30 Day


Parenting 101

A Beginner Course in Creative Parenting

Candy overload
There's a commercial on TV where these moms are talking about how the Easter Bunny was good to their kids this year and then one mom tries to sneak a piece of candy and the kids tell her no. The baskets are filled with all kinds of candy, and the commercial itself is for candy like M&Ms and the such. I guess my question is, is that normal? When I was growing up, we rarely had candy at all (though in Russia we didn't have any of the candy holidays except New Years), but my husband says he's always had tons of candy, especially for holidays. My kids are 4 and 6, and while we eat sweets here and there, candy is not a normal thing in the house (once a week or so). We get -bags- of candy for holidays like Halloween, Christmas/New Years, and now Easter and I end up with bags that I just end up throwing away when the next holiday comes or giving away. My mother brought them two baskets full of chocolate eggs. I just don't understand how she expects my kids to eat that much chocolate with the amount that we allow (which she knows). We're going to my in-law's tomorrow and I know we're coming back with a bag full of candy. It just seems like we have piles of candy but I can't find a good reason to actually use it because I don't see it as something good but the opposite. It bothers me that I'm storing/giving away my kids' candy after they feel like they got it as a gift or worked to get it (like Halloween/Easter Egg hunt) but I don't really know what else to do. Am I being a scrooge? If you give your kids candy, how and how often do you do it? Any input would be appreciated.

(no subject)
witches are whores
Regale me with the witchery you use to remove marker stains from light colored carpet.

I also welcome tales of outlandish and unexpected things your children have done that make you wonder what the hell your life is coming to.

Laser Quest party: basic or private?
Hello. My son wants to celebrate his 10th birthday at Laser Quest. I am not sure whether I need to choose a basic ($17 per person) or private party ($450, significantly more expensive). If you share your experience with Laser Quest party I will be very thankful .

Breast Pumps
I'm expecting my first in 5 weeks(!) and I'm starting to seriously look into which breast pumps I can get through insurance... I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with these:

Medele Personal Double Pump (MY57038)
Medele Advanced Portable Breast Pump (ML57081)
Hygeia Q Breast Pump (HG100056)
Amede Purely Yours Breast Pump (AD17070P or EW17070PMW)
The First Years Breastflow miPump Double Pump (TFY4613)

Thanks in advance!!

Daycare choices
Sleepy Abby
I'm getting ready to register my 2 1/2 year old daughter into daycare but I come to you with a question - what makes a "good" daycare? My husband found a website that says that obviously the daycare should be licensed (the one we've been considering is attached to the local elementary school so I'm assuming that they're licensed) and that the teachers should be licensed as well. I'm going to double check about that but is there anything else about daycares that I should be looking out for?

And one more question - assuming that most daycares in your city tend to have waiting lists, would a day care never having a waiting list be cause for concern for you? This daycare I'm looking at is really close to me - I could walk my daughter there and back for the 2 days she'd be going - but the director of the daycare says that they almost always have openings and my husband finds this odd, but I thought I'd ask more experienced people about it.

Potty Training?
Okay, so I KNOW that everyone says to wait until your children show signs of readiness before beginning potty training, but my son is just over 2.5 and has shown very little interest in the potty. He will be 3 in the fall and can't attend preschool unless he is potty trained. I'll likely do a preschool co-op with some other parents, but I'm really pushing for some type of preschool in the fall because he is SO bored at home (we do get out for play dates and other activities almost every day).

I've tried reading books or watching videos about the potty but he has zero interest in those. He does have a potty chair that he has sat on a few times, but he doesn't communicate at all about when he fills his diaper. He gets SO MAD when I change his diaper too (esp. if he pooped - kids are SO werid). He is dry after his naps.

Is there anyway to increase his interest or help prepare him for potty training before we actually start potty training? I know that if you start before the kid is ready potty training will just take longer, they don't necessarily take to it any sooner.

Right now I just want to increase his interest in the potty, so that he is ready to potty train. I talk to him every time I change his diaper (you peed, pooped, whatever).

Any suggestions?

(no subject)
My son is 20 months old and for the last few months I have noticed that whenever he is outside for longer than 15/20 minutes his left eye will start watering. I thought it was just the cold winter weather, but it happens every time he is outside, whether it is sunny and warm or cold or windy or not windy.

