Musings on low milk supply

I don’t know if you’ve noticed any difference, but you can now access this site at thanks to a wonderful reader who fixed that for me. The URL will also still work, and all the archives are in the same place. If anyone needs a great web design person in Toronto, let me know and I’ll hook you up.

Infant Hib vaccine recall in the US.

Can we talk a little more about low breastmilk supply? I have a theory, and I’d love to run it past you to see if it makes sense. I think that the conventional wisdom that very few women have low supply was probably true back before WWII. But that our environment and the way we have babies now has changed our bodies so that low milk supply is more common.

Apparently, when you breastfeed a baby, the milk-producing cells in your breasts multiply and increase their output. So you’ll have more milk for subsequent babies. Also, I’ve heard from an LC that girls who breastfeed develop more milk-producing cells later on than girls who don’t, because the act of nursing somehow stimulates the production later on. So I’m wondering if the reverse is true, that those couple of generations who were told to use formula caused us to lose some of the capacity to make milk that our ancestors had 4-5 generations ago.

At the same time, we have so many toxins in our environment now, especially plastics, that we know are messing around with our bodies. There’s definitely a link between plastics and hormonal problems that may cause PCOS and infertility, so it seems like that could cause low supply, too.

And at the same that all that’s been happening, the way we give birth has changed so much over the last 100 years. There was a whole generation that was basically knocked out cold during delivery, but they didn’t breastfeed, so we don’t know how that would have affected milk supply. Now, almost every woman is given pitocin and IV fluids, at the least. We know IV fluids cause edema of the breasts in some cases, and edema delays or reduces milk production. (Again, conventional wisdom is that your milk comes in by day 3, but I know dozens of women who didn’t get any until day 5 or later after a labor involving IV fluids.)

It seems to me that this might have created/be creating a perfect storm of low production for a higher percentage of women than "should" have low production.

Any thoughts on this? Do you think I’m way off, partially on the mark, forgetting something? Any other theories?

Samantha needs some hugs

If any of you are in HR and would let me pick your brains about something (not my current job–no worries), please email me. Thanks.

Poor Samantha writes:

"I’m at my wits’ end.

I don’t know where to start.  I do know that my head is pounding and my eye bags are now purple and I long for my baby to sleep for a 4 hour stretch.

I wrote to you over 3 weeks ago and told you how my 12 week old was waking every 2 hours (at least).  Well now I think she has got into the habit.  The gas that was waking her has stopped and I thought that the 12 week growth spurt would be over by now, but at over 15 weeks, she is waking regularly.  She cannot put herself back to sleep.  I’m trying to get my nipple out of her mouth so that she falls asleep without it in there.  Sometimes it works but she wakes after half an hour and nothing seems to get her off.  She gets so upset, she doesn’t even realise a boob is being offered.

On top of that, she is finding it hard to get to sleep in the day.  She has switched on to the world and I think it makes it difficult for her to nap.  My husband has been away for the last 2 weeks so I have been the sole parent.  It’s so hard when she wakes every 30, 90, 120 minutes during the night and then only naps for 30 or 45 minutes in the day. She is so tired when she wakes from her naps and it’s getting harder and harder to get her off (even boob and bouncy chair are failing).  The other day I planned to walk with her in her carrier for an hour and a half to get her a decent nap.  The carrier always gets her off.  And it did – for 20 mins.  Then something woke her and she screamed.  She wasn’t in pain because I could stop her from crying for a bit but I just couldn’t get her to sleep.  In the end, she cried herself into a sobbing sleep, with me sobbing next to her.

I feel like such a loser.  Young teens have babies, women have twins and toddlers to contend with.  Some people put up with sleep deprivation a lot longer that my measly few weeks before melting down.  I only have one, lovely little baby and I’m exhausted and tearful.  I sometimes feel angry towards her.  I know it’s wrong and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt her, but I do feel like putting her in her cot and leaving her to cry because none of my efforts are working.  I don’t want her to lose her trust in her mummy.

I’m quite certain that the reason she is getting so upset is because she is tired.  Plus, maybe she is picking up on my increased tension as the sleep deprivation continues.

I’m now really resenting breastfeeding.  I found it really hard in the early days but I persevered because I wanted my baby to have the best. My husband and mum were constantly telling how ‘breast is best’ and I continued.  However, I’ve never been the best expresser and with my husband’s shifts and time away with work, the baby has forgotten how to use a bottle.  Now I can’t even get a break in the day.  I long for some sleep.  My friend’s baby can go off to its grandmas armed with a bottle (and pacifer – which my baby also has no idea how to use but does have an overwhelming desire to suck) and she can recharge her batteries.  Not me.  How can breast be best when the baby’s mother can barely raise a smile in the morning??

