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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?
Two Cents says
I’m feeling really crummy and need some advice on dealing with a grandparent who is incredibly helpful yet unwilling to accept any critique. My mom has basically lived with us off and on for the entire year and has gone leaps and bounds what most grandparents would do. She drops and picks the kids off at school, cooks all meals, does laundry, housecleaning, etc. In a word, amazing.
The problem is that she seems very partial to my younger daughter (I have two daughters, 2 years apart). She took care of the younger one since she was a newborn, whereas with my older one, she was still working and didn’t spend as much time. To be sure, my older one sometimes hits the younger one but he is not always the one to blame (my younger one can also be the instigator). I have noticed that when my mom visits, the kids are “acting up” much more than when she is not there. I suspect that my older one is noticing this partiality, resents it, and is acting out.
I have tried to broach this subject gently but she is adamant that there is no partiality. She basically says that my little one cannot talk and is helpless, so she feels more protective of her because she can’t speak out. I certainly understand that to a point, but I also think that her default is to blame the older one automatically, even without checking on who started the fight. To be clear, she is equally helpful to both kids in terms of giving baths, packing lunches, etc. and says she loves them both.
It all came to a head this morning and now she is feeling really hurt and I feel terrible. Her response to any criticism is “but I’m so helpful and I do so much for you all” which is absolutely true and just makes me feel guilty that I’m saying anything negative at all.
Maybe read Siblings Without Rivalry as a mini book club and discuss it together. Try to suggest it in a low-key way. “I want to read this book about raising siblings who love each other [so you’re not making it about her]. Since you’re spending so much time with them, I’d really appreciate your perspective, too. Do you want to have a mother-daughter book club?”
Thanks for the book recommendation–we’ve still got a few months before baby2 arrives, but my MIL has already decided he/she will be a ‘terror for NaNa’ (!!) I’m hoping to nip these comments in the bud, and maybe I can get her to read this if I rave about it. DH is an only, as was MIL, so there’s very little sibling experience, and I think it’s causing some anxiety for the both of them.
Anon in NYC says
Oof. That is hard, especially when your mom denies it. My MIL admitted to me that she prefers one of my nephews over the other, which is sort of awful. She has some not-so-good reasons why (the one she likes less reminds her more of her other DIL), but I think one of the main reasons is that the younger boy is just more energetic, can’t sit still, very active, roughhouses more, etc., and the older one is more willing to sit and be quiet and pleasant (which is more my MIL’s speed). That said, my MIL does not treat the boys any differently. Is there a similar dynamic/personality difference between your kids? If so, it could explain some of your mother’s feelings and may help you approach the issue.
Second the recommendation for this book! This reminds me, I need to book club it with my husband.
Aside from the book suggestion, I think you should let this go for now. A lot of preschoolers act differently around other adults than they do around their parents. My mom is not around as often as yours, and if anything is partial to my older kid just because he’s her “favorite age” right now, but he still acts up when she’s around. There are also practical reasons (as your mom pointed out) that her actions may look like partiality when there’s none there — the younger child probably still needs more hands-on attention than the older one, it’s hard to suspect a young, non-verbal baby of being conniving and instigating fights, etc. My younger child is 1.5 and it’s become extremely obvious in the last few months that she’s sneaky/smart and goads her brother into getting in trouble. Plus she’s gotten a lot more independent and mobile. So all of that may resolve fairly soon just with a little time/development.
Ally McBeal says
I have a different perspective. I think if you really believe that your mom is favoring your younger daughter, you have an obligation to your older daughter to intervene and make it stop. If that means that you have to ask your mom to do less around your household, so be it. It is destructive to children to be the less-favored one, just as it is destructive to children to be the favorite. Either way, you’re setting your kids up to resent each other, their grandmother, and you for allowing this to happen.
I really like the idea of reading Siblings Without Rivalry with your mom. I like the idea of talking through ways to manage the kids – what’s the “family response” when the older one hits? Make it a shared project to come up with a unified front. But ultimately, if you really, really believe that your mom is favoring one daughter and it is causing the other daughter to lash out or act up, you should absolutely intervene, even if it means losing your mom’s help around the household.
South Asian Parent says
Late to the responses but I have a very similar situation! My MIL who has been living with us for the last 6 months or so is generally short with the older kid and never seems to have positive loving conversations with him. In contrast she is generally carrying the younger one about and protecting her from roughhousing with the older sibling.
