not want any more, period. I agree logically. I like having a 1:1 kid to parent ratio. Fewer kids = more manageable vacations, fewer college tuitions to pay for, etc. I know and believe all that stuff, but I still feel really sad about being done with kids. I like being in tune with my body during the TTC phase, enjoy pregnancy and have had uncomplicated deliveries (thus far). Advice? Does this get better with time? I’m in the process of getting rid of all of our baby stuff, so I guess it’s really hitting home.
Nothing to add, but I’m in the exact same position. And have all the same feelings. I think we’re done with our two boys, but we’re not “done” done.
Anon with 3 says
We ended up with 3 by chance not choice (singleton then twins). I love our twins dearly but it is a huge game changer to not be able to parent 1:1. I found going from 1 to 3 to be harder than 0 to 1. Three can be wonderful but it is not easy.
Yes, I have one and one on the way. I absolutely hate being pregnant and want nothing more than this to be my last pregnancy. But I was one of 4. DH was an only child and hated it and LOVES my big stupid family. We’ll have to see how it goes but with two working parents, 3-4 seems like a lot of chaos. We are fortunate in that we can make either situation work financially, but I don’t know how our sanity would hold up.
I could have written this post! I ache/crave having another child, even though I know it doesn’t make sense financially, emotionally, logistically, etc. etc. My husband is so happy with our current 2 kids, and has literally NO desire for another one. I can see all the ways it would be so dang hard – and the stories about how 3 is a game changer in terms of parenting helps (a little?).
I had very little experience with children when my first was born, and it took me a while to figure it all out. I had SO MUCH fun with my second. I just wouldn’t mind doing it all over again, and I’m loving the older stages as they come. I don’t even like other people’s babies that well – I just miss MY babies.
The fact that I have irrational fears about whether my boys will be close to each other and to my husband and me as adults doesn’t really help.
Yes, it does get better with time. I have two girls who are 8 and 5. When my girls were your age, I also wanted a third while intellectually knowing it was not the right move for our family. When people talked about what they’d do with lottery winnings, I always said the first thing I’d do is convince my husband to have a third kid. I even toyed with the idea of becoming a gestational surrogate. During last week’s Powerball hysteria, getting pregnant again was the furthest thing from my mind.
Meg Murry says
Yes, I have an 8 and 4 year old and agree it gets better. My husband was D.O.N.E. after #2 and I was still wishy-washy, so I went with an IUD knowing that it had a very low probability of an oops but wasn’t completely closing the door.
It was somewhere around when my oldest turned 3.5 when I stopped thinking “maybe I still want another” and starting saying “nope, don’t want to start over with a baby, enjoying the life I have with these 2”.
I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I only have boys – because after all, what if I had a daughter and she was my exact opposite? I don’t know what I would do (I joke with my sister that I’d have to send any girls to her for all things girly because I just don’t do girly). And then I wondered if having a daughter who was just like me might be worse, because, gah, I was a pretty miserable teenager.
But overall I’ve learned to accept my lot in life and be happy with my 2, and borrow my niece when I want to play with a baby. Now I’m debating whether I can talk H into the big V, since I’m not sure I’ll want to re-up my IUD (it’s ok, but I’d like a break from hormones to see whether the hormones are making me more or less crazy).
Right there with you, except the discussion is really me v. me. My husband could be convinced either way but is leaning towards being done. My two are 2 and 5. Intellectually, I *think* we are done. But, I always thought that I wanted three. I was supposed to be one of three before my dad died when I was a kid. I had planned on having three. My heart, kind of, sometimes, still wants three. I love the idea of a third. BUT we are finally getting to a point where we can see a light at the end of the baby/toddler years. We are getting sleep, sometimes, and the sleep is so glorious. They can play, I can read. I feel like I am finally waking up from a 5-6 year fog. So, no answers I am afraid. I wonder if I will regret not having a third? Or will I bask in simpler logistics, finances, etc.?
H could have been convinced either way; I always had it in my head that I wanted 3, even though childcare is so.expensive. in our area. Logically, we probably should have stopped at two, but I’m a few weeks pregnant with #3. I am surprisingly indifferent. Pleasantly indifferent, but not at all enthused about the whole pregnancy-infant thing again, or with the prospect of 3 kids under 4 years old. Especially because, like Betty said, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel of the baby/toddler years, and then it just blinked out again. I do like the idea of 3 kids after the youngest is at least 3, though. My first prenatal appt is in a couple days (if it doesn’t get snowed out) and all I know is it had better not be twins.
Late to the party on this, but wanted to offer a counterpoint. The thought/ desire doesn’t always go away. I was undecided after my 2 were born, and my husband was unsure. We thought about it, talked about it, put the thought away for a while (or tried to), but I kept coming back to it. For 7 years! Now our first two are 11 years old and 7 years old, and I’m 18 weeks pregnant with our third. We’ve had a lot of time to deliberate, and the age spread is completely ridiculous, and we are still a two-career family with not enough time/ money to do everything we want–but I know in my bones this is right for our family. It just took a long time to get that certainty, and then no small measure of luck that I could still conceive at 42. Best of luck to you all on this issue. It’s such a thorny, deeply personal, many-sided decision.
I was laid off and will not be going back to work any time soon due to the timing of #2 due early this summer. We want to pull our daughter from FT daycare and ideally move her part time daycare (2-3 mornings/week) This is offered and there are several part time kids.
I want to make sure we leave daycare on good terms, because even though we will likely move to a nanny after #2 is born and I go back to work, there may well be a time when one or both kids will need to go back there, and they are one of the only good ones in town.
Any tips on (a) overall dis-enrollment and (b) the part time move? I plan ask about availability AND say I’m totally flexible on what days it is, as long as she can go a few days a week. If they can’t make the part time thing happen, should I keep her enrolled for a bit longer? I hate pulling her since she took FOREVER to adjust (we moved in May) but I really can’t justify $1600/month while I’m sitting at home ready and wanting to hang out with her.
I know this shouldn’t be a big deal and is just business and I am overthinking it, but (1) I got laid off and now I get to announce that all over daycare and it’s embarrassing (to me) and (2) the director of daycare has a kid my age and lives in my town—i’m sure we’ll see each other over the years!
This is totally no big deal at all. Just say “we’re so sad to say that our daughter’s last day at school will be XYZ.”
I made the call, and it went well. She’s sending me some part-time options and was kind and hilarious about the news. This whole situation was just such an emotional blow to me that talking about it (even with our DCP!) makes me want to throw up.
Just want to say I’m sorry you’re going through this. What a stressful situation, plus pregnancy hormones!
Way to get the call over with, glad it went well.