I know time will be a great healer, I just feel so exhausted.  My in-laws keep saying how she should be sleeping for longer periods by now and perhaps I should start her on solids.  I just can’t see her ever sleeping for longer periods – it’s all so foggy.  I have bought Elizabeth Pantley’s book, which I’ve read and will start the logs soon.

I love your website – it’s such a comfort.  I know there is probably no solution – just to wait it out, so I’m sorry if I’m wasting your time. I think I’m just searching for hope and support."

Oh, honey. This is just so sad, and I have felt every one of the emotions you’ve written. Especially the part about how feeling like a loser because other people deal with much tougher things than this.

You’re right that the ultimate cure for this is going to be time. But in the meantime, I have a few things to offer:

She’s heading right smack into the 19-week developmental leap, which means she’s in the middle of the 4-month sleep regression, which reduces many parents to quivering masses of pain and despair. Remember this post when we all shared how awful the 4-month stage was? Let’s go back and read the two pages of comments (you have to click "Next" at the bottom of the screen to see all of the comments) about people going through this torturous stage. You are not alone. It ends eventually.

This is probably the worst time possible* for you to be the sole parent for two weeks! That’s just adding so much on top of this that makes it worse. Of course you’re completely fried. If there’s any way to afford it, I’d try to get someone to come in to help you for a few hours a couple of times a week, at least.

Now, about your in-laws: Babies all slept longer when your ILs were parents because the babies all slept on their stomachs. I really wish there was some way for us to let our kids sleep on their tummies without risking SIDS**, because I’m absolutely convinced that that’s why we’re all so consumed with sleep–they don’t sleep well in general, so it’s not just that we’re nervous or micromanaging or whatever. I get 5-6 sleep-related questions a day, and I just think some of them never would have been issues back in the days when kids all slept on their stomachs.

In theory, I think that if you want to quit breastfeeding, you should
feel free to without guilt. Your daughter has already gotten way more
breastfeeding than most kids do, and kids are fine on formula. In
reality, however, I think weaning right now will make your situation
worse because she won’t take a bottle from you so that will add another whole
level of struggle to your day. Also, weaning could (two days in a row
with this warning) push you into full-blown PPD from the hormone drop.

Instead, I think you should ask someone you trust to take your daughter for 3-4 hours every other afternoon so you can stay home and sleep. Send along a bottle of pumped milk or formula. If she drinks it, she drinks it (and whoever she’s with might take it–you never know what kind of magic someone will have, and most babies won’t take a bottle easily from a breastfeeding mom), but if she doesn’t take it, one afternoon isn’t going to hurt her, and it’ll get you a stretch to help fortify you for the next few weeks until she breaks through the developmental leap.

You can’t deal with this all by yourself anymore. You’ve done everything right. There’s no magical way to get her to sleep while she’s working on this developmental leap, so instead people need to be helping you to maximize the sleep you can get each day. If no one knows how much you’re dealing with, send your husband the link to this post, and ask him to help. Dealing with a not-sleeping baby alone is what propels women into PPD, so don’t even begin to minimize what you’re going through. You need someone else there to hold that baby while you sleep four 4 hours in a row. And not someone who’s criticizing the fact that the baby’s not sleeping. Someone who knows what a great job you’re doing, and just wants to be part of your team when you need it.

Now, readers, please say something nice to Samantha.

* Maybe not exactly the worst time. A woman told me her husband left for an overseas two-week business trip when their first child was three days old. Yeah.

** Whoever can come up with a no-risk-for-SIDS tummy-sleeping device deserves billions and billions of dollars.

Q&A: weaning, or not weaning?

Stephanie writes:

"I’ve been reading your advice since my baby was born
11 months ago. We are approaching the 1 year mark and I can’t quit
thinking about how to wean, when to wean, etc. I’m conflicted about
stopping and can’t even fathom how I would ever do it. On one hand,
I would like my breasts back (as would my husband). I would like to
(but don’t necessarily need to) do some work again and be able to leave
her with a sitter. And, I’d like to have 6 months or so
breastfeeding free before I start trying for another baby and I’d like to
start that this summer. OTOH, I don’t want to stop breastfeeding
before my daughter is ready. Although, she does eat a variety of solid
foods and enjoys them, she is also not showing any signs of stopping
breastfeeding. We also nurse for naps and I feel like stopping will
make my life so much harder during the day. Additionally, my mom just found
out she has breast cancer (non-invasive) and I’ve read how breastfeeding
is a protective factor against breast cancer and since I have several other
risk factors (started my period early, had my first baby over 30, family
history), I feel like I should breastfeed as long as possible. 

