Feeding Tuesday: Zoli Straw Sippy Cup (OR: Which Sippy Cups and Bottles Are Your Favorites?)

ZoLi Bot Straw Sippy Cup Blue I was going to feature a bottle for today’s feeding post — we’ve started supplementing a bit so they’re on my mind. I have yet to find a brand that I truly like, though, so I’m punting and posting something we did really like: the ZoLi sippy cup/bottle, which is pretty much what we went to immediately when Jack started drinking regular milk. It’s generally great — it doesn’t leak, is easily held, and as far as I understand it, avoids some of the dental issues sometimes associated with sippy cups. Which bottles or sippy cups are/were your favorites? This one is $12 at Amazon. ZoLi Bot Straw Sippy Cup Blue

(Also great, and a bit more budget friendly: The First Years Take and Toss Straw Cups, 4 for $2.68 as an add-on item at Amazon.)

Here’s another general Q: does your child have the day “off” today from school or daycare? Do you? What arrangements did you make?

Comments

  1. Hi ladies! Following up on yesterday’s discussion of “give a sh!t” level. I am expecting our first and can identify with what many of you said about losing motivation or caring less at work as priorities change. Question, though — how does this fit in with your financial picture? This is thinking long-term, but if/when we have a second, our childcare costs will be greater than my take home pay. So at that point, continuing to work is kind of, well, a luxury. Unfortunately I’m in a career (think military-like) where it’s not really possible to take a few years off and then come back; if I want to continue in my career field, I have to stay in it, which likely means paying to work during the daycare years. When I don’t feel ambitious like I once was, it’s hard for me to mentally justify actually paying to come to work. But I have no desire to be a SAHM, either. Anyone else in this situation?

    • I had a baby at 29, took a quarter off, came back giving about 20% the $h!t I did when I left, and got a 25% increase and a promotion and a half within 8 months.

      I think the biggest key for me was laying the groundwork, putting in all my energy, getting respect throughout the company, going on mat leave and having them be SO THANKFUL that I came back that two of the 4 C-suite called me to “make sure I felt like I had a good work – life balance upon return.” I definitely work half as hard as I did for the 2-3 years leading up to the baby, but I have figured out what work “matters” now, versus what is just busy work. I also negotiated an additional person on my team, and have been a-ok with delegating to that person, who is looking to be an up-and-comer herself.

    • I don’t have the specific daycare cost concerns you mention, but plenty of families “pay to work” for the years their kids are in daycare. Ultimately if you decide you want to continue in your career I wouldn’t consider working (or paying to work) as a luxury, but rather a necessity.

      For now, take it one baby at a time. See how you feel when you return to work after maternity leave — you may have a renewed dedication to your job, you may rethink your desire to be a SAHM, or you may continue to feel exactly the same as you do now. I feel similarly to you — I don’t feel very invested in my job right now, but I do not want to be a SAHM forever and I also do not think I could find an comparable job if I dropped out of the workforce for a few years. But, I think I will want the financial stability and mental challenge that come with my career, so I consider working now as preserving my future career options.

      • This last paragraph sums up my views as well (though not a mom yet). At my last job, which I hated, I was all ready to be a SAHM. Now, I love my job (same industry, different company) and want to stay here as long as possible.

        I think when I have kids I will lean back a bit for a few years, but long term, when I’m 55, I want to be in upper management, so these few years of struggling through when the kids are young will hopefully pay back someday.

    • In House Counsel says:

      I think the decision not to work from a financial perspective has to look beyond just the cost of childcare for those years. If you were to take the time off, what salary are you losing, what traction are you losing in terms of salary increases and what would your salary potentially be when coming back after a hiatus (assuming more than 6 months to a year) — the lost traction may justify being in the red to pay for childcare if you continued working.

      Re: motivation to work and perform. i think it really changes depending on the day/time in your life esp when your kids are toddlers. but when trying to decide when and to what degree to exit the work force, my mentor and several other women 10-15 yrs older than me have repeatedly told me that it was best to stay in the work force in the early years, and then seek more flexible hours when the kids are a little older – rather than the other way around (exiting the workforce when your child is born and your career maybe less established, and then trying to re-enter after a hiatus). I have a toddler now and another on the way and even just few more years in my field gave me time to prove myself and create relationships that will help ensure my professional reputation into the future. If I had scaled way back when my daughter was born a few years ago, I would probably not be in this situation. My thought is to continue to put in the time until I get to a point where I have more choices to seek out roles or jobs that will let me be a bit more in control of my own workload and schedule (incl. the ability to request telecommute options or the like) as my kids start school.

