Posts tagged with baby:

Please.

Iz has recently learned that saying “please” marginally ups her chances of getting what she wants. 

As in:

  • "Cheese please?" 
  • "Mousekatool please?" (The Mickey Mouse Club TV show.)
  • "Toy box please? Sit down please?"
  • "Cookies please?"
  • "Bubbles please?"
  • "Water please?" (Water as in the pool not the drink. She put her swim shoes in her pocket-purse and took my car keys and stood by the door.) 
  • "Chips please? Dips please?" 
  • "Juicebox please?" 
  • "Come downstairs please?"
  • "Where’s Dada? Up please?" 
  • "Fox dance please?" (Yes, that’s still a thing.) 
  • "A blanket please?" 
  • "Park please? Slide please?" 
  • "Wopcorn please?" (Popcorn.) 
  • "Car please? Circle please?" (Target is the circle. She likes the wopcorn.) 

(Despite her insistence—I got “cheese please” 5+ times last night, who can blame her—this is much better than indiscriminate screaming! “Do you want food? No. Bottle? No. Paci? No. Are you wet? No. Teething? No. Sick? No? I DON’T KNOW I DON’T KNOW SOMEONE HELP ME HELP HER ARHGKJSDFJOWERI@#ROUWF”)

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Baby/Kids Swimsuit Sale Roundup

There is tons of kids swimwear on sale this week. Here are some of the best deals I found:

J.Crew Factory:

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I love the idea of tube dresses as nursing dresses (well, I have one actually), but I can only wear mine with a shrug to cover bra straps. Have you found decently supportive strapless bras for this phase of life?

- Asked by skilletgurl106

Yes AND no. I had Isobel in January and by the time summer rolled around, my supply had regulated and I wasn’t right in the thick of needing as much support as I had at first. I was a DD+ at first, but once everything regulated, I was a solid C until weaning. 

I started wearing more tube/strapless dresses as the weather heated up (so easy for nursing) and I began to feel more comfortable going without the heavy duty underwire/strap nursing bras that were necessary in the early nursing days. (Even then, though, I usually preferred nursing sports bras or the like to full-on underwire because I couldn’t stand everything being so constricted. It stressed me out.) 

Anyway, on to the bras: 

These bandeau bras from Target ($12.99 each) were my favorite. They had just enough support to keep things in place but they weren’t constricting. I also loved Shimera’s seamless convertible bandeau ($18). You can wear it with straps too, but what I really liked was that it was cut a little long so it helped smooth out the annoying breastfeeding back fat. Another option (but one I haven’t tried) is this convertible underwire demi bra from Motherhood Maternity ($29.98). Also check out Aerie’s hidden underwire bandeau bras ($29.99). These might be great if you need more support! 

Another thing you can try (I also did this and it worked great!) is wear a VERY molded regular strapless bra. The key is use one that has a lot of structure because when it comes time to nurse, you can basically just rotate the cup down. In order to do THAT, you’ll need one that has a slim connector between the cups. 

On the cheaper end: Target’s I-Fit strapless bra ($7-$15, up to size D). I liked Aerie’s Audrey multi-way bra ($29.99, up to size DD). On the pricier end: Lou Light Sensations Strapless Bra ($69, up to size E). Simone Perele’s Celeste bra ($89) goes up to size F.  

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Playtime

Isobel holds my hand and we walk up the stairs to her room. “Tea party,” she tells me. She sits down in her chair and turns on her coffeemaker. She pours me a cup. “Mmm,” we say together. 

She’s very busy. She is cooking in her kitchen. She answers the phone and stirs the fruit that she’s stuck in her pots. 

"It’s dewishous," she says while pretending to eat a plastic slice of American cheese. 

She has a fake wooden sushi set and I’m trying to teach her the names of the different items. (But honestly, I just like hearing the way she says “sushi.”)

"Swoosh-y." 

I hand her the felt ginger. She sticks it the velcro chopstick. “Swoosh-y!” 

There are so many moments I don’t want to forget. Last night was one of them and that’s why I wrote this today. 

Dewishous! 

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Could you repost the doc you had created for toddler meals? The link had been broken.. It had lists for a protein, fruit, veggie, etc. Also what are your favorite items for toddlers at Trader Joe's? We finally got one in the neighborhood so I'm excited to see what they have for my 10 month old daughter as she expands her eating these next few months. Thanks!!

I guess all my Dropbox links stopped working at some point! Here is the post with updated download links. 