I try to spend a lot of 1 on 1 time with the older one and try to make sure he doesnt see it as a competitive situation with the younger one. I think it’s because the older one is more demanding and a little more challenging to handle in some ways. e.g. the younger one just needs physical needs met (milk, sleep) and the older one has problems (I dont like eating the same thing every day, I am not ready to have a bath yet) and my MIL doesn’t have the patience to deal with that.
There seem to be variations on this question but I haven’t found anything quite on point. I have been exclusively breastfeeding/pumping since my little one was born. All went extremely well pretty much from the first – baby took to nursing, no issues with bottle, I’ve always had milk to spare, and best of all my milk always came very quickly and easily – baby was able to eat fast and pumping what I needed for next day’s bottles never took me more than 15 min./3 times a day. WELL! Fast forward to now, baby is 8.5 months and it takes me forever to pump his 3 bottles. Basically I went from spending 45 min. of my work day pumping to now spending an hour or so each time for 3 total. Nursing on the weekends isn’t a problem because we just do on demand and baby is fine with small meals but I send him to daycare with three 5 oz. bottles and getting that has been a total pain the last 2-3 weeks. I’ve been able to manage with freezer stash extras and by pumping a little at night but it’s just draining. I feel exhausted. I know formula is not poison but I would really love to be able to just stick it out for another 3 months with just breast milk and then switch over to dairy. I’ve tried power pumping and am drinking all the mother’s milk tea I can. Any other tips? Please someone give me a solution!
Anon in NYC says
Have you recently replaced the membranes on your pump? If not, you should. They can get worn out, even if they’re not ripped.
Have you tried massage while pumping?
Also, this could just be your supply dropping. Are you eating oatmeal? It really helped me boost my supply (by about 1-2 oz per day) towards the end when I needed just a small amount to meet my daughter’s needs.
Yep, replace the membranes. You can also cut the tubing with a sharp pair of scissors to ensure a tight fit. The ends of mine stretched out after a while, decreasing the efficiency of the pump. Both of those quick/easy changes helped when I noticed my pumping times increasing.
I have never replaced the membranes! Will do this ASAP – fingers crossed! Thank you.
Oh man, 8 1/2 months (or from whenever you started) and you’ve never replaced them? Chances are very good that will solve it. Mine never had visible tearing but I still replaced them every month or so (and also rotated through multiples to avoid washing all the time) and could tell a big difference in supply) when I got new ones.
I hope you are right! I’ve been using this pump with the membranes since maybe mid-march? Didn’t start pumping until I came back to work.
Now I’m dying to know if it helps! Suspense.
Legally Brunette says
Sorry that you’re dealing with this. I had various issues with supply and the only thing that helped are Go Lacta vitamins. Google it. They’re pricey but were completely worth it.
As a counterpoint, I could have written your post, although my issues arose when baby was 6.5 months old. I embraced formula to make up for the difference. Once I got over the initial guilt trip (which I know was silly to start with, but it really did upset me), it was great. I am down to pumping twice a day at work, which has been a huge help, and baby still gets more BM than formula. It just wasn’t worth the stress for me.
When I was struggling a bit (supply was fine but transfer was so-so) someone on here shared a comment from her lactation consultant that was a huge help for me – the goal isn’t the absence of formula, but the presence of breastmilk. We didn’t end up supplementing at the time, but we started a couple months ago and it’s made such a difference in my stress levels. I think worrying about your supply hurts it as much as anything.
“the goal isn’t the absence of formula, but the presence of breastmilk”
That comment makes me feel better. Hubby works for a health program for postpartum moms, and his coworkers are militant about breastfeeding. He feels guilty every bottle of formula we give our daughter, despite me breastfeeding most of her meals.
“the goal isn’t the absence of formula, but the presence of breastmilk.”
This is SO SO important. The additional benefit of being able to provide your baby with EBF for one year vs one bottle or half bottle of formula is not greater than the benefit to baby of having a mom who is not totally stressed out about this.
You’re doing awesome. If you want to make it work somehow to get to a year EBF, if not- that’s okay- you’re still an amazing mom and a bottle of formula (or milk) here or there will be fine.
Pigpen's Mama says
So I went through this at ~ 6 months. My supply was dropping (stress, period returned, became harder to carve out time at work) and she was eating more. Up until then, breastfeeding and pumping had gone so smoothly.