    • Spirograph says:

      I missed this yesterday since I actually had the day off… but my 2 cents:

      I agree with those who said you’re not just paying to work at the time, you’re paying to protect your future earning power. That said, do you like your career? It sounds like you don’t really have a choice about paying to work if you want to continue in your field. But if not, don’t forget that there’s always the option to quit and return to the workforce later in a different field (although you’d likely take a pay/seniority hit).

      I’m having this debate for a slightly different reason. Fortunately, my salary more than covers daycare cost for 2 kids, but I “pay to work” in stress (don’t we all?). I’m actively pursuing a career change via night school, but family + school + full time job is a lot. My husband’s salary could cover our fixed expenses without daycare, so the question becomes, is my disposable income after 2nd kid daycare costs worth the stress of continuing to work? So far, I don’t think I’m cut out to be a full-time SAHM, and if I’m going to work (at least part time) anyway it might as well be at the well-paying job I don’t like. I’m planning to come back to work after maternity leave and see how it goes.

      As a counterpoint, one of my friends pays to work 4 hours/day. She did have the option to take a couple years off and her field doesn’t have great earning potential no matter what, but she loves her job and she loves having that break from her kids. You just have to see what makes you happy.

  2. I’m a take and toss straw cup fan. Easy, cheap, done.

    My kids are all in school today.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      We prefer the take and toss sippy cups to the straw. THe straws get pulled out and lost too easily (and we’re still working on understanding that straw cup doesn’t need to be turned up to drink). But same idea – so easy and I don’t feel badly tossing when they get left out too long or when we leave at the park.

  3. I used the Tommee Tippee bottles (bfed during the evenings, pumped/bottles while at daycare) and loved them. It did mean that I had to wash two sets of bottles – pumped into the medela bottles since they fit in my cooler, and then transfer to the TT bottles at night. But worth it for a baby that never refused the bottle, thank goodness.

    Transitioned to straw sippys, because I’d heard such bad things about “regular” sippys. I used the Munchkin Click Lock Flip Top Straw Sippys, just a few bucks each at Target, and they never spilled. Basically used the method outlined here to teach her the straw, at around 6-7 months. It took maybe 4 weeks until she consistently got it.
    http://www.yourkidstable.com/2012/08/how-to-teach-your-baby-or-toddler-to.html

    And then started introducing cups (the plastic ones from Ikea) around 10 months. At almost 2 years, I still only use the cups at the table, and use sippys or a contigo bottle when on the go.

  4. Lizochka says:

    We use the ZoLi Bot sippies exclusively after having tried nearly every other sippy on the market. It is definitely the best, but it is not without its issues. Anyone who says it is leak proof just hasn’t had it for long enough yet.

    We have ZoLis in all different colors and different sizes. They all have the same issues. After much trial and error, here’s our magic formula to reduce the leakage:

    – Tighten it just barely enough. If the lid is on too tight, there is too much pressure in the cup and it draws liquid up the straw. If the lid is not tight enough, when your toddler throws it the lid will pop off and you will feel white hot rage. If you practice a few times you’ll start to get the feel for the sweet spot.

    – Plain water is the least likely to leak. Mixing any juice in, especially orange juice, seems to cause more liquid to come up the straw and leak.

    – Pushing the lid down over the straw makes the leaks worse, since it changes the pressure on the straw. Just leave the lid off.

    • EB0220 says:

      I completely agree with this. Those dang things leaked like crazy and if the lid is overtightened the liquid will actually spurt out of the straw when the straw is upright. So so irritating, but they were the only sippy cups my toddler would take for months. Finally I’d had enough and switched to lollacup – same idea but much less leaky – and was very happy with those. We had the worst time with sippy cups and went through 10 at least before finding zoli. So I’m glad we did, but they are certainly not without flaws.

      Both of my breastfed babies have done great with Tommee Tippee bottles! No small parts, although I do pump into the medela collection bottles then transfer to the TT bottles as described above.