I'm not TOO worried about it since he had absolutely no other symptoms. My husband thought maybe a minor allergy but there is no puffiness or redness of that eye and it doesn't seem to bother him at all. I haven't noticed any extra coughing or sniffling or sneezing either.

I don't know whether this is something to call the doctor about or not. I am a 'better safe than sorry' kind of gal but I also tend to be a worry wart. The reason it does concern me a bit is because its only ONE of his eyes and I worry about clogged ducts. I had them terribly as a child and had to have an operation to correct it when I was 3. But like I said, its only when outside and no other symptoms.

Has anyone else had this happen? Time to call the doctor or just watch it and see what happens?

Thanks everyone. :)

Outdoor play!
It's FINALLY nice enough to get outside, and I have a few questions about outdoor play. My son is almost 18 months old.

1. I'm looking for recommendations for outdoor toys for my son. We have been handed down a number of toys from friends, but they are mostly of the push or pull variety (wagon, push car, ride on, etc). Today we were out playing in the driveway and he pushed and pulled various things, then looked at me like "okay mom, now what?" Last summer he was barely mobile so I'm not even sure what toddlers DO outside! I'd like to get him a few more things that can be used for a few years. We do already have a water table and a baby pool. How about activities that can be done in our backyard and/or driveway? We do have a park within walking distance and an area with nice easy nature trails within a short drive, but I'm looking for good activities for when we just want to stay close to home.

2. Share with me your sun safety routine. I am very sensitive to the sun and I suspect I passed this down to my son. My father shares the same skin as me and has a history of skin cancer, so we don't mess around with the sun. That said, I'd like going outside to play to be as spontaneous as possible and don't want to take forever getting ready to go out. Last year it was easy enough to slather him with sunscreen and keep him in the shade. Our yard has no trees and nearly our entire play area is in direct sun :(

3. Kind of a long shot, but we use our garage as a rec room in the summer. We're going to use a gate to separate the safe area from the no-so-safe area, but are kind of at a loss as to how to block off the entrance while still making it easy to close the door and go in and out. It's a 2.5 car garage so it's a wide space. Anyone else use their garage like this and have a solution?

Thanks in advance!

Baby sleep clothes
Rhino-  I Have a Ball - by scaperz
Because I overthink everything...

I have a 10 month old who sleeps in cotton long sleeve footies right now with a very thin blanket that she mostly uses as a lovey (aka, it doesn't spend a lot of time ON her, just near her), and her room temperature is usually around 70. In the summer, we keep the AC going pretty regularly, so I anticipate continuing to use long sleeve footies (unless it's better to dress her lighter and keep the room warmer?). However, we live in a condo building where AC and heat are mutually exclusive, so we usually hit that period of time in the spring when it's 80+ outside and the house gets pretty warm, but we don't yet have AC on. We're looking at a few of those days this weekend/early next week, so I'm wondering how to keep her comfortable. We have a fan in her room that I can turn in her direction - it's not super close to her so it'd be a light breeze, but I'm wondering if that's a good idea or if that will get her too cold? Would just putting her in a onesie or maybe a light romper with no foot coverings be better? Opening a window is unfortunately not an option because they point to a pretty noisy traffic area, and I'm afraid of getting her sick if I just point a fan at her.

Like I said, I overthink everything, but would love some thoughts to calm my crazy brain :)

nose bleeds and surgery
My 5 year old has chronic nose bleeds. We know his blood vessels are large and close to the surface. We use saline nasal gel. And although it helps he does still get them and they can be difficult to stop. He will need surgery soon to repair a hole in his ear (tube fell out hole won't close on its own) and I know the ENT will suggest surgery on his nose. I am looking for input. Has anyone here had a child with chronic nose bleeds who had surgery?

I also want to say he does not pick his nose. The bleeds usually happen in the middle of the night. This last time he told me hours before that he felt like he was going to get one and he was right.

It's finally getting nice outside and everyone is definitely stir-crazy from being cooped inside all winter.

There is still huge amounts of snow so it's cold, and there are huge icy puddles all over the place but the sidewalk is mostly clear of both so I took the kids out to get some fresh air and explore things in the wet muddy grass. It was a nightmare!

My twins want to go in complete opposite directions and my 5 year old was crying because I wouldn't let the twins jump in the puddles with him. They didn't want to and it's so muddy and high that I definitely didn't want them to slip in it. I get that my son is desperate to get out there and play but I'm having a hard time managing all three and their wants outside.

