House & Home

Your house is so much more than a place to hang your hat. For parents, it's a nest — sometimes held together by a twig — while for children it's a place to be nourished and grow.

This is a place to discuss homemaking and share tips on managing your household, including cooking, finances, decor and time management.

1 year old still hungry

My one year old is on solids now. She’s loves the purées and infant oatmeal. Recently after I finish feeding her oatmeal and one jar she’ll cry when it’s all gone. So I open another jar and she finishes the whole thing and she’s satisfied. Then about 10 minutes later she throws up half of what I just fed her. So I’m question is should I just let her cry instead of giving her more food? I’ve tri... More

  • Kristin

    Our pediatrician suggested us to give our then 9 mo baby “table foods” or more solid / regular food, that’s safe, age appropriate & cooked, once he was able to sit well. My son is only 14 mo now & he’s been eating almost everything we eat & at times can finish a whole plate. Let your baby explore & enjoy meals similar to yours using her hands, check out Baby Led Weaning too?!

  • Stacey

    I agree with soft foods. We also got "puffs" when our son was about 6 months old (he got teeth really early). They are small and and kinda crunchy but dissolve in their mouth. Ronan loved them and we have only recently switched them out of things like graham crackers and cheerios (he is 18 months now).

Tia posted in Behavior Wednesday

How to get teens to do their chores and pull some weight around the house?

Help me. My teenagers are the messiest individuals I know. When instructed to pick up behind themselves,they get distracted . Next thing I know, an hour has passed and they haven’t done a thing. Please help

  • Anonymous

    I would write out a weekly list. And explain that when they are no longer under your roof their will be no Mom or Dad to clean their bathroom, make them food ect. The chores they do now are preparing them to be adults. If they choose to not do the chores or are disrespectful about them take away things that matter to them. Such as tv, cellphones or time out with friends

  • Anonymous

    I'd take everything away and turn off the Wifi until they get their work done. I told mine ..i'm teaching you how to live outside of this house since your goal is to move out..I'm supporting your cause. So far so good

Healthy eaters

My almost 5 year old is in love with his Mac and cheese. He loves carbs. That’s the issue. Any creative ways to get your kids to let go of the carbs? If we have to, a little tough love will be the last resort but let’s hear what you’ve tried :)

  • Joanna

    I'm not trying to cut carbs from my skinny kid's diet, but I'm always trying to get more protein and fat in it. I always add extra butter, peanut butter etc to snacks. Sometimes I'll notice that he'll eat less of the carbs (grains). Like one slice of bread with double butter is just as filling as two slices with less butter. Muffins and smoothies are a good way to hide extra... More

  • Elle

    You're the one providing the food! Give him vegetables and proteins along with the carbs! Let him see you enjoying vegetables and proteins. Involve him in the selection and preparing of the foods.

Vonda posted in Diapering Tuesday

Cloth Diaper Washing

Dear cloth nappie parents. I need help! I was wondering why my bamboo inserts were looking shabby from the wash after a while and come to find out one of the ingredients (Cellulase) in my detergent is bad for bamboo. Anyone have a detergent that doesn’t have this ingredient in it that is powder detergent and free of fragrances. I know; long list of requirements but we are sensitive to fragranc... More

  • Andrea

    The website Fluff Love University has a great list of safe detergents, as well as very specific washing recommendations and tons of other useful info. Take a look!

Anonymous posted in Food & Cooking Tuesday

10 month old and shrimp

I'm trying to plan my meals for the week and my hubby and I like to make a lemon spinach shrimp pasta. If I cut it up small enough could I give her some of the shrimp or should I avoid it since it's a shell fish?

  • Lauren

    Babies can eat everything but honey and raw fish.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Lauren!

All natural cleaners

What do you use for regular household cleaners that are more natural? Looking for less toxicity and more environmentally friendly alternatives to Lysol etc. (Cleaner for kitchen and bath, toilets, mirrors etc).

  • Diana
    Mar 16

    When my young child is ‘helping’ me clean, I always use white vinegar - safe and effective (but I still like my Lysol on occasion after she goes to sleep!)

Victoria posted in Pets Mar 12

Looking for some advice from parents who have had to talk to their children about their pet death.

Our cat Miss Peaches has cancer and is nearing the end of her life. I'm looking for ways to start talking to my almost 3 year old about what's going to happen. He knows she's old and we've talked about her being sick, so at least we're there already. He's very gentle with her and loves her very much. Now she probably only has about 2 months left and we're planning on... More

  • Elizabeth

    First of all, I am so sorry. Second, if you are religious you could tell your child(ren) that the cat went to Jesus/Heaven. You could also distract them with a fish or hamster or other small pet.