My favorite Trader Joe’s items for Isobel’s lunches are:

  • Any of the dry cereals (Gorilla Munch, etc.). These make good snacks for longer drives in the car.
  • Dried fruit/nuts. They are less expensive at Trader Joe’s than other stores, so I try to stock up. I often use dried fruit as a little dessert treat for Iz in her lunch box. 
  • The frozen quinoa and rice blends. These are AMAZING for toddler lunches. I’ll either serve as is, or add cheese or extra veggies or meat (shredded rotisserie chicken is quick/easy).
  • FALAFEL! The frozen falafels are outstanding. Iz likes to dip them in stuff, so I’ll heat up a few of these and give her tzatziki or hummus for dipping. The meatless meatballs are another similar option. I serve them with marinara sauce or ranch. 
  • Stock up on frozen veggies and veggie blends. I try to grab as many of these as I can because I can use them in so many things: soups, omelettes, her rice/quinoa mixes. Trader Joe’s frozen edamame with broccoli, tomato, feta, etc., is such a good lunch for Iz and me. I tend to just throw a bunch of these things together, season it and add a protein. 
  • I was raised vegetarian and some old habits die hard. Trader Joe’s sells some Morning Star products and I like to stock up every now and then when I get a random craving for fake meat. (I don’t even know.) Isobel likes the “bacon” strips. 
  • Sweet potato fries are fun to serve with Iz’s sandwiches. (Dips!) 
  • I always grab some of the individual unsweetened apple sauces too. These are good for throwing into her lunch box. 

I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff, but those are the ones that popped into my head. Anyone else have any favorites?

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Don’t Forget

"The facts in each case differ a little, but always there is the terrible moment when the parent realizes what he or she has done, often through a phone call from a spouse or caregiver. This is followed by a frantic sprint to the car. What awaits there is the worst thing in the world." - Gene Weingarten

I posted this last year but since the weather is heating up, I think it’s a good time to revisit it. 

Leaving a child in a car is easier to do than the rational human brain is willing to comprehend. The people who have done it are shocked that they did. They said that they never thought it would be their mistake to make. It’s a tragic, terrible thing that any one of us could do or will do. 44 children died after being left in vehicles last year, but I’m willing to bet there were thousands upon thousands of close calls. The younger the child, the easier it is to get out of the car without a backwards glance. Infants are quiet and lethargic in the heat. They are probably asleep when you lock the door. 

If you read my post last year, you’ll remember a moment when I locked the car door and began to walk away from it with Isobel still inside. That moment scared me more than anything else has ever frightened me in my life. It is the ultimate preventable tragedy and it is lurking so close to every parent. It’s just one distraction away. I don’t want to scare you, but I kind of want to scare you. There are a lot of irrational paranoias that come with parenthood. This is not one of them. This is worth being scared of. 

Here are some things that I’ve read can help reduce your risk:

  • Put your bag (handbag, diaper bag, whatever) in the backseat. 
  • If you (or especially dad) doesn’t carry a bag, put your wallet or suit jacket in the backseat. 
  • Set an alarm on your phone to go off at the approximate time you’ll reach your destination. 
  • Tape a piece of paper over your inside door handle. 
  • If your routine changes and your spouse or partner will be handling daycare drop-offs, etc., be sure to alert them before they leave (“Don’t forget to stop at daycare”) and give them a follow-up phone call. This works the other way too, obviously. If you are suddenly responsible for transporting your child and you haven’t been the one doing it often, ask someone to follow up with you. 

And last, please read this article. It is one of the most important things I’ve read as a parent. 

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Diaper Comparison Spreadsheet

My diaper comparison spreadsheet must be on Pinterest or something because I’ve gotten several emails and requests over the past few days for the Dropbox link. The link broke somehow (?), so I figured this would be a good opportunity to update the data.

Download the new spreadsheet here.

My thoughts:

