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Parenting 101

A Beginner Course in Creative Parenting

is it ok to ask a babysitter about her previous salary at an interview?
Hello. I know that asking about salary is no-no but is it ok to ask a babysitter about her previous salary at an interview? I want to offer her an equal or better position and want her to be satisfied.

Meds on a plane
Untamed and Wild
My three year old has strep, her medication needs to be refridgerated, the plane ride is 6 hours long and I'll need to give her the meds in transit, so I have to take them on.  Have any other moms had to do this? What worked best for you?  TSA allows "ice packs" but do you know what kind?  Which ones did you use and how did they work?  She hates the flavor of it so any tips for what I could take with us on the plane that would get the flavor out of her mouth?

Thanks in advance

Transition to toddler bed nightmare
My daughter will be 3 in March. Until two weeks ago she slept in a crib, has always slept in there, although she has ALWAYS has sleep issues (she is a VERY light sleeper, she wakes up frequently through the night, has nightmares, etc). But we kept her in the crib because we figured hey if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Suddenly she started climbing out over and over again, so we converted her crib into the the toddler bed. She thought her new bed was pretty but that's where the love ended. She would not stay in the bed, which I realize is normal. We tried a baby gate - she knocked it down. We tried the putting her back in a million times til everyone was exhausted. Finally I said I'd rub her belly if she stayed in bed. She agreed and I created a monster. Now she will not go to bed without me rubbing her belly for least an hour, sometimes TWO. Then when she finally gets to sleep, she is such a light sleeper that getting out of the room is like a CIA mission. And sometimes this all doesn't even work, so I end up putting her in bed with me because I am just too tired to deal with it anymore (a habit I don't want to start). My husband says we need to get a lock on the door. I did try holding the door shut once to see what she'd and she went ballistic. She is one of those criers that gets to the point of no return and can't calm themselves down, so I don't know that trapping her in there is the best idea, but I'm at a loss. She is a really good girl in all other aspects but really I would like my life back so any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

sleeping with baby while traveling

So, my son is 4 months old. He has reflux and doesn't lie down easily, so we mostly hold or wear him for his naps (or he naps in his car seat while we drive places). At night he sleeps in arms for the evening and then he usually can lie down with me when I go to bed - though we have to sit up for 30 minutes or more each time he nurses in the night. He doesn't really ever sleep on his own. I am not super concerned about that because I think it will get easier as he grows, but for now, that's where we are.

For Christmas, we will be driving 2 hours to my in-laws. We will be staying at their house - my partner, the baby, and our 5 year old - along with a bunch of other people. We have a room there, but the bed is terrible for cosleeping (and in general, ugh - it's really soft and small and sags in the middle ). There is probably still an old pack n play there, but baby doesn't really sleep on his own. How would you handle sleep in this situation? Sleep on the floor with the baby? And what about the evening - Christmas Eve no less? I don't really think I can go to bed with him as early as he might want because of preparation for the big day, so just like...wear him and hope?

I'm going to get judged so hard over this, right? It's a system that works temporarily at home, but once you take away my system at a loss. I didn't wany to travel this year, but this is what christmas IS to my daughter, and family hasn't seen us in a while, so...yeah. Thoughts, ideas, commiserations welcome. Thanks :)

Another gift post
Hi everyone,

Any much loved gifts that would be good to get our baby for Christmas? he turned 5 months yesterday and we don't have babies in our family so I'm not used to buying stuff and the internet yields a lot of promo posts. I'd rather know what you actually LIKED for your kids.

He's massive so things like a bumbo aren't a good idea since he barely fits in it. ;)

We're moving and avoiding buying each other gifts, so the baby is going to yield all benefits this holiday season. We adopted and didn't have a real baby shower so we don't really have anything.

SO! Anything your kid LOVED (or made your life easy) from 6 months to a year?

Thanks :)

Toys and Playing

Do any of you have boys around 5-7 years old? Can you please tell me a bit about how they play? What are their favourite toys? What do they pretend while they are playing?

We have 2 boys staying with us for a few weeks and we often have children around the same age staying here. I would like to get a couple more toys that are open-ended and encourage creative play or learning. Right now we have big and small lego, cars, stuffed toys and plastic figures/animals.
We need things that are sturdy and hard to break.