  • Elle

    Ditto Stacey's advice. 1000%. It's best to use clear and honest and factual explanations of what happened. It's best to let them know both verbally and by displaying the range of emotions that they might feel, that is it OK and normal to feel feelings of sadness, loss, and grief. There are some things people do to that are well-meaning but ultimately detrimental... Making up stori... More

What does everyone do with their kids artwork?

Mine is newly in preschool and we’re inundated with take home arts n crafts. Ideas on what to do with them? How long do you keep them etc?

  • Kara
    Mar 14

    Get the App “Artkive” it lets you save a digital version of your child’s artwork

  • Melany

    I laminate nice ones and make a three ring binder for each set of grandparents for gifts. They usually love it and fight over them because each binder is unique.

My 16 month old

My daughter prefers milk over food and I was considering switching her back to the Formula (Enfamil Toddler). Has this worked for anyone with a toddler?

  • Walker
    Mar 11

    It’s always been

  • Lindsey
    Mar 12

    I wouldn’t switch her back to formula at 16 months old. My daughter is the same way... basically survives off of milk. So I give her pediasure or instant carnation breakfast. That makes sure she gets all her nutrients and stuff and will help her to keep gaining weight. I also give her a daily kiss vitamin.

Anonymous posted in Marriage & Partnership Mar 08

Husband communication blah

We both work. We both are tired and stressed. But he never cleans. Except take out the garbage and go do laundry. He cooks and then I clean after. I wash dishes, vacuum, put stuff away, fold the laundry, change our bedsheets, put the dishes away. Those will never get done if I wait for him to do it. I've tried. A whole week went by and it was like he never noticed the mess. And if I point... More

  • Anonymous
    Mar 13

    Hes been slowly getting better after I showed him how much i clean. Like last night he did the dishes before i got home! Hes been cooking dinner too. ill keep communicating with him though. Thanks for the advice

  • Raji
    Mar 13

    Hope it keeps going and make it easier on all of you. Enjoy 😊

Anonymous posted in Child Care Mar 08

In-home daycare payment?

We are putting our three month old in an in-home daycare facility, which is very close to our home (and she’ll be the only child at the moment!) The caretaker has asked for cash weekly. Does anyone have experience with in-home daycare payments? Should we be asking for receipts so that we can use our FSA dollars? Because she is running her own business, we don’t have to be concerned about how sh... More

  • B
    Mar 08

    Also know you’ll need her business tax ID number for taxes and FSA. So...hopefully she’s reporting the income

  • Anonymous
    Mar 09

    Thank you both! This is helpful. She’s given us her tax id and is more than happy to write us receipts when I asked! Really appreciate the help!

Anonymous posted in Child Care Mar 06

Need Help Talking to Daycare About Sugar

My toddler recently started daycare. Her provider texted a picture today where she was eating a dessert. I know, most people wouldn’t care. But I’m actually pretty angry because we intentionally don’t let her have sugar yet. (The book The Case Against Sugar makes convincing arguments about its addictive and epigenetic impacts, and recommends holding off until age 4 of longer if possible.) ... More

  • Elle
    Mar 11

    Simply ask for a copy of the meal plan ahead of time and mark what they are alowed to give and not give her. Its a standard practice for daycare centers. (For what it's worth, I would be annoyed too!!)

  • Kathy Patterson
    Mar 14

    I am a Director of a daycare and it is required to post our weekly menus for parents to see. We don't offer "desserts" but do have fruit with every breakfast and lunch meal. We also allow parents to request no sugary foods on their child's information papers. I would just tell her you prefer your child not have any sugar and maybe suggest fresh fruit instead.

Anonymous posted in Food & Cooking Mar 05

Snack time all the time?

My 16 month old knows the sign for hungry. And he does this sign often, that, or he goes over to his highchair and asks to be put in it. He asks for food often, 90% of the time he’ll actually eat an entire snack and the other 10% he’ll nibble and be done. I want to keep him on a good schedule, but I don’t want to deny him food if he’s actually hungry.... I know he’s growing like a weed so I’m n... More

  • Lindsey
    Mar 10

    My daughter can be like that too. Some days she will actually eat a lot then others she eats next to nothing. I always offer no matter what but I feel like I’m wasting so much food lol

  • Julie
    Mar 10

    Yup!! Same. Lol.