  5. The whole ‘day off’ question – I wish there was a general consensus where either everyone has the day off, or no one does. My last company didn’t give us any of the ‘lesser’ holidays off (Veterans’, Columbus, MLK, etc) and it was such a pain trying to figure out the train schedule those days (Sunday schedule, but only on inbound? Trains are all express between 10 and 2? Why can’t I just stay home??). I feel for anyone trying to scramble together childcare on these kind of days.

    Just today I totally forgot (I mean, I knew it was Veterans’ day, but forgot some people don’t have to work) and put out all the trash and recycling…. which I will need to haul in and put back out tomorrow.

    • Thank you for posting this… Reading your comment made me realize why there were only two other garbage bins out on my street this morning.

      • Yeppp. I realize of course that there are millions of people in retail and service that never get any kind of paid day off, so my comment was a bit heartless in that respect. But I find these “holidays” to be more of an annoyance and less of a celebration of the amazing contributions of our veterans (or MLK, etc).

        My parents are both veterans, and they like how some businesses give a free coffee, or some other special perk (Southwest let my mom pre-board one Veterans’ Day) in recognition of their service. Doesn’t inconvenience anybody, and gets into the spirit of the holiday.

  6. I like the plain basic sippy cups best. After washing all of the parts for the Dr. Brown’s bottles (which I loved in spite of the multiple components), I wanted something simple, and I wanted something that taught my DD about the physics of drinking from a “real” cup, so my preference was for something without a straw-like component. We’ve loved these from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BNQEX44/ref=twister_B006FIWJIC. They leak if left upside down and can spill a few drops if turned over and shaken (as toddlers will do), but nothing too bad. They are easy to throw in diaper bags and are so cheap that I never care if we accidentally leave one behind at a restaurant. We used them for both milk and water until DD was about 18 months old and started stealing my and DH’s camelbak bottles. She loved the straw action, so even though I had been avoiding it, we got her two kids’ camelbak bottles to use for water.

    • Burgher says:

      I always breastfed when I was with my son, but his childcare provider hated the Dr Browns bottles. She couldn’t get them not to leak. I really wanted to use them because I had researched a lot, but ultimately I didn’t have to deal with them other than the cleaning, so I went with her request to just use the Medela ones that I had already pumped into anyway. In hindsight it was really silly to fuss over what type of bottle he was using if he was drinking it and it was more convenient for the person actually caring for him, and way less work for me, too.

      At the beginning of the cup stage, he liked the Nuby cups (we had to try several different brands) and now we use the Munchkin insulated sippys and straw cups. They seem to be pretty darn close to leak proof, and the cup clicks into place when it’s closed which is very helpful.

  7. Famouscait says:

    I was gifted a complete set of Phillips Avent bottles (so they’re the only ones we’ve tried), and we really like them. They don’t leak and all the parts can just go straight into the dishwasher.

  8. Re: Sippy cups– My 13 month old still only has 2 tiny teeth, and we only ever put milk or water in the cups, so decay is not a pressing issue for us. We use the Playtex Anytime cups and we take the flow restriction thing out. When she’s home with me on weekends, I let her have a plastic cup with a real straw.

    She hates/gets frustrated with all the straw ones (she hates biting it for liquid and it’s so dang slow!). We do have ONE of the straw types (different brand but similar to the one featured…and NOT $12) for the car.

  9. mascot says:

    We introduced a cup of water in a Playtex straw sippy when we started solids (5 months). Once he got better at it, we went to the Munchkin straw cups mentioned above. We used Dr. Browns bottles with their 500 parts so we were delighted when he transitioned off of them around a year. I feel like we’ve used just about everything out there at one point or another. Happy that he can use just a regular straw or open cup now.

    We have school today, although the public schools and some privates don’t.

  10. Carrie M says:

    We’ve been trying out different straw and sippy cups for the last month or so. So far, the Munchkin straw cups linked above are the best for her. She also drinks really well out of my Camelback (and it was instinctive for her somehow – I was shocked when I heard her swallowing).

    Unrelated question: We are taking a week-long trip later this month that will involve long plane rides (and having to switch planes). We are going to gate check the car seat and an umbrella stroller. We will also check a rolling bag. I am considering the following: my husband will carry on a duffle bag with necessities/some clothes in case our checked bag gets lost; I will carry on a bag with my pump and pump parts; and I will also carry on a diaper bag. Our current diaper bag is small. I’m thinking of getting a larger one (still small enough for under the seat) so that I can fit a small cooler bag with bottles of milk; a couple of pouches/easy snacks; books; lovie; toys; diapers+wipes; change of clothes; blanket. The first plane leg will be a one hour flight; the second one will be 3 hours. Baby will be 9 months.