I tried the general fixes to improve yield — replaced parts, oatmeal, lots of water, special tea, lactation cookies and agonized about adding formula. I had set a goal of exclusive BF/pumping for a year and didn’t want to fall short. Even though I knew it would make no significant difference to go to formula (my review of the research lead me to the conclusion that if there was an impact, which is debatable, it would only really be within the first few weeks/months).
Then I realized it wasn’t about what was best for baby, but my ego was the main driver in making it a whole year. And that wasn’t incentive enough for me to keep going, so I bought formula, gave it to her, decreased pumping and life was so much easier. The only negative was her poop got stinkier, but that was good prep for the toddler years!).
Anon at 11:20 here. I just reread your post. You’re spending 3 hours a day at work pumping?!?! Lady, embrace the formula. Seriously. I can’t imagine this isn’t threatening your workplace productivity or general happiness.
Well, the three hours has only been this week and I am able to basically close the door to my office and still work. The issue really is the stress this is causing me because it’s super draining. If I squeeze in a pumping session at night I think I can be okay but up till now I’ve just left my pump at work and enjoyed a glass of wine while the little one is sleeping in the evenings. You may be right though – at some point this will be too much and I will supplement. I’m just not quite there yet so hoping I can trouble shoot this one.
I had trouble around this age, too. Active pumping helped me a little…when the flow of milk slows down, stop the pump and then start in letdown mode again. Also massage during pumping as much as possible. I will say that it got much better for me around 9 months. My kiddo suddenly started actually eating food and that helped make up the difference. Also, I started giving her a little cow milk around 11 mo.
3L mama says
Yep, replace the membranes etc. on your pump. Eat some oatmeal.
AND (this was key for me)
Decide you are going to use formula. Buy a container of formula and let it sit unopened on your shelf.
As soon as I decided I was absolutely ok supplementing my pumping output with 1 or 2 bottles a day of formula, and purchased a large, expensive container of organic formula, my kid decided that she was so done with bottles. She can sometimes be persuaded to drink [email protected]$tmilk in a sippy cup, on her oatmeal, in a smoothie, etc. but I pump once a day now and whatever I get is still more than she will now drink. She nurses like crazy in the evenings/weekends so my supply is doing ok, but I stopped stressing about it (which also helped my supply/let-down).
We never opened the formula container but it sits out on a kitchen shelf reminding me that it is there when I need it.
3L mama says
FWIW this happened when my kid was about 8 months, like yours. Seems like that’s a nursing inflection point for a lot of people.
Same, I BF’d til 8 months. Baby seemed to be done so I said I was done too. Used up freezer stash mixed with formula thru 9 months, formula for 2 then cow milk at 11. She’s a happy bright 3 y/o.
Agree that the membranes will probably help. But, I had major pumping issues and never supplemented with formula. Basically I could pump for an hour or more and still only get a couple of ounces. Feeding my baby directly – no problem, he got as much as he needed. But the pump (and I had 2 different kinds – the PIS and the professional hospital grade one) was awful and I could never get enough.
I solved the problem by just doing one pumping session to get whatever I could, which baby would (reluctantly – he didn’t like bottles) drink while I was away. But mostly what I did was alter my schedule: I would leave a little late, last thing I did before walking out the door was nurse. I would come home a little early and the first thing I would do would be to nurse (basically undressing as I walked to the door). This worked because we had a nanny and I had a very flexible job. I made up the extra 1-2 hours after baby went to sleep.
Not saying formula isn’t a good solution for you, but just wanted to share my experience.
My sister, who is pretty lactivist-y, surprised me by saying, “well you give your kid other food that isn’t b-milk now, and isn’t formula just a kind of food?” It really took the edge off.
Apologies if this has been said before, but is there a chance your cycle is returning? A lot of women experience a drop in production right before their period, but it tends to resolve itself.
This was a rough time for me too. But I don’t really understand why you are okay with switching to dairy in 3 months but not mixing in some formula now – I mean, it’s not like your child transforms overnight when they turn 1. It’s a somewhat arbitrary milestone. Don’t kill yourself for this – you won’t care in a year. If you really want another option, ask your pediatrician if you can start mixing in some cow’s milk now. I think 8.5 months is probably a little young but I’ve heard some docs are okay with starting before a year.
Closet Redux says
You might also look into goats milk as a transition milk. It is apparently easier to digest and less allergenic than cow’s milk and closer to breastmilk. But, I think conventional pediatrician wisdom is breast or formula during the first year. Agree with anon above, though, don’t beat yourself up about it! Formula is an amazing development and keeps lots of babies around the world happy, healthy, and growing. And a happy, less-stressed mama is an immeasurable benefit to a baby.