In my life before motherhood, I always thought extended
breastfeeding seemed weird, but I currently see no end in sight. It seems
like so many moms I know said their baby just wanted to stop between 11-13
months. I don’t see that happening with my daughter.

I would love to hear your experience of when your babies
were ready to wean and your readers as well.  I’d also like some
advice on how to reply to people who say, “You’re still breastfeeding???”

I think we should just call Stephanie "Everywoman," because that’s about the most concise summary of the classic set of conflicts between wanting to wean and wanting to keep nursing that I’ve heard.

(Am I the only one who feels sad that 11 months is considered "extended" breastfeeding? It’s such a tiny slice of their lives, even if each feeding seems like an eternity sometimes.)

Anyway, it sounds like you want to do some kind of partial weaning plan. You could go down to one or two nursing sessions a day to keep the benefits, while still having your body back somewhat. Once you’re down to those few feedings, you can decide if you’re comfortable keeping with those for awhile longer, or if you want to wean completely. And weaning down from two feedings to nothing is lots easier than trying to get down from more feedings to none.

I think weaning is another one of those things that we think of as all-or-nothing, but unless you have to wean completely cold turkey for some medical or logistical reason, you can do it gradually enough that it doesn’t feel like such a hard choice. (Let me say once again that if you have the time, it’s an extremely good idea to wean gradually over the course of a few weeks. Weaning cold turkey can give you mastitis–which was worse for me than two unmedicated labors–and can also make your hormones drop so strongly that you could get thrown into PPD. Over a few weeks you can cut down a feeding every few days and dry up your milk using mint and sage tea enough to help prevent mastitis and PPD.)

So, back to the logistics. I’d figure out if there are a few sessions that you can drop in the next couple of weeks. The ideal candidates would be sessions that she doesn’t seem to care about so much, but that make you nuts. I think if it were me, I’d keep the nap nursing sessions because you know you can get her down easily that way. Since the purpose of weaning is to make things easier, having to create a whole new nap routine seems counter-productive.

I think you should spend the next few days doing some careful observation about what sessions she seems attached to, and what sessions are making you jump out of your skin (if you’re at that point). That’ll tell you where to start working on the weaning.

Any comments or suggestions? I feel like 11 months is one of those points at which moms are starting to get really sick of nursing (18 months is another huge one). How did you make the decision to stop or not, and how did you make weaning the easiest possible on everyone?

Surviving Secondary Infertility?

Yesterday I found out that my friend B is going in today for a D&C. The baby stopped growing at 10 weeks. This is her fourth pregnancy, and she has one child.

I just feel so sad for her. I really thought the miscarriage/D&C/loathing-her-body/frozen-smile-when-other-people-announce-their-pregnancies stage of her life was over. She should have been able to relax as soon as she hit 8 weeks.

And my other friend’s friend, C, just lost a baby at 10 weeks, too. She got pregnant easily with her 3-year-old, and had no complications. Then last year she lost a baby at 20 weeks. Genetic problems–a fluke. So why is she back on the roller coaster again with this fresh loss?

For those of you who have been there in secondary infertility hell, how did you make it through? For those of you still in it, what’s the worst part? How do you maintain hope?

Readers have questions, but I don’t have answers

Maybe you guys do have some answers for us.

T writes:

"i have a 16yr old step-daughter & a 9yr old
son,is it right, legally, for them to share a

I  think that probably varies by state or province law. But I don’t know for sure. I do think that probably a 16-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy are going to be a better room-sharing match than two 16-year-old girls, or two 9-year-olds. But that has nothing to do with the legality. Anyone know? T, if you’re reading this and want to update on what state/province you live in in the comments, that might be helpful.

Jill writes:

"We have new neighbors with little boys the same ages as mine.  They’ve
been playing together outdoors and having a great time.  Then yesterday
I noticed a pile of toy guns joining the game.  My boys have never been
allowed to play with guns, even squirt guns.  I’ve told them that I
think its a bad idea for kids to play with a toy gun because they might
see one that they think is a toy and then find out (the scary way) that
it was real.  But, in someone else’s house, I’m not sure I have any
control.  Should I prohibit my boys from using them?  I’m not even sure
I can.  My kids are 3.5 and 6.5."

I wish there was just one good answer for this question, which I think comes up every day all over the world.