  • Diapers have increased in price across the board since I first rounded up all this data. In some cases, a box of diapers went up by at least $10—and had LESS diapers in it! Annoying. This wasn’t limited to one or two brands here or there either. I can’t tell you how many prices I had to increase while the # of diapers per box decreased.
  • Except for the Diapers.com brand and Honest.com brand, I pulled all of this data from Amazon. I included Subscribe & Save diapers in the spreadsheet this time too. Amazon is doing some shady, shady work there though. First, I saw prices on Prime items increase by a near universal $5 or so. That’s not a coincidence. I think they’re building their shipping costs into the “low” Prime shipping price. Second, this year’s Subscribe & Save prices are pretty damn close to last year’s lower prices. So it’s not really a savings, though it kind of is, but it…also kind of isn’t. That sucks. Amazon owns everything. The end.
  • I was looking at my charts with the estimated # of diapers you may use in a day, but I didn’t factor daycare into this number. If you have to supply your own diapers and wipes at daycare, beware that they will often use a lot more than you may be expecting. At Isobel’s daycare, they will change a child’s diaper when it’s soiled, but they also have regular “diaper checks” throughout the day—and even if the kid hasn’t gone, they’ll change the diaper. We were going through diapers like crazy last year. We sent at least a pack a week (30-40 diapers). This is on top of what we used at home too, obviously. Something to keep in mind.
  • Honest has gotten more expensive. Bottom line, end of story. They are obviously more expensive than discount diaper brands, but the savings are just not there against comparable “natural” diapers either. This is primarily because Honest has decreased the # of diapers per bundle while keeping their price (about $85 per month) the same. This isn’t so drastic in the smaller diaper sizes, but once you get up to the Size 5 diapers, they’re a whopping .57 cents per diaper. PER DIAPER GUYS. That’s absurd. One could reasonably justify the added cost when looking at comparable brands through about size 3. After that, the expense skyrockets and unless you feel really strongly about Honest’s diapers, you should probably look elsewhere.
  • You probably already know this, but buy diapers in bulk (boxes of 100 or more). I don’t care what brand you go with, but you HAVE to buy them in bulk. Buying a single pack here or there is good in a pinch, but if you do that all the time, you are losing so much money.
  • Size matters. There can be big price differences within the SAME DIAPER BRAND depending on what size you’re looking at. It is worth shopping around when your child moves up a size.

In the end, once you factor in wipes and your monthly diaper supply needs, Honest and its natural brand competitors can come out pretty damn close in price. But, unfortunately for Honest, there are no savings to be found. And, once you get into the bigger sizes, Honest’s prices are mind-bogglingly high per diaper.

If you don’t mind paying this premium, I can vouch for the effectiveness of the actual diapers. We’ve still never had a blowout and I wrote the original spreadsheet post almost exactly two years ago. The quality is there. The eco-friendly credentials are there. But the savings are not. They are not an affordable alternative. They are just an alternative.

I hope this helps you make purchasing decisions for your family and I hope you find a great diaper brand that works for you and your baby.

(ETA: The link was still broken when I posted this, but should be fixed now. Reply and let me know if it’s not. Technology is so hard.)

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Toddler Things Worth Checking Out

  • We made the transition to Honest Training Pants ($12.95 per pack or available in your diaper bundle) several months ago. We still put Isobel in diapers at night, but these are fantastic for day. They fit well, are very absorbent and they feel almost cloth-like to the touch. If you’re interested in checking out Honest, please consider using my referral link here
  • Isobel loves dips so I found these containers that hold a snack AND a dip. I try to include one in her lunch every day. They’re $4.99. 
  • Isobel seems to enjoy coloring in her wipe-clean books more than in a coloring book (they’re very fun and bright, not surprising). The tracing and pen control one (about $8) is a good beginner one. The ABC one is getting a lot of use lately too (about $8). 
  • Melissa & Doug’s reusable sticker pads are amazing, but sweet lord, I’m sick of them. Isobel can play with these things for hours—I’m not exaggerating—and she insists on me holding the book in my lap so I can assist her if she needs it. It’s…so fun. We have every sticker pad they make (so fun), but don’t bother getting all of them: just get the Vehicles and Habitats bundle for $12. 
  • I recently discovered Iz can fit fairly well into the XS size in the Girls section of Target. This is exciting news because this section usually has a more varied selection and large clearance racks. They also have…activewear! I got her a few things, like this tank top ($15). 
  • The Endless Reader app is a transformative app experience. It’s so well-done and I can’t explain just how thrilling it was to watch Iz start to sightread words after just a few sessions with the app. She thinks it’s a game, so we haul it out at restaurants if she’s getting wild and she’ll sit there and READ basically. Here’s some more information about the app and you can download it for iPhone or iPad. The app is free, though you have to pay $4.99 to unlock additional packs within the game. (It’s well worth the money.) 

Speaking of toddler-friendly apps, it’s way too hard to find good ones. Do you have any suggestions?

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Copycat

My back was hurting so I took a bath. I hardly ever take baths. I don’t find them relaxing. They’re reserved for times of desperation. Mid-winter, for example. When I’m wearing two sweaters, leggings, socks AND slippers? Okay, a bath before bed might work.

Isobel came in the bathroom and was chatty with me for a few minutes. She unscrewed the bottle of bubbles and poured some into the tub. “There y’are,” she said. She took her fish loofah from the edge of the tub. She held it out to me for some soap. I squirted some on. Then she started scrubbing my shoulders. “All clean,” she said. I said thank you and got out of the bath.