The attitude towards formula here really gets to me sometimes. Women will literally trek breastmilk across entire continents at great inconvenience to themselves but never even consider a ready-made food source. I am pro breastfeeding but sometimes I read comments here that come across as judgmental towards those who choose otherwise. I remember reading a comment from a mother lamenting the fact that her baby might only get 11 months of exclusive breastfeeding instead of 12. Really not trying to start a war over this because I think we all agree here that if a baby is fed and loved, that’s enough. But I think the breast is best message has been internalized to the extreme by a lot of women here, probably because we are type A’s who can’t imagine not doing the “best” thing for our child. No one is lining up preschoolers and labeling them as breastfed or formula fed. I think what I’m trying to say, not eloquently, is that if breastfeeding is hard and interfering with your work, mental health, well being, etc, it’s ok to give yourself permission to make another choice.
ETA this is in no way a comment about BFG’s specific question above, just a general observation about the conversations I’ve seen here.
10,000% agreed! I really hope that’s not what anyone would take away from my post. I was very lucky in the beginning that BF came very easily and so I stuck with it because it was – for me – cheaper and easier than formula. I think probably at this point in time I’ve created a narrative for myself that may need to be revised, i.e., that I was going to EBF for a year. It’s just that because it’s been relatively easy up until very recently that I’d like to see if I can correct whatever is happening and go back to easy pumping/nursing. Maybe I can, maybe I can’t. Not the end of the world either way. Thank you for all the helpful tips and support, everyone.
Can the narrative just be that you’ll BF for a year minimum? You’re not stopping BF – you’re maybe going to intro milk or formula when your freezer stash runs out – those are two totally different events.
Interesting, I haven’t gotten this impression at all from ladies on this site, but maybe it’s just a matter of perspective. I breastfed both of my kids, but mostly because I am lazy and it was easy for us. (Pumping at work was a price I was willing to pay to avoid lugging around formula on the weekends/travels). But I really don’t care what choice others make, and now that my kids are older I realize how unimportant it is in the grand scheme of things. It does seem like a Big. Thing. when you have an infant though.
I’m not saying people are attacking women who choose not to breastfeed, definitely don’t see that, but the general attitude that we are willing to go to extremes to make sure our infants never have a drop of formula is fascinating to me. Mothers can’t breastfeed, mothers choose formula from the beginning for many other reasons too, and yet people act like the sky is falling if their child needs to supplement. Children who are exclusively formula fed are not somehow lesser and their mothers don’t love them any less. I just wish that the anxiety/guilt surrounding making that choice didn’t exist, and I think some of the stories I’ve read here in the past serve to exacerbate those feelings inadvertently.
I don’t feel like there are many judgmental comments towards people who don’t breastfeed or exclusively breastfeed. I have thought, “You know, it’s OK to use formula at some point” in reaction to some posts. But I would never post that comment asking for advice on pumping or breastfeeding or the logistics of a particular situation–it’s not what she asked, and it’s discouraging and in some ways judgmental itself. So I’m wondering if there’s some selection bias, where people who chose to or had to use formula before a year (for me, supplementing at 5 months, formula only by 6 months) just don’t chime in on the breastfeeding posts. And there aren’t nearly as many reasons to post about feeding a baby formula.
Her comment started the conversation but I specifically stated my observation wasn’t about her personally. I’m not talking about explicit comments and judgments just the underlying attitudes I’ve seen expressed. I would never judge a woman for wanting to make breastfeeding work and asking for advice, but I do think it’s fair to explore the underlying societal pressure that makes a woman feel like she has to bend over backwards to make it work when there are alternatives available. Some of the commenters above seem to agree.
Anon 2 says
I’m actually glad you made the observation (and think that despite some disagreements here this conversation has been civil). I haven’t entirely come to terms with the decision to add formula, despite the marked improvement its had on my psychological well being and happiness at work. I think its a combination of strong societal pressure and just being a goal oriented, type a person. The fact that there is a virtual world here who, despite the fact I don’t know you, have shared similar frustrations with BF and pumping, supply issues, etc., and then decided to embrace formula, has been a source of comfort as I struggled with this stuff too. This is a bit off the original topic, but thanks for bringing it up!