    What do you guys think of this plan? Any recs for a good bag? We’ve flown with her before but now she is crawling and squirming and such a nosy rosy, so I think surviving the 3-hour flight will be all about having enough activities to keep her distracted, and maybe we’ll get lucky and will score some nap time (because flight time of 2d plane is right at normal nap time, and we will have to wake her up early to make the first leg).

    Other advice for flying with a child this age? Thank you!!

    • I tend to think any large diaper bag (or non-diaper bag would work), but I really like my Ju Ju Be bag. They make a HUGE one. Mine has three ways to carry–tote handle, backpack, and shoulder/cross-body strap. Plus, they have insulated side pockets, are machine washable, have some Teflon stain resistant coating, little holes in the bottom to get rid of crumbs, etc.–just generally great, well-designed diaper bags. I have the BFF, which is pretty big and fits a change or two of clothes, diapers and wipes, bottles and formula, baby food pouches, toys, puffs, etc. I’ve got all kinds of crap in there.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      I’d recommend a backpack style one (or even jsut a backpack with an added changing pad thrown in). I have the Petunia Picklebottom one, and it’s fine. Not comfy, but nice that it’s convertible and made to fit over the handles of my stroller. But being able to have it completely hands free is super important.

    • Does anyone have experience using the Lo & Sons bags, like the OG, for travel with kids? I was considering getting one anyway for work. I know it’s a favorite on the main site, and it looks much nicer than a lot of the large diaper bags. Thanks!

      • Not exactly an answer to your question, but I use a Tumi overnight bag for my travel diaper bag (I didn’t want to buy a diaper bag specifically for travel; I use the one that came with my pump for day to day use). I love the way it looks, but it doesn’t have tons of pockets and organizers like most diaper bags, so all the random stuff tends to turn into a jumbled mess. It seems like the Lo & Sons bag does have a lot of internal organizers, so you might not have this problem.

      • I haven’t used my Lo & Sons OG for travel with kids, but I feel like it would work very well.

      • Anonymous says:

        I went on a ten day trip with my then-15 month old, a small roller bag and an OG. It worked great. I had diapers, change of clothes, snacks, sippy cup, toys and books and a wristlets in the OG under my seat.

        • Thanks, this is really helpful to know.

        • EB0220 says:

          I’ve done this exactly and it was my favorite way to travel with my toddler. I wore her in a carrier of some sort until she was about 2, so it was nice to just pull the luggage behind me rather than carry a backpack AND a baby.

    • I’ve taken several plane trips with my kid at various ages, oftentimes without my spouse. The first advice is to realize that there’s no perfect way to travel with kids. It sucks, and anyone who gives you crap about it is being ridiculous.

      – I know it’s expensive, but buy a separate seat for the kid once they’re over 6 months. The extra room to spread out is HUGE. If you already bought your seats, go up to the gate when you arrive and let them know you’re traveling with a lap child. If the flight isn’t full, sometimes they can move people to get you an empty seat. (Plus there are only certain seats that have the extra oxygen mask for lap children, so they need to know if you didn’t indicate it when you bought your tix.)
      – Get those bright red Gate Check bags for the stroller and car seat. Use red duct tape on the inside to reinforce the seams, and write your name on the outside with a Sharpie. The last thing you want to deal with is a wet stroller or a car seat that got ruined from sitting in a puddle of de-icing fluid.
      – Buy a mini backpack for the baby, and stuff it with her activities and even some pre-portioned snacks. It counts as her carry-on, and it’s easy to stuff under the seat in front of you and grab what you need.
      – If you’re not EPing and/or depending on your needs, consider a manual pump (I loved my Medela Harmony). Takes up much less room – that plus my bottles fit in a gallon size zip lock.
      – Pack a small diaper-change bag for the actual flight. (I used the Skip Hop Pronto and just bought a bigger size of diapers & wipes from Walgreens/CVS/etc when we got to our destination.) Trying to wrestle with a kid AND a giant diaper bag in an airplane restroom is just too much.
      – Get some headphones, and download some videos or games on your iPad. The VTech headphones are great, and even babies love the farm animals games. I’m not big on screen time for my kid, but those 15-20 min of silence per flight can be a savior.
      – Come to terms with the fact that no matter how much you prepare, your kid might act out. My kid has freaked out on a 30 min flight but been just fine on a 3.5 hour flight. It just is what it is. I try to pre-apologize to people in the seats directly around me (but never bring candy to hand out, wayyyy too much to worry about) in case she does scream, and that usually lets them know I’ll be trying my best.
      – Also, it goes without saying, but be extra nice and respectful to the crew. I bring $5 Starbucks gift cards for the flight attendants and pilots and hand them out when I get off. Their jobs are completely thankless, and they often have to deal with idiots. I just try not to be the worst idiot they’ve seen that day.