I think squirt guns are fun. But I don’t want my kids to think real guns are cool, so I don’t want them to play with toy guns. But squirt guns are fun. And kids make toy guns out of anything (sticks, French fries, their fingers).

So, yeah. I don’t know. I’d rather have my kids playing with brightly-colored, obviously toy squirt guns than ones that really look like real guns. So maybe that’s the solution. But maybe not. Anyone else?

And last but not least, a barbaric yawp from a frequent commenter who I’m keeping anonymous:

just re-read your review of the Ames & Ilg 3 year old book.  To
give me moral support.  Since I have been dealing with a bratty, rude,
obnoxious and very verbal 3 year old (who seems to save her very worst
behavior for me, and 2nd worst for my husband) for over 6 months now.

To have a girl who was a delight for the first 3 years of her life
become like this is horribly depressing.  And to hear her behaving so
sweetly with the babysitter in the next room while I just struggled
with her for 2 hours is almost more than I can take.

That’s it.  I guess at least I’m not the only one."

At least now you know the bad-with-mom-but-great-with-the-babysitter thing is normal. Seriously, that book is the only thing that made me think I wasn’t a horrible parent at that age.

I certainly don’t have any parenting answers. But I do want to say that it gets better. And that I think that in a lot of ways, this evil 3 stage is practice for the teenage years, so if you can think of a way to try not to take it personally, you’ll help yourself not only now, but also when she’s seized by whatever awfulness happens when she’s 14.

Anyone else?

Update on “going insane from lack of sleep”

Remember Stacy, who was going insane from lack of sleep? She wrote back in to update us:

"Reading that post now, I can hardly believe I typed that message toyou.  I sounded so exhausted, so miserable! Which I was.  But the news
today is much better.  My son, who is now coming up on 1 year, is
sleeping through the night.  Ahhh!  I still get giddy just THINKING
those words!

I took a hodgepodge of advice from you and your commenters.
First, I spent a night in a hotel.  It took a long time to wind down in
that hotel bed, and I almost rushed back home.  But once I fell asleep
there I got 6 solid hours of blessed rest, and I felt like a million
bucks the next day.  I don’t know what I thought would happen in my
absence, but my husband did fine with the baby.

That successful night convinced me that you were totally right
about letting Daddy manage the sleep process.  I started nursing the
baby before his bath, PJs, or any other element of the bedtime
routine.  Then I would hand him off to Daddy and let them do their
thing.  Within a week, they had a great routine down.  Removing the
nursing from the bedtime routine entirely was huge, but alone it wasn’t

So my husband and I would set goals each night.  The first was
a very modest goal – we wouldn’t let the boy nurse unless two hours had
passed.  Once that was accomplished, we kept inching the goalpost a
little further away.  Three hour stretches, four hour stretches, and so
on.  During this time, I’ve been sleeping in the guest bedroom with a
white noise machine (finally, that thing is worth what we paid for it)
and my husband has been in our bed with the boy.  I left my husband
alone to do whatever he wanted when the boy woke up between allowed
nursing sessions.  As part of my commitment to letting Daddy manage the
process, I would not nurse the baby until my husband brought him in to
me.  I had to let go and trust my husband to make the right decision,
to discern when the baby truly needed to nurse.  It was hard at first,
I was waking up frequently and fretting.  But nothing terrible
happened, and in time I began sleeping – really, seriously sleeping –
between nursing sessions.  Bliss!  We’ve never left him alone to cry,
but he has
done a lot of crying in there with Daddy during this process.  I’m not
100% thrilled about that, but he’s obviously sleeping better for it,
and he always wakes up sunny the next day.

couple of weeks ago, we were able to get the boy down to one nursing at
night, with 4 hours between.  Then, this week, we eliminated even that
one nursing session.  We’ve been aiming for a 9-5 "no nursing" block.
He’s been giving us 9-6:30.  It’s fantastic.

I know everything could change at a moment’s notice, because
kids will be kids.  But I’m now rested enough to deal with it.  And I
now know that he CAN sleep through, so even if he regresses it won’t
feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I also have to
deal with easing myself back into our bed sometime, and I worry about
that transition.  Overall, though, things are a thousand times better
than they were when you answered my question.  I may not have had the
gumption to go through with it without the support from you and the
wonderful, sympathetic commenters who have Been There and Done That.  I
look back and wonder what took me so long.

So thank you.  Thank you thank you thank you so much :)"

Hooray! You’re welcome, Stacy, from me and I’m sure from all the commenters who posted on that question.