Anon MN says
Another way to think of it instead of posters are so anti-formula they will trek across the continent to not give it: How about they know breastfeeding works for their baby. The breastmilk doesn’t cause reflux issues, allergies, stomach pains, etc. So rather than supplement, they would rather work a little more with what’s been working. Like when you notice some concerning stuff about daycare, but you do your best to work with the current situation because figuring out a switch is a huge pain. It’s not that you think the other daycares are terrible, it’s just that what works right now is the current daycare.
That’s how I saw it when I had the 9 month supply dip (mine was related to babe STTN). I just used up my freezer stash and added an extra pump session before bed to get us to when I wanted to wean (a year).
3L mama says
yes, I think this was the mental hurdle for me wrt supplementing with formula – I wasn’t opposed to it, but I didn’t want to take the time/energy to slowly introduce it, see how it would go, convince the baby to eat something different, watch for any problems, etc. I thought it would be easier to just try to get enough breastmilk if I could.
I actually think with the next baby, I might occasionally offer a few ounces of formula fairly early, just so if I want to supplement later on, I’ve already introduced it and know how the baby deals.
Anon MN says
Plus a slow introduction of formula when you are about the slowly introduce cows milk and are currently slowly introducing foods, whew, that sounded like too much work for me.
Early supplementing is a good idea!
Anon in NYC says
Yeah, this was how I felt towards the very end. I was unwilling to try out formula when I was just about to start cows milk.
Early supplementing is a brilliant idea! If I had to do it over again, that’s what I’d do. Around 6 months kid had a growth spurt + I was working more and not pumping enough and had a supply drop… and he refused to drink the formula I left at daycare. And made it all up at night by reverse cycling. Zzz.
For me, it’s simply that so far it’s been relatively straightforward and simple so I’d be really happy if I could get back to it being that way. If I didn’t start having these issues, I don’t think that it would be too hard to e.g., overnight frozen milk if I was traveling and my company was paying for it and honestly maybe it would ease some guilt I had over traveling for work if I was able to continue providing milk for my infant. Not to say that if you don’t do it, you should feel bad, just that I can see the mental appeal and when I was able to quickly pump in 10-15 min., it really wouldn’t have been a hardship even if it did seem like a heroic feat to some. Maybe that’s part of the appeal too!
I realize after having struggled for a little bit now, this week especially, that it may not be worth the craziness and I am trying to reframe my narrative accordingly. The responses here have actually been very helpful for me because I do think I need to reframe the issue in my head a little so I think it’s a good discussion to have.
I think most of the “judgment” Anon4This references is self imposed by posters here, not so much inflicted on others. Generally I think the community here is very reassuring about formula feeding and supplementation. I think we started supplementing formula at around 9 months and it seemed like a big deal at the time, so I remember the feeling. But the guilt lasted all of one day then it was just like “oh, how nice not to have the stress of producing enough!”
Pigpen's Mama says
I would have never judged another mom for using formula (and I’m not just saying that), but I was judging myself before we started supplementing.
And just like MDMom, it was such a big deal, and then all that guilt went away.
Yes I agree! Like I said there is no explicit judgment that I’ve seen, just comments that I think reinforce women’s internal dialogues that formula is somehow lesser, which leads to unnecessary guilt and stress. Like Anonymous said below so well…it’s important to recognize that formula is a healthy and reasonable alternative. Instead, a lot of comments seem to operate under the assumption that it’s somehow harmful. Women feel the need to rationalize their use of formula, rather than just state it as a fact. The commenter above who added that her kind turned out smart and happy, for example, despite formula use. Again, I don’t feel offended nor do I think anyone commenting has ill intentions, it’s just a general trend/attitude I’ve noticed.
CPA Lady says
Agree re: the subtle negativity and defensiveness.
As someone who chose for “selfish” reasons to supplement with formula from the beginning (because I didn’t want to pump at work because it sounded like a terrible pain in the ass) and had a great experience with that and would 100% do it for any subsequent children… I still have a tiny bit of a hard time not feeling defensive about my decision, which I know is my own issue to get over.
Even though I’m happy with how things went for me and my daughter, it’s hard to read about the extreme lengths some people would go to rather than consider using formula. I’m not proud of admitting this, but I get worried that when people know they are doing the “best” thing they must judge the formula people like me for doing something lesser (i.e. not “best”). Otherwise why do they fight using formula so hard?
It’s easy for an EBFer to say “I don’t judge other moms for using formula”, but its hard not to be defensive, when the second half of that sentence seems to be “but I would do literally almost anything before I would feed it to *my* child.”
Again, I’m not proud of having these thoughts, but there ya have it.