      • Anonyc says:

        +1000. Co-sign to this wise advice.

      • ugh……I travel for work a lot. Worst “idiot” story I’ve had in a while: ~6 year old kid in a middle seat, parent/adult guardian (male) next to him in teh aisle. Mom/adult guardian (female) in the other aisle seat. Kid PROJECTILE VOMITS getting male guardian and Poor Sad Stranger sitting in the window seat covered in puke.
        Mom/adult guardian totally ignoring the whole situation; I had no idea this was a traveling trio until they left.
        Dad/ male guardian goes to front bathroom, presumably to clean the (not a lot of) vomit off his leg. Disappears.

        Flight attendant and TOTAL STRANGER IN WINDOW SEAT spent 30 minutes cleaning up the plane, the kid, themselves. It is only apparent that the kid has 2 adult companions because they have to rumage in their luggage to get him a spare pair of pants since he threw up on his.
        Kid is in tears, being comforted by flight attendant and helped to wash up. Random Stranger pitifully asks if she can be re-seated, which happens quickly. Kid spends remainder of flight curled up in a ball looking sad adn sick while Dad/male companion is tuned out on his headset. “mom” asks twice to be reseated but is not because HER KID IS THE SICK ONE.

        That flight attendant earned her wings that trip.

        ugh.

        • That is terrible! I feel like I usually get so lucky with kids on flights. If you’re going to actually take care of your child (not like the people in the story above!), I don’t feel like you need to apologize to anyone – a kid is going to do what they’re going to do.

          I did have a couple ask on my behalf for me to reseated (there was an empty seat nearby I hadn’t noticed/thought to ask to be reseated), which worked well for all of us, since kiddo was pretty big to be a lap ticket and he was being pretty squirmy. People need to remember you are buying a ticket for that particular seat, not the right to uninterrupted silence for the duration of the flight.

          • oil in houston says:

            I’m sorry but I’m not sure I agree with this. Parents have to do everything they can to keep their child in check for other passengers, that includes disciplining them if necessary rather than let them cry or push the seat in front of them.

          • I agree with you – parents should do everything they can to keep their child in check. Invading another person’s space (with kicking, hitting, vomit, etc) would definitely not be ‘keeping them in check’ and would be taking away from the one physical seat they purchased on the plane.

          • Right? says:

            Yeah, I think this sounds like we’re all in agreement here….

  11. NewMomAnon says:

    We’ve been using the Munchkin latch sippy cup and a Nuk sippy cup – my kiddo likes the soft spouts. She also has a straw sippy cup that I got cheap in the seasonal bin at Target, but she has to suck pretty hard on it so she tends to just throw it on the floor. I’ve been looking at the Munchkin 360 or Avent 360, since those are just like cups but leak-proof.

    Also, vent – daycare just texted to say baby has bumps coming up in the diaper area, and they look the same as the last 2 (!!!) times she has had hand foot and mouth. I am starting to think the nanny route might be better than scrambling for emergency childcare every couple months…yikes.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This last weekend we attempted to put two infant car seats (expecting twins) in my 2007 Subaru Legacy and it was laughable. I’m 5’9” and my knees were in the dash, definitely not going to work. I’ll be trading my husband for his truck – 4 door Toyota Tacoma. The Tacoma isn’t ideal either (one seat in the middle, one on passenger side so that the driver’s seat will go back enough to drive comfortably. Anyway, we decided we can tough it out with the truck until they’re around 2 years old and we can turn them around to forward facing since adding a new vehicle to the twins budget is not exactly ideal. We were discussing this with some couple friends of ours who have a 13 month old and they thought we were being ridiculous for thinking we would keep them forward facing until 2 years old. They were like “you can turn them around at 30 lbs or 1 year old” and I said “most of the guidance I read online suggested that it’s MUCH, MUCH safer to keep them rear facing until 2” and they said, well we’re not doing that because it’s a pain. Then I started noticing people’s pictures on FB of their children that are clearly under 2 forward facing in their car seats. So, poll, when did you turn your child to forward facing and why?