Thanks for your help :)

Sign language
I've been thinking on this for a while, done my research (I wish I haven't), and I still don't know where the correct approach would be.
pre-storyCollapse )
the story is, I taught her to say "elephant" in sign language. it's a complicated word, and while it's much easier in Russian, she didn't want to repeat it, but took to the sign instantly.
later on, I showed her the "Colors of the Rainbow" song video from "Signing Time," and she liked that, too, especially since she was obsessed with colors at the time. she learned both a sign and a word "rainbow" from it.
and then, I dared to show her the whole episode of "Signing Time."
my husband had a meltdown. I mean, literally. we had a fight.
his point was, she just barely started talking, and she's not deaf or mute, and she needs to learn to use her mouth to say what she wants to say.
the daycare's director agrees with him. she says it's way too early for signs, the child needs to learn to talk first.
my position was, ASL is a language, and hey, the more the merrier, no?
the studies are 50/50 on that. some say it helps to start talking, some say it interferes with it if introduced too early. I got frustrated and took the DVD out for the time being.

question is, who is right?
is my husband being too cautios, considering that she did just start talking, and I should hold my horses, and the "Signing Time" can wait a couple of years?
or am I rubbing her of another language she could possibly learn, especially now that she's at the age kids learn quickly and almost effortlessly?

to those who helped me in this topic (both survey and discussion), thank you. I got an A+ for that proposal.

car seat question
mom and catie
My daughter will be 1 in January and I'm looking to move her out of her infant seat into a convertible car seat.  We drive a 2014 Honda Pilot, which has plenty of room width wise for her seat in the back seat.... however, when her Graco infant seat is in there now, it's so deep(front to back) that I have to have the passenger seat up a ways, which is uncomfortable because I'm tall.

Here's what I'm asking....  which convertible seats are more compact back to front? We have a Graco MyRide 65 in our other car and that's ok, but will probably be too wide that way to fit comfortably in the Pilot.   I know I could buy one and take it to my car to check and see if it fits, but I'm putting this on her Christmas list, so my MIL will probably just ship one to our house.

TIA and have a happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate it, or a good Thursday if you don't.

ETA:  I couldn't think of the correct measurement, but I'm talking about depth.  I blame the head cold I have. 

(no subject)
My one son is now beginning to get invited to playdates to be held at the homes of his classmates (typically).
Since both of my children go to an elementary school outside of the zoned school boundaries, these are not children that live in our neighborhood. So it's not like we've had a lot of organic opportunities to make these playdates happen without rides/coordination,etc.
I've not met the parents of the latest playdate request. We've been at parties together but we are usually just casually friendly and chasing our kids around. There have been no formal introductions.
I do feel fine allowing my son to be picked up my his classmates mom and then two hours later I'll be picking him up from their house.

Here's my question: Since I don't know these people really, is it appropriate for me to inquire about firearms kept in the house? Is there a tactful way to do this?
Is it possible to offend someone by asking?

Have you ever asked?
How would you recommend I go about doing this, in order to put myself at ease, but also respect other people's choices and their capabilities in being responsible gun owners.

Thanks for any insight you can offer!

Better safe than sorry...
Wake Up

I just made an appointment for tonight but...All last week I was out of town and so was my MIL who normally watches my kid. My 10 month old daughter spent her first week in a daycare with 1 other child.

Saturday she threw up twice after eating solid food so my husband decided to stick just to formula.

She didn't throw up again but had a low grade fever all weekend. Acting perfectly normal, happy, laughing, crawling and standing up all over.

Sunday night I gave her some cheerios, she was fine.

Yesterday at lunch I gave her some solids, she was fine.

Last night just before bed she threw up. I only fed solids at lunch.

This morning she's had 2 bottles of formula, one with some cheerios and no issues. But I hear her tummy rumbling and she's still got diarrhea which she has also had since Saturday. Still low grade fever.

Should I give it another day or take her in? Now my husband is feeling stomach sick and me too so I imagine it's just a bug.

Can I feed her water at this age?  To keep her hydrated?

Normal feeding schedule:
630am: 6 ounces and half jar food
930am: 6 ounces
1230pm: 6 ounces and half jar food
330pm: 6 ounces
630pm: 6 ounces and half jar
7pm bed

Sometimes she gets a small handful of cheerios at the 930 or 330 feedings.

Shes still sleeping 10-12 hours a night but napping a lot more during the day.

Eta: I'm sicker than her at this point. Lol....I realized is not diarrhea, just "formula poop"when not eating solids. Will try solids again tomorrow. Thanks everyone!