Yes +1 million. I posted above that I had the same issue but never supplemented with formula. I don’t regret that particular choice because I really did hate pumping but it was part of a series of decisions I made with the idea that formula was evil (it’s NOT) that were, taken together, really bad for my mental health (mostly because of the effects on my sleep). So I completely agree. Do what you can if BF is important to you, but also recognize that formula is a healthy and reasonable alternative and we are so fortunate to have that available. And…really, in hindsight, I don’t think the benefits of BF my kid exclusively for all those months outweigh the very real very negative consequences of a sleep-deprived mom who was constantly anxious, angry, and flying off the handle. (Of course, it’s easy to see that now. I wish someone had talked to me while I was going through it.)
If it make you feel better, in Canada the new recommendation is milk at 9 months if baby is eating solids well.
We have family in Canada so I feel like that means it should totally apply to us! Is the recommendation for regular milk as in you can replace breast milk or just that it’s okay to introduce?
Anon at 12:40 says
My understanding is that it can replace breast milk post-9 months if baby is eating solids well (so nutrition from other sources as well). Considering you’re still nursing and not 100% replacing breast milk with cow’s milk then you’re totally fine to skip formula.
Just give cow’s milk for the first time at home in the daytime. Don’t panic if baby gets an upset tummy – doesn’t necessarily mean an allergy. Whole cow’s milk can be harder to digest for some but not most babies. So in that case just use formula instead because formula has the cow’s milk proteins broken down through processing so it’s easier to digest. Again, this is unlikely to be an issue.
From Health Canada:
“For an older infant who is not breastfed or receiving breastmilk, recommend commercial infant formula until nine to 12 months. Once an older infant is regularly consuming a variety of iron-rich foods, commercial infant formula can be replaced with pasteurized, homogenized (3.25% M.F.) cow milk.”
See also: Canadian Pediatric Society – http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/feeding_your_baby_in_the_first_year
Anon at 12:40 says
I posted a reply with links but I think it’s stuck in moderation so check back later.
My husband and I are going on vacation (5 nights) and leaving our 19 month old with the in-laws. We’ve left her for a night or two in the past, but we’ve always been a few hours away and available by phone. This time we may not be readily reachable, and it would be difficult for us to return early if needed. Should I prepare some sort of letter for them, authorizing medical treatment if necessary? Does it need to be something official, like a power of attorney? Notarized?
We leave a power of attorney form for medical treatment that includes a statement that we accept responsibility for payments for treatment. Both of us sign it and we have it notarized (which isn’t necessary in every state). A lot of times you can search for power of attorney for medical treatment for your state and something pops up that you can use.
We also leave a copy of our insurance cards and the information for the doctor, dentist, hospital preference, etc.
We do the same as Mascot. A standard medical POA is available in our state (we found it via quick internet search). Both parents signed and we had it notarized.
In a similar situation, we didn’t do a full medical POA, but rather a “Consent for Medical Treatment” form, which is basically the same idea. The template we used had lines for all the insurance and provider information, so it was nicely consolidated in one spot.
Not sure whether you’re leaving your child at the in-laws house or whether they’re staying at your place, but we also have our address, poison control, alternate emergency contacts, doctor hotlines, pharmacy, and non-emergency police #s on a sheet taped to the inside of one of our kitchen cabinets so it’s all easily accessible for any babysitter.
Slacks & Co? says
Anyone know if Slacks & Co is good quality? Their maternity suiting options look nice online. I have a jury trial coming up so I’m willing to invest in a few pieces that will make me feel confident in court.
Baby gifts says
If I’m going to spend all the money at Baby Gap for a friend’s baby, what is best to buy? Registries / showers aren’t a thing here and I’d like to buy some nice presents for a friend.
I know you shouldn’t buy newborn clothes as they grow out of things quickly but is it weird to buy a selection of the organic cotton animal onesies (short/long sleeves) in different sizes? Baby due this week and they live in London so no extreme temperature variations.
Pigpen's Mama says
I think that would be perfect.
My only caution about Baby Gap is make sure the clothes you get have snaps or zippers, not buttons. I got burned a few times at Baby Gap with oh so cute clothes with tiny buttons — they tended to use them more than the other stores I shopped at.
Baby gifts says
Fantastic – will take a look. I’m ordering online (b/c I’m too baby crazy to go into a baby gap without crying…) but will make sure to look at things closely. They have quite a good sale on so I thought 2 things in 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 should do the trick.