    • Lizochka says:

      My 20-month old is still rear facing because I have also read the scary stories online. :( I battle my husband about this constantly. He doesn’t read all the information, and thinks I’m being macabre by doing so. I think he’s being foolish. But, I am getting my way. I intend to keep little one facing backwards until he’s at least two, and maybe even much later if I can get away with it.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      The rear-facing until 2 rule is relatively new, and isn’t law in some (most?) states yet. I am planning to do rear-facing until 2, but my kiddo is on the upper end of the growth charts so we had to find a convertible car seat that specifically allows for extended rear facing. Sounds like you might have the same problem. Check out carseatblog dot com – they have all sorts of car seat reviews, including suggestions for which seats fit in small cars and which ones do extended rear facing. Also remember that the infant seats probably won’t last through the first year unless your kiddos are pretty small; you may have to switch to a convertible car seat anyway by 7-9 months.

    • POSITA says:

      We have a 14 month old and are intending to extended rear face until past 3, if not longer. It’s so much safer.

      If it was me, I would seriously reconsider getting a different vehicle. Hauling twin bucket seats and then twin toddlers into a tall truck sounds miserable. Or you could look for lower seats for your car. There are tricks for fitting rear facing car seats in small cars.

      • Anonymous says:

        Twin bucket seats? Are you referring to the infant carriers? The truck isn’t any higher than an SUV, it’s a small truck – Toyota Tacoma. What do you mean lower seats for my car? Sorry, I’m confused by the wording.

    • pockets says:

      You might want to get a smaller carseat. I have a tiny car and the Cybex Aton was the only seat that worked.

      Regarding your issue, my experience is that there will be approximately a zillion issues where they “recommendation” is just not what you want to do (for convenience, money, comfort, whatever reasons). You’re going to look on the internet for rationalization about why your preferred method is just as good as the recommendation, and you are going to drive yourself insane in the process because approximately half the people will say that the recommendation is ridiculous, and the other half will say that you’re an irresponsible person who doesn’t love her child enough to not follow the recommendation. You have to make your own decision about what works for you and what you’re comfortable with.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the suggestion! We tried the Cybex Aton in my car and it wouldn’t fit behind the driver’s seat either! I guess my car is just not built for babies.

    • Lorelai Gilmore says:

      We have our kids rear-facing until 2 or so. As with many things in parenting, it’s all about risk assessment. If I had a child who hated rear-facing – such that he or she screamed all the time, making it less safe for me to drive – I might come to a different conclusion. But my kids have been fine rear-facing and so I’ve kept them there until they hit at least 2.

      One thing you might want to consider is that you don’t have to get the bucket seat/infant seat (people call them different things, but I’m describing the infant car seat that you click in and out of the base). There are lots of convertible carseats that work for children as low as five pounds. You might be able to find a convertible carseat that fits better into either of your two cars. It’s really all about the angles.

    • have you tried different car seats? We were all about the britax marathon until we tried it in our GIANT SUV and it scrunched my 5’9″ knees. in the passenger seat.

    • OCAssociate says:

      We only rear-faced my son until he was 18 months. He was very long for his age, but his car seat would technically still allow him to rear-face now, at 33 months. However, he HATED car drives from the day he was born, and never stopped crying in the car until we front-faced him. So while he would have been safer in case of an accident if he was rear-facing, I was much less likely to actually cause an accident due to stress from a screaming kid in the back seat. That was my reasoning.

      Technically, rear facing would be safer for everyone of all sizes in an accident, but it’s just not feasible. Cars are inherently unsafe, so you just have to make choices that you’re comfortable with (and that are legal, of course).

      • Yeah, we switched both of ours around 14 months (just turned my 14-month old). The baby HATES all car rides and I finally decided that it was less safe for me to be distracted while driving by constant screaming and crying than from the baby being turned around. That said, both of my kids were off the charts in height and weight, and so they basically met the minimums way before they were 15 months.