Dawdling in the morning
We have an ongoing issue with getting our 5 year old DD ready and out the door in a timely fashion every morning. Often times, it ends up with all of us frustrated and yelling, which I hate. Plus, it's causing DH to be late for work (we live 20 miles out of town and ride in together, he has to be to work earlier than I do.) any tips on making mornings easier? TIA!

Nighttime potty
My little boy is 3, turning 4 on NYE.  He has been fully potty trained since age 2.5.  He's had accidents since then, but what little kid doesn't, right?

However, he has suddenly started peeing his bed EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.  I'm at a loss.  I just purchased those goodnight pads because I was sick of washing his sheets every day.  He does fine with potty during the day.  Some nights he wakes up crying because his bed is "wet", other nights he just runs into my room and gets into bed with me and when I ask why, he casually mentions wetting the bed.  My husband thinks he is just being lazy and doesn't want to get up to pee because tired/cold/whatever but I'm thinking he is not even really awake EXCEPT that when he is in bed with us, he will sit there and "wiggle" when he has to pee.   He will also whine on occasion.  He seems to *know* even if he is not fully awake.

Question is : What in the heck do I do?  I realize that bed wetting at this age is still perfectly normal but am I to put him back into trainers for overnight?  Wake him up and make him go in the middle of the night?  When he peed last night, he told me he thought it was ok because I put a pad down for him.  I don't want to punish or shame him of course but shouldn't there be a consequence for just not getting up to go even when he is clearly getting the sensation/urge to pee ?

I also wonder if he is doing it because he just wants to get out of his bed and sleep with me or some other emotional thing.  Things have been rough lately.  He broke his arm 3 weeks ago and had to stop a lot of his activities and also his sister is getting a lot of attention over her 1st birthday and also being very mobile and INTO everything so its been really hard to give him full attention. I'm grasping at straws here, I think, but emotional stuff affects it, right?

Sleep issues with a 3 year old.
My son has been throwing HUGE temper tantrums regarding bedtime for the last three weeks or so. We have the same routine we have ALWAYS had. We cool down with a bath, put on PJs, brush teeth & hair, read a bedtime story, and go to bed. We have ALWAYS had this routine. However, now suddenly, bedtime is a major issue. He slams his door, opens it back up, and continually keeps slamming it. He screams, throws gigantic tantrums, lays on his back on the floor and kicks the dickens out of his walls. You name it. Constant tantrums... and this can go on for HOURS. Last night he threw his temper tantrum for OVER FOUR hours, before he passed out from exhaustion on the floor by the baby gate on his bedroom door. Tonight: we are closing in on the two hour mark and he is STILL throwing a huge fit. My husband and I have tried EVERYTHING. We have had no major life issues, changes, nothing that would trigger this short of reaction. Any suggestions would be hugely helpful.

He's not getting enough sleep at night, obviously, and this has been translating into issues during the day. Anything to help get his butt into his bed and keep it there so he sleeps would be hugely helpful.

Let's talk about sunscreen...

Sorry, I should have included this in my last entry but I'm packing now and just realized.

ALSO, thank you to everyone who did respond on my last entry. I got some fabulous advice and ideas!!! THANK YOU!

Okay so...we're going to Florida for Thanksgiving and I purchased on of those kid tents. Then I read that sunscreen is bad for babies? Gah. We plan to spend at least one full day at the beach and I was hoping that the small kiddie pool, the tent, the umbrella and the sunscreen would keep her cool and hydrated.

Can I have some tips and advice? She's 10 months old currently. I bought Coppertone water babies SPF 50.

ETA: Death in the family so husband and baby aren't coming down to meet me after my company convention. Thanks anyway though! 

Let's talk about play mats...
Our basement has a playroom and I love it. She loves it...BUT our basement is cement with a very thin layer of carpet over top and oh boy...when she hit her head on that it was not a pleasant 10 minutes. She's learning to walk and currently we have this:


I like green! Plus the walls are a tree/bird/sky thing so I thought this would be cute for grass. BUT IT FALLS APART.

So on to the question...where can I get a solid, thick play mat for my kids play room? I've been reading reviews like crazy but everything is so conflicting and I honestly have a weird trust issue with reviews lol. I don't want letters in it or anything that contains smaller pieces. I'm not worried about her chewing on them because she gnaws on them all the time and they're very sturdy...they just come up a lot and I'm constantly re-positioning them. If any adult goes in there...it's over. DONE. Because adult weight is different than a babies and we're in there a LOT so....yeah. There are pieces missing now...how? I have no idea. The D is completely gone. LOL. I'm guessing it's hidden in the backyard and the dog took it but we also have a fence down here so IDK. Anyway...