CPA Lady says
I just laughed out loud at the “I’m too baby crazy to go into a baby gap without crying…”
One time I had to leave a Janie & Jack store because I was crying so much shopping for my baby niece. This was before I even had a kid or really wanted one… I was just so overcome with ALL THE FEELINGS.
Baby gifts says
I cried when I found out this couple was expecting – I had a hunch they had been struggling and they are just going to be such incredible parents! It’s one lucky baby. I’ve officially bought all the elephant stuff the Gap carries.
We haven’t been TTC for ages and ages but my mom got pregnant the first month and my nana had 10 kids so I kind of just assumed I’d be pregnant as soon as my husband winked at me. And there are baby bellies and newborns everywhere!
Anon in NYC says
Not weird at all – that’s a great gift!
babyGap socks were some of the few that stayed on my kid’s feet. I really liked their clothes.
layered bob says
yes, we really liked the babyGap socks. you could get a bunch in the first couple sizes. all white so there’s no sock-matching required :-)
Second the babyGap socks, they were fantastic for actually staying on, and the quality was good.
Please please use a gift receipt! I had a lot of duplicates (multiple Hungry Caterpillar books!) or things that wouldn’t work (6 month sized clothes for my 6 month baby who was too tall for the sleepers), and I really appreciated when gifters gave me a receipt so I could exchange.
I am preparing to return to work from maternity leave and I am looking for recommendations on a bag for my pump and any other accessories that people have found necessary/helpful. I will be using the medela pump in style. I think I will pump into the medela bottles and then transfer the milk into the kiinde bags once I get home in the evenings. I find it difficult to get an accurate measurement using the kiinde bags and i think this will make it easier to combine the milk in the evening. Has anyone else done this? Looking for any and all helpful suggestions. Thank you!!!
Do you have to haul your pump back and forth? Are you sure you’ll use it at home? Or can you get a second for use at work?
My office provides a pump, so I just bring bottles and parts back and forth, which is really nice.
And do you need to use the bags? We just use the bottles I pumped the day before as kiddo’s meals the next day. I only use bags when I’m traveling (or freezing excess, but that wasn’t from what I pumped at work).
Just trying to help you simplify. No real advice on the bags– I use the small medela cooler that fits four bottles, and a ziploc with my parts. I put it all in a small shopping bag (eg the ubiquitous lululemon bag) or fit them both in my bigger purses.
My suggestion – a little outside the scope of what you asked – is just to use the kiinde bags. Even if they aren’t accurate as to an actual ounce, they are accurate as their own measuring system – a kiinde ounce, if you will – which you will get used to. I found the bags easy to pour between for combining. If you’re going to use the bags anyway, use them to their full effect — which is to eliminate washing and schlepping bottles back and forth. (I just brought in a big box of bags and left it at work.)
Ditto Momata’s suggestions. Accurate to their own measuring system, so just pump into the bags. So much easier!
If you care, I did a number of informal experiments to determine what could be done to get the bags to measure accurately (background in healthcare/pharma statistics means I love this stuff!). Once you’ve pumped milk into the kiinde bags, screw the top on (no need to remove air) and squeeze all the milk to the bottom of the bag, then to the top to ensure that the bag has been “stretched out” sufficiently. Take the top off, spread out the bottom of the bag and set the bag on a flat surface. It will read accurately (to a calibrated scale). Also in case you were curious, the Medela bottles are wildly inconsistent in their measurements. I would recommend minimizing your hassle and pumping into the bags :)
+1 I found measuring to be inaccurate either way. I always pumped into bottles and transferred to bags on Fridays or if I had extra or was travelling, and wrote the measurement from the bottle on the bag just before transfer (so not from memory) and we realized that the thawed bottles were frequently .5-1.5 oz off from the written measurement. Kiddo just ate what was there and I did freeze smaller amounts (around 1 oz.) that could be thawed if he was still hungry – precise measurement luckily wasn’t necessary.
Long story short, I should have saved myself a step and just used the bags to pump!
I pumped into bottles and transferred to bags that I froze (because yeah, you cannot accurately measure in bags). For some reason I started daycare sending frozen bags, but then just started sending fresh from what I pumped the prior day. I’d freeze what I pumped on Fridays or over the weekend and thaw frozen bags for Monday’s bottles to go through the older milk.