One wants to just take off running, one wants to meander in the dirt looking at sticks and kicking snow and the other wants to jump around in giant mud puddles that come almost to the top of his rain boots. Chasing one twin down the street means leaving the other, or if I bring her she starts screaming and crying and then we may as well go in because her next course of action is screaming and crying while laying on the muddy ground.

I just don't know what to do. There is nowhere even close to dry and the park is still buried under 4ft of snow. The only clear paths are the sidewalks. I don't have a lot of extra money to really take them anywhere like the museum (our membership expired and we couldn't afford to renew quickly enough).

Any suggestions for the next time we go out? It's during the day so I don't have anyone to help me as they're all working or in classes. I don't have any friends with kids so a playdate is out too.

Swaddle blankets for 3 month old
mom and catie
We have been using the Halo fleece swaddle blankets since my 3 month old baby was born.  They work great, but now that it's warming up here, the fleece is too warm for her at night.  She sleeps so well when she's swaddled and is not rolling yet, so I'd like to keep swaddling her for a while longer.  I'm looking for swaddle blankets that are cotton or muslin and are made for bigger babies.....  We have a few of the Summer Infant swaddle me's, but she's now too long for those.   She is about 13 lbs and 23 inches now.   Have you tried any you can recommend?  The Woombie?  Halo's cotton ones? 

FWIW-- I have the Aden + Anais muslin blankets, but I'd like to use the swaddlers because it's easier for me to swaddle her back up with a velcro/zipper/snap one at 4 am when my eyes are hardly open instead of trying to get that blanket tight enough.   TIA!

a car seat question, for good measure
eine Frau
My Google-fu is failing me, so I'm asking here.

It has become a very real possibility that a close friend of mine is going to start watching my daughter for me 3-5 days a week. But we need to find a car seat that will fit in her vehicle with the two she already has.

I don't know all the specifics, since they aren't my seats and it isn't my vehicle, but I'll try my best.

She has a Jeep Wrangler, four door, 2013 I think. From what I vaguely seem to recall (I don't make a habit of checking out the car seats when we're driving anywhere together lol) both of her kids are in First Years car seats. Her eldest is 3 years old and forward-facing, the youngest is just over a year and rear-facing. My daughter is 3 years and forward facing. She's also very tall for her age, and over 35lbs, so this seat would ideally have a long life as she isn't slowing down at all, ha.

I'm guessing my best shot is a Radian, because they are so slim, but I was wondering if there was anything else out there that might be an option that isn't quite as pricey? If it comes down to that being the only one, I have no problem spending the money, I'd just rather give it a shot with something not quite so far up there in cost.

Thank you =]

Picky eater hell
happy lois
Dd is 3 years old. Picky eater. Unless it's hot dogs, chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly, tater tots, macaroni and cheese, bread, yogurt and fruit (except for melons or kiwi which are also hated) she won't eat it. Period. She's now old enough to understand to eat something even if she doesn't like it. But she won't. Dinner every night unless it's one of the above items is a bitter battle with yelling, crying and time out. I am sick of making separate meals for her and at some point realize she needs to eat what the rest of the family is eating.

What we have been trying lately is put the food in front of her, offer a desert as bribery, which fails. Now we are trying the idea of if you don't eat it, you will go to bed hungry. We will put out dinner for you and after everyone else is done at the table, we will set the timer for 5 minutes. If the food isn't eaten, the food is taken away and that is it. Nothing else. It's easier for my husband to subscribe to this than me, I am a softie. When my daughter is in bed telling me her tummy hurts and she is hungry I want to get her food to eat but my husband is firm on it. I'm not sure if this is the way to go. I know she won't allow herself to starve, but pretty much every night this means she goes without dinner. I'm at a loss of what to do at this point.

(no subject)
Hi, I posted about my son not eating. Thank you so, so much for all the replies.
I'm trying to get an early appointment with our GP with no luck, but have rung a GI ped in London.
We're going to focus on GI and swallow/sensory issues.

He's 19 months and here's the back story http://parenting101.livejournal.com/7602213.html#comments

Yesterday out of nowhere he started eating his dinner. I always make him dinner as well even if I know he won't touch it.
He finished off 4 big tablespoons of sweet potato mash, 3 pieces of broccoli and a few pieces of potato plus yoghurt and strawberries.
I was so happy. Around 2 AM I heard his stomach growling and he woke up SCREAMING and crying his head off.. it took paracetamol and 2 and a half hours to get him to sleep. This happens every time he finally eats properly.