    • My twins (now almost 7) were turned around at 15 months, but that was very early in the recommendation to rear face until 2 years. My youngest is 15 months and still rear facing, and I don’t have immediate plans to turn her around. I think it helps that her siblings are behind her, so she can see someone. My goal is 2 years, but I’m playing it by ear. If she were the type of baby who screamed constantly rear facing, I’d consider turning her.

      Just a note that this stuff doesn’t get easier. We kept our twins in 5 point harness convertible seats until they were 5 1/2 and the baby was born. Figuring out the configurations and safety of putting them in the third row was its own craziness. Then the worry about moving them from 5 point harness to booster, do we need a high backed booster or a backless booster, etc.

      Bottom line, do what makes sense for your family. Ignore your “well-meaning” friends. I’m more lax than my friends on some things (my kids eat McDonalds, watch a little too much TV, etc.) and more strict than my friends on others (I probably shadowed my kids on the stairs until they were 5). Obviously, there are objectively ridiculous decisions, but there’s a lot of “what makes you comfortable” gray area.

    • I had an 07 Forester and even though we only had one infant at the time, we experienced the same knees-to-the-dash issues! I feel your pain.

      I’m Team Rearface As Long As Possible. My now-5-year-old RF’ed until she was 2; I have a 20-month old who I plan to keep RF’ing as long as he doesn’t catch on/his seat allows it. If you’re on Facebook, the page Car Seats For the Littles is a good place to go for info on this type of thing, seat recs, etc.

    • mascot says:

      We didn’t quite make it to 2 rear-facing, but came pretty close. He was much quieter and less distracting once we turned him around. We’ve now moved to a 5pt harness highbacked booster in one car. I plan to keep him in that set-up as long as I can.

    • Burgher says:

      We turned my son around just after he turned 2. We wanted to wait longer but faced him forward while on vacation since it was a ton of driving and he was really miserable. He would not go for rear facing after that! His behavior in the car has improved a ton since we moved him around, so I’m not sure I’ll wait that long with the second kid, depending on his temperament, though I’d try to target 2 again.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should test out other RFing options besides an infant carrier. Combi coccoro doesn’t snap out, but it’s a great infant seat for small spaces. Convertible carseats typically have an adjustable recline and once baby has head control you can straighten them up a bit. By that age, you’re not going to be interested in hauling them+seat anyway. You have to pay attention to seat height, though, as the ones designed for extended wear are taller which cancelled out the angle benefit.

      Currently the recommendation is 3 yrs, actually. There’s good evidence of significantly greater safety until then. Really we should all be RFing, but spine ossification and head-to-neck ratio are better by 3.

  13. hoola hoopa says:

    We’re also fans of the Take and Toss, both tops. Bedtime water and grape juice goes in the sippy lid. Smoothies in the straw. The straws from Ikea cut in half fit in the hole perfectly :) We also love them for snacks in the car because they fit so well in the cup holder.

    Duralux Picardie tempered glasses for water and juice at the table. The 3 oz size is perfect for toddlers. (8 oz great for preschoolers through adults).

    Thermos Funtainers for water when out and about and lunch boxes. Love them! I also like the thermos sippy for hot beverages.

  14. (former) preg 3L says:

    I posted on the regular page but wanted to post here too.
    Holiday Gift Q.
    What gifts (and when) do you give to: (1) your child’s day care teachers, (2) your child’s day care director who has literally stood in the middle of your custody dispute, and (3) who am I missing? TIA!

    • Anonymous says:

      Gift cards to somewhere that is as good as cash. Amazon, Walmart, etc. I usually make sure the gift card sleeve or whatever isn’t written on in case they want to regift the gift card.

  15. Anonymous says:

    A prosecutor friend of my ours baked what I suspect are THC cookies and provided them to my husband. Not happy about this junk being in my freezer. I just feel we are too old for this nonsense. How should I handle this?

    • Don’t accept them in the first place or throw them away? This doesn’t sound like a big deal…

      I’m a little confused by how you suspect but don’t know, the only problem I see here is if a “friend” was trying to slip you THC!

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 Just throw them out.

      • Why should she throw away her husband’s treats? He’s an adult; it’s not up to her. She can certainly tell her husband she’s not comfortable, but she isn’t his mommy.