I left my pump at work during the week but brought it home on the weekends. If I needed to pump at night I found the manual Medela much easier. Definitely get at least two sets of parts so you’re not constantly washing, use the Medela wipes, and store in a fridge if possible so you don’t have to clean them during the day. My $60 minifridge for my office was my best pumping investment ever.
This is what I do – leave pump at work during the week, pump into bottles and transfer to bags. Except for the spare set of parts. I just leave everything at work during the week, wash in between and quickly sterilize with hot water. Everything goes home on the weekend. I find it much easier to carry just a few pouches of milk at the end of the day. I use a pack-it on someone’s recommendation here. I already had a mini-fridge so my pumping investment was an electric tea kettle so I can boil water to sterilize bottles (and, hey, drink tea, too).
Oh, and if you don’t have it already, one of those hideous, awkward hands free bras is a must. My friends and I all mocked them until each of us had to pump at work and then each person gave in.
Oh lord yes, forgot about that. After the first day at work trying to pump without one, I ordered one from Amazon with same-day shipping. Though now I actually recommend a cheap sports bra – put it on, use a marker to make an X over where you need the flanges to go, then take it off and cut. I liked the C9 from Target.
My system, FWIW:
One pump at home, one at work (I had three pumps via 1st kid, insurance one from 2nd kid and a hand-me-down)
Pump into medela bottles, carried in the black square medela bag w/ a ice pack
Keep parts in another black medela cooler w/ ice pack between sessions
Wash parts in dishwasher at end of day
Have 2 sets of parts so one set can be dry all day and then be used the next day
In evening/morning, distribute milk from medela bottles to tommee tippee bottles. Put a date on excess to be used later. Supplement with milk from another day taken out of freezer or refrigerator of needed.
I left my pump at work and carried the medela bottles back and forth in a little lunchbag with the freezer pack in it. I didn’t have access to a fridge at work so I got the littlest version of an igloo cooler (like construction guys bring on lunch) and put my ice pack and the pump parts wrapped in a cloth diaper in it between pumping sessions. I had multiple sets of parts and would pack them up as a set with a cloth diaper in a freezer gallon bag so that I never forgot one of the pieces.
I just used a large tote bag with a fold-over top to carry my pump and parts and milk. I drive to work, so carrying an extra bag, even a large one, was not a big deal. I carried the pump back and forth and pumped at home after Baby nursed in the morning (and later, when Baby was sleeping for longer stretches, before I went to bed). I pumped into the Medela bottles and had the Medela cooler to carry them back and forth. I carried three sets of parts in plastic grocery bags–one bag for clean and one for dirty every day, then washed them all once I got home.
The Juno Blu Esalen bag. Love it, love it, love it.
i loved my sarah wells annie bag.
Thanks for all the comments on how long kiddo can have pouches yesterday! I let her have them for snacks at daycare (sooo much healthier than animal crackers, imo) and I’m glad to hear I don’t need to phase them out.
I didn’t comment yesterday but my BIL, who is… 25? Still eats applesauce from a pouch on his long runs during marathon training.
My FIL (70’s) eats mama chia pouches, so apparently some people never give them up!
Easter Basket says
So this is random, but I’ve been putting off getting my kid an Easter basket and she’ll definitely be old enough to know that she doesnt have one next Easter. So I looked on PB kids, and their plain white Easter baskets are on mega sale. Just an FYI for anyone who is as big a procrastinator as I am. They are usually $22/$29/$39 and they are currently $8/$10/$15. Of course the super cute bunny liner is sold out, but I’ll get that one in the spring…. or stalk ebay…
My son was born in February so we skipped Easter baskets this year (since he had zero idea what was going on) and I bought him a super cute PB basket and liner the week after Easter for like 75% off.
File this under our previous conversation about Things We Choose Not To Focus On. I have a couple of baskets from my previous non-mom life that I served bread in at dinner parties. Now, at Easter, I fill them with Easter grass and – voila! – they become Easter Baskets.
I let grandma provide the Easter basket, and will re-use it when/if I do Easter on my own in the future.
Very small vent: I broke out in an allergic rash on my ankles a couple weeks ago. The rash has been slowly migrating up my body. I finally got a steroid cream from the dr. when the rash decided to linger on my wrists for far too long. And now it’s mostly gone from my wrists, but has moved to my ears. The joy of sitting at the office with my hair hanging in my ears, feeling like ants are crawling around inside my ear canals (where the cream can’t go!) and wanting to scream.
I’m excited for it to hit my scalp. I may be rocking some interesting hair styles for a few days.
This too shall pass, right?