I brushed my hair, curled it a little bit. Iz took my other brush. Started brushing her own hair. “Hair!” she said. We watched each other in the mirror.

I put some aloe vera on my legs where I got a bit of heat rash at the beach. I had a bad bout of it years ago (damn you lifeguarding!) and it’s prone to pop back up if I’m not religious about keeping myself covered in SPF. (I was religious about Iz’s SPF coverage, not my own. Sigh.) She whined a bit until I put some aloe on her hands. She rubbed it onto her legs, just like me. “All done,” she said.

I brush my teeth. I hand Isobel her toothbrush. “Teeth,” she said. We brush together and rinse out our mouths together. 

I started doing my makeup. I put on mascara. “Eyes,” she said. I put on some blush and bronzer. “Face,” she said, and took another one of my brushes and wiped it all over her forehead.

I went back into the room and got dressed. Shorts and a shirt. She went to her room, opened her drawer and took out a pair of shorts. She tried to get them on, but both her legs went into one side of the shorts leg. “Let me help you,” I said and I did. I put her shirt on too.

I picked her up and we looked in the mirror together. She smiled at her reflection.

I am exceedingly aware that she is watching my every move more closely and thoughtfully the older she goes. As I go through my morning routine, I can feel her eyes follow me as I move from hair, to makeup, to clothes, and I find myself questioning every step I take. Am I putting too much emphasis on this? Is her interest just harmless mimicry that I am looking into with over-sensitive adult context?

We encourage her to copy us most of the time. When I am blow drying her hair before bed, she’ll often pick up Brandon’s electric razor and try to put it to her cheeks. (“Try” being the optimal word here. She is fascinated by razors, scissors and knives. Of course she is—she’s not allowed to touch them! Ugh.) When Brandon is building things, she is eager to assist with the tools. She helps both of us load and unload the dishwasher. When we clean the kitchen or the bathrooms, she will take a rag and help us wipe. She tries on my shoes. She tries on Brandon’s shoes. I played my flute the other day. I gave her my piccolo and she pretended to play with me for quite a long time. “A fooot!” She likes to sit at my desk, clack the keys on my keyboard. She picks up the phone. “Hello! How are you! Bye!”

She copies the good and the bad. She has copied the cursing a few times. She knew to use the words properly, to my dismay and shameful amusement (but mostly dismay, I promise). I am on high alert, Defcon 1. I am careful about what I say.

It is a solemn responsibility to live with a sponge. What am I teaching her or not teaching her? What should I be doing that I’m not? What should I stop doing? I think about this a lot now. I think the best we can do is encourage her curiosity and let her explore new ways of thinking and learning and doing. I love watching her grow up and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years have in store.

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Help! I'll be attending a black tie wedding in the Berkshires. It's not until September, but I'll have a 2 month old and will need to be able to nurse (hopefully easily) in the dress. I've been searching, but googling formal nursing gown has had dismal results.

- Asked by melissat31

This is a pickle, since the obvious choice would be strapless (easiest access), but wearing a strapless bra with breastfeeding boobs is not…ideal. If it wasn’t black tie, it would be easier to find something, but NO FEAR. I am up to the challenge. 

I think the key to this is going to be stretch. Stretchy fabric with enough give that you can adjust a forgiving neckline around the boobs and make it work. 

So this Lauren Ralph Lauren dress is a good example of what I’m looking for, even if you don’t like this exact dress. (It’s $190). It’s jersey (check) and has a breastfeeding-friendly neckline (check), so long as you can wear a nursing bra underneath. This navy dress ($65 from $160) is another similar option. This indigo one ($150) is nice too. If you like pink, this one ($150) might be a great dress for you! 

This jersey dress from Tart ($83 from $172) has straps wide enough to wear a bra. 

This pretty dark navy jersey gown from Bloomingdale’s ($183 from $229) looks like it has a forgiving neckline. 

If you want to do something more bold, this red Love gown from ASOS ($60) is a good choice. 

This ABS dress ($194 from $418) might require some bra shopping since it’s so low cut, but it’s also stretch jersey. Yay! 

As for Rent the Runway, there are some really good styles you should check out! This David Meister gown is PERFECT. It’s $100, has a cowl neck (a nursing mom’s best friend) and is stretch jersey. This Escada draped gown ($70) is pretty. This Robert Rodriguez dress ($75) has a great neckline too. This Alice by Temperley dress ($80) would work too. This super-drapey Alberta Ferretti is flattering ($80). 

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