Haven’t You Tried … [Unsolicited Advice]?

If you’re already a parent, you’ve already received unsolicited advice. You may have given it too. Everybody’s an expert when it comes to raising a child — getting them to sleep, getting them to eat, when to breastfeed, when to start formula, and when to start solids. You may have gotten advice on what stroller to purchase, or someone may have told you to skip the stroller altogether and just use an Ergo carrier. Your mom may tell you to let the baby cry it out, while your mother-in-law tells you to sleep with baby in bed. Your cousin may tell you to nurse until three while your sister tells you to have an elective c-section and start formula right away. Continue reading

The Great Daycare Search

Tonight, I toured my second daycare since the new year began. This seems odd, since we currently have a great sitter for Sam the two days a week I’m in the office. (I found her through P and E Babysitting in DC Metro area.) But I have decided to get Sam into daycare full time around the time he turns one. He’ll be beginning to be more social at that point, and I will be returning to work full time (which for my job is not 40 hours a week; it can be more like 50 or 60). And I just can’t afford a sitter for that amount of time. Continue reading

What’s Extended Rear Facing? ERF? Huh?

When I first entered the online crunchy mom cybersphere (mothering.com, diaperswappers.com, car-seat.org, offbeatmama.com and many more), I didn’t know what a lot of these crazy acronyms meant. I would see them in people’s signatures: “I’m a CDing, EBFing, ERFing, BWing PT WAHM to DS1, DD1 and DD2.” (In normal speak, that’s “I’m a cloth diapering, extended breastfeeding, extended rear facing, babywearing part time work at home mom to my son and two daughters.”) Whew! That’s a lot to keep track of. I figured out most of the stuff pretty quickly, but ERF was something I had to look up.

ERF means extended rear facing — or keeping your child in a rear-facing car seat past one year old. Turns out, lotsa people don’t do this. They read on the box the car seat comes in that you can turn your kid around at one year old or twenty pounds (if he hasn’t reached twenty pounds by one year) and don’t really think further than that. Some even see forward-facing a child as a milestone — like standing up, crawling or uttering a first word. Whatever the decision may be — forward face or rear face — it is NOT milestone. A milestone is something your baby accomplishes; turning a car seat one way or another is completely controlled by YOU. Continue reading