When do you 'call it quits' for baby/toddler foods and suppliments?
My son turned 2 last month. He's currently in the 55th percentile for weight and usually in the 90+ percentile in height. The pediatrician didn't give us any feedback at his 2-year appointment outside of developmental milestones, but you'd think that she'd at least ask about what he's eating/not eating. :-/ He's obviously not starving, but he IS a picky toddler. A typical day goes as follows:

Sample Menu and Likes/DislikesCollapse )

Anyway, now that he's two, I assume I should cut out baby foods/supplements (specifically the Gerber cereal and vitamin drops) but I'm not sure that he'll be getting the nutrients that he needs once I do this. Since he refuses to even try candy, I think it would be quite difficult trying to get him to try a traditional vitamin. Grown-up oatmeal has significantly less nutritional supplements than the baby oatmeal (and WAY more calories). Should I 'leave it be' since he's happy and gaining weight at a steady, healthy pace? Should I cut out the 'baby stuff' and try PediaSure Sidekicks or some other supplement? Any advice would be helpful!

I did go ahead and switch his milk from whole to 2% after his checkup (since the doctor obviously had no objections with his current weight). Should I switch his yogurt as well or leave the extra fat in his diet? (YoToddler is made with whole milk, YoKids and all other kid yogurts are made with 1% or less.)

1st birthday and adoptees
Hiya all! I don't have children of my own, but joined this community because two of my closest friends became parents for the first time last year. Was wondering if you could help me with a few questions ...

1. My friend's son will be 1 next month and I'm not sure what to get him for a birthday present. He has so many clothes and toys and his mum and dad could probably do without anymore clutter (especially since she's 17 weeks pregnant with baby number 2). What's a nice gift? Ideally something to keep, but not a silver spoon or bracelet ow whatever because I can't really imagine him getting any pleasure from it when he's older. His uncle's quite well off so the bank account with a little nesteg is sorted. I'm bit stumped.

2. When baby 2 is born I was going to get him or her the same as I got for baby one, which was an England rugby jersey with their name on the back (daddy plays rubgy) and a nice carved wooden box for the birth certificate. The same again is probably right, yeah?

3. My other friend (and his husband) became daddies (daddy and papa) about four months ago to a beautiful 2 year old boy. He hasn't had any issues and has settled with them really well, but with him being an adoptee I do wonder about the best way for the rest of us to make him feel safe and secure. Obviously I give him a cuddle when I see him and tell him it's lovely to see him, but I find myself wanting to tell him that we're all for keeps. I keep wanting to assure him that all of daddy and papa's friends will always be there for him (he must have had so many people darting in and out of his life up until now). I guess the only way to do it is let actions speak for themselves and keep seeing him regularly. We made a family tree for him with our thumb prints at his 'baby shower'. I just hope he knows how loved he is by everyone.
Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 22.43.27


How do you know if your kid has too much "stuff"? I may or may not worry about this way too much.

I am at the end of my rope and this is putting it lightly.

My son (19 months) has ALWAYS had issues with food. He will not eat, end of story.
I want to scream when I see kids half his age finish food after food. The new thing at the moment is to put it in his mouth and then slowly spit it out. He's barely eating at the moment. We don't think he has reflux, his stomach is okay, there are no other physical issues.

I don't know what to do any more and refuse to substitute food with nursing.

He won't even eat his favorite foods any more and the only thing he eats at the moment is cheerios and grilled cheese on toast,
which he spits out half. He's also started making himself forcibly vomit again.

I'm starting to feel hopeless, genuinely. I can't handle this.
I am chasing a ped appointment tomorrow and making another doctor appointment. 

Carseats, oh noes!
I've become a car seat question asker, because I'm having terrible morning sickness (evening sickness, all day sickness) and scrolling through the tags was making it worse. I know I've seen questions about this before, but haven't found the answers yet - forgive me.

I have a 2005 Ford Focus. I have two kids. I, obviously, have another on the way, due in November.

While we do want to get a new car (mom car, woo) in the next year or so, right now it's not financially viable. Or at least... would not be good for our finances. Which puts us in something of a bind.

Anyone know if there are any varieties of car seat that might fit three in the backseat of a Focus? I heard something about Raidens being narrow? Y/N?


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