At this point I'm all about comfort and easy-ness so I honestly don't give a crap what it looks like. Should I go for a thick rug? Or do any of you use a similar product that is far more sturdy? And perhaps larger pieces so they don't come apart so easily?

Here is a picture so you get an idea of the size of the spaceCollapse )

(no subject)
Lindsey Buckingham
How do you stop a 21 month old from screaming/squealing? I work in the infant/toddler room at a childcare center. We have one boy who will scream bloody murder when he isn't getting his way. As an example, sometimes he is not listening when he's in the carpeted area. We will give him a warning, "If you do [action] again, you will go to the wood floor." He does the action again, obviously testing boundaries, so we're consistent and send him to the wood floor. He will stand at the gate, shaking it back and forth, and letting out very shrill, ear piercing, room-echoing screams. He's pretty verbal, and knows some signs as well (all done, more, please, eat - the important ones!). When he starts to scream, we always remind him to use his words and also give him the words to say.

We've tried ignoring it. We've tried removing him from the area and having him sit on the back rug until he's calmed down. We've tried going "shhh!" and having him repeat the gesture back to us. We've tried time-ins, where someone holds him for a minute until he's calm. We've tried firmly stating, "ALL DONE/that's enough/stop/etc." It seems like the more you talk to him, the more he carries on, so telling him things like, "I can't hear you when you cry. Please use your words and talk to me" doesn't work either. His parents say it doesn't really happen at home.

Today was the worst it's been yet, and we're kind of at a loss. Please help?

lost lovey
killed helicopter
okay, i need some inspiration on this. where's the weirdest place you've found your kid's toys? mine once "lost" her lovey because she put it inside a cup in the cupboard and forgot.

now she's lost the mini version of her lovey and i'm 99.9% sure it's somewhere in the house. she's not too stressed about it since it's not her actual lovey (she's got 3 different sizes of one of those little dalmations, the medium one is "the" toy and the little one is missing), but it's driving me bananas. i've checked the cups in the cupboards, in and under all the beds, her drawers, my drawers, under most of the furniture but not "in" all of the furniture, and then obvious places like her toy boxes and treasure chests. nada. weeeeeeee!

Help! Food for 4-month-old?

Mayyyybe I read too much P101, but I always thought food other than formula/BM was for fun until age 1. I planned some time around six months to start letting my kid experiment with pureed foods that we're eating but otherwise haven't thought much about it.

His daycare asked at 3 mos if we wanted them to start giving him rice cereal, to which we said no. Today (four months today) we asked our doctor what he needed and she said he could need rice cereal for iron. But I know his Enfamil has it! I realllly don't want to start shoving my kid full of processed carb mix with a ton of chemicals I can't pronounce (I already feel bad enough that donated breast milk didn't take [we adopted and I did not induce lactation]) if it isn't useful.

There is just SO much competing information on this. You all aren't doctors but any links or help you might be able to give me that really outlines what we need to do vs. what's just old school BS would be awesome.

And in case it's worth noting.. our kid definitely does NOT have any trouble gaining weight or eating. He's massive. (19lb3oz at 4 months.)

[massive baby under cut]10393864_10102106732927376_9060463509549625437_n

How did you tell your first child about your pregnancy?
SW: Leia Beautiful
My son is four years old and we are expecting our second (due date: July 1st). I'm planning on waiting to tell him until I'm out of the first trimester, but of course, I'm already obsessing trying to think about how I'm going to tell him. (On one hand, he's been asking for a baby sister for the past year, on the other hand he gets jealous of the cats when they sit on my lap. He'll probably have mixed feelings.)

So, lj moms: how did you tell your little ones about their new siblings? What did you think worked or didn't work? What advice do you have to give?

(no subject)
I super apologize for the long windedness and formatting of this post. A friend writes a parenting blog and has been having guest writers a couple of times a month and I thought that since I have over a decade of babysitting under my belt, I could write up some things that parents and babysitters might not think about before hand. (Several of these are on here because I realized it was good information to have AFTER the fact).

I just thought if any of you were getting ready to hire a new babysitter or if you hadn't left baby with anyone but family yet (and a lot of this would be good for family too!) that these might be some things you wouldn't have thought of.


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