Anonymous posted in Money Mar 05

Insurance help

I dont know anywhere else to ask. Google is not helping and my pediatrics says theyre limited or whatever. We got new health insurance through my job. Before that we had medicare for my son and I. We go in for his appt, they say our medicare doesnt end until end of Feb so I should still use that one instead of my new one. We got mail yesterday from my new insurance explaining our benefits a... More

  • B
    Mar 05

    Health insurance usually goes through the end of a month. But yes you should call your local office. And then use the new insurance in March

Anonymous posted in Money Mar 02

Pressure to leave daycare job

I left a previous job to work at my sons daycare due to work pressure. And now I feel like it’s happening all over again but for more financial reasons. I enjoyed working almost 2yrs but there is no benefits, shift/time changes, or raises. I really like the owner but no body can just call out of work due to sickness because of child/teacher ratios. Even my husband is telling me to leave, simply... More

  • Sabrina
    Mar 04

    I’ve said “bye” to lots of daycare workers and even though I’m sad to see them leave, they always come and visit looking healthier and happier. You could try taking some really great probiotics since our immune system comes from our gut health but you need to put your health first. If something were to happen to Mommy then what? Leave the workplace. You’ll never get this time back with your... More

  • Anonymous
    Mar 05

    Sabrina, can I ask what you’re job is? You said you work from home? Yes I sent my resume to the recruiter. I’m just playing the waiting game

Smoothie cups

I’m searching for an awesome spill proof cup for my toddler to drink his daily smoothie out of. Basic sippy cups don’t usually work for the thickness of the drink and I don’t want to find leaks on my floors and splats on my walls if I let him take the cup with him to sip on while he plays. I would love some recommendations. Thanks all!

  • Alexandra
    Mar 04

    Contingo no spill tumbler works great!

  • Jess
    Mar 07

    I agree with Julie! Those cups are cheap and awesome. I don’t cut air holes, just put the straw in after the top is sealed or it’ll spit at you! 😂 I give my kid smoothies in these but I insist he sits still with it, the straw is rigid plastic and if he fell with this in his mouth it could cause serious injury. It doesn’t spill though!

Anonymous posted in Food & Cooking Feb 25

Extra protein & save money!

Lunch time hack: sprinkle a teaspoon of hemp seeds into the buttered bread of your LO’s grilled cheese (regular or vegan) sandwich. Also, use the end pieces for the sandwich and turn the dark side over (so it’s hidden from picky kids while covered in that melty cheese they all seem to love), now you’re not throwing two perfectly good pieces of bread into the trash!

  • AdamAnt
    Feb 26

    Who throws out the bread heels?! In our family, they’re the favorite slices! 💕

  • Anne
    Feb 26

    Hahaha I totally throw them out. Though I do use this trick of during them "inside out" so the kids don't know 😂

Nancy posted in Safety Feb 24

Need safety advice about wall heater

Hi, our daughter is turning to 1 year old and starts walking all around. We have a wall heater in a narrow corridor (see photos). We googled online and most people used fireplace gate but it will not fit in our home as the corridor is really narrow. And advice will be appreciated! Thanks!

  • Lynn
    Feb 24

    With one kid it wasn’t an issue. With 2, it was a lot more unsafe. Ours was in a hallway smaller than by code and the fireplace screen worked quite well. We had less room to walk, but it was enough. Get 4 panel so you can angle it as you walk by.

  • Anne
    Feb 25

    If you need to use the heater, i would build something to protect the base, but maybe get some help as you don’t want it to be a fire hazard (if wood, make sure heat and fire resistant). We had these in one of our apartments and we just never turned that radiator on. We got a space heater instead and put it in a safer place. Used more power but it was less worry.

Anonymous posted in Toys & Gifts Feb 24

Stuff animals organization

Hi! How do you you all organize your kiddos stuffed animal friends? Thanks in advance!

  • Anne
    Feb 25

    I have two big wire basket drawers in their closet (it’s an IKEA setup but you can get them anywhere) where the stuffies live in a big pile. Then the kids get 5-10 they can have “out” or in their bed. If they want new ones, they swap them out with the ones in the closet. Organization beyond that seems hard/impossible but I’m interested what others have done!

Anonymous posted in Making Friends Feb 24

Anyone not love the town they live in?

Have been living in the PA burbs for 2 years, moved from another state and really miss my hometown and small town life. The township I live in has great schools for my kids and my spouse is only a few mins to his office, but this just doesn’t feel like home and we can’t really walk anywhere, its more like developments. I keep complaining that I want to move back, but the commute would be 70-90 ... More

  • Anonymous
    Feb 25

    Thanks! Our issue is we are in PA and family/friends are in NJ, and technically we could meet in Philadelphia which would be halfway for both, but my family acts like that is a huge ordeal bc it’s the city. And the surrounding areas aren’t the safest areas to meet up. I feel bad because so many of my friends live thousands of miles from family, so I should feel lucky that they are within an hou... More

  • Elle
    Feb 25

    What is it about the hometown that you miss? - is it the walking around? Suggest buying in a slightly different area nearby with more easily accessible acctivities in walking distance. - is it that you havent really made close friends yet? Try reaching out to different groups, cast your net wider! 70-90 min commute is no way to live.

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