I think the moral of the story is that there is no magic cure. Nothing is going to work in three days to make your kid sleep through the night. But if you can get yourself 4-5 hours in a row, you’ll have enough presence of mind to be able to formulate a plan that works for your particular family. Then just keep going. A lot of us have been there, and there’s nothing sweeter than a long-sleeping baby.

Now, a question from me: My younger son is very clearly left-handed. Can anyone tell me what things a left-hander needs? All I know for sure is different scissors. He’s 2 1/2, so is only starting with cutting, but really wants to do
it, and our right-handed scissors just aren’t doing it for him. I’d also love recommendations of where to buy things for left-handers (online would be great). Thanks!

Q&A: only children

Too many irons in the fire! Sorry about the skipped day.

To the Jill who had the friend who would talk to K, could you email me at with your contact info so I can put you in touch? Thanks.

I’ve discovered several things in the past few days:

1. In order to use the auto-post feature of Typepad effectively, you have to know what day it is.

2. Green smoothies are excellent, but raw arugula does not taste good in them. (Current green smoothie recipe: raw spinach, mung bean sprouts, greens powder, kefir, raw almonds, a packet of Emergen-C for the winter season, frozen mango, frozen acai or blueberries.)

3. What was I thinking with all the skirts for work? I’m a skirt-wearer by nature, but between dropping my older one at school, walking to the subway, and walking from the subway to my office I walk 1.2 miles every morning. In the freezing winds of NYC. And I work in an office with only men, and my only contact with clients is by phone, so who even cares what I wear? I need more pants.

4. Have you ever been post-shower naked brushing your teeth in the morning, when suddenly both kids and one of the cats bursts in because the older child has decided to be Batman, "but not the real Batman, Mom! I’m a guy with two bats who attacks his brother–Batman! But they’re just pretend bats!" and the little one is squealing and laughing and trying to hide behind your legs, and the cat just wants to be part of the action? And then when everyone’s finally stuffed into clothes and ready to go, the little one poops? And people wonder why I leave the house with my hair wet.

Now on to today’s topic. After that post a few months ago on spacing kids, I got a couple of responses from people about only children.

Lysa writes:

"My husband and I are in our mid-thirties.  We have a 15-month-old son.  We are university professors so money will never be aplenty (but time, at times, will).  We’re really on the fence about having another child, for several reasons: resources (we want to give our child/ren everything we can and with two, as crass as it sounds, there’d be less to "go around"); timing and age (again: we’re in our mid-thirties and *very* tired); selfishness (as much as we adore and utterly cherish our son, we secretly can’t wait to get even a remote semblance of our old life back — i.e. Preschool era approaching).  And yet, we feel strongly that siblings are somehow essential to well-being and adjustment (I hate that word).  I’m very close with my brother.  An only child himself, my husband feels indifferent: having never had a sibling he doesn’t really know what he’s "missed," but he also recalls wanting a larger family growing up (never had a dad).

Question: are there significant (i.e. Scientifically proven or obvious) disadvantages to being an only child?  What do people with only children notice?  Any major observations/experiences worth taking into account as we struggle through this indecision?"

Then Lisa wrote:

"Here’s my context.  I’m a young, spry 30 year
old Canadian that had a very normal childhood.  I have one sibling, 3y9m
younger than me.  We fought a lot when we were young and once I hit high
school, had very little to do with each other (mainly because of the age
difference, dating, etc).  We are much, much closer now and have been since
I left home 8 years ago.

My daughter is 17 months old.  Gentle, loving,
sweet, beautiful.  Pregnancy was fine, delivery longish, but fine. 
Normal breastfeeding challenges in the beginning and we’re still going
strong.  Sleep is a huge challenge, but we’re coping through

The reason for this preamble: I can see no glaring
reason for my unending feelings of NOT WANTING ANY MORE CHILDREN!!!  Not
just that I’m not ready for another, but I really don’t want to do it all

I feel like a freak because of it.  For now, I
can just tell family/friends/strangers that I’m just not ready as N is only 17
months, but that will change.

Is being/having an only child really that
bad?  Am I a bad parent for only having one?"

You know, I don’t follow a lot of the research on the optimum number of siblings to have, or how far apart they should be spaced. But I’m suspicious of a lot of that research anyway, because I think so much of how you relate to any siblings or to being an only, and how you feel about it is a heady mix of 1) how your parents dealt with the situation, and b) luck. And how do you control for that in research studies?

You know, there are people who love being onlies, and are very motivated and feel like they’re lucky not to have had siblings. And people who feel desperately lonely being an only. People with one sibling who wished there were more (like me), and people who think one was enough.

One thing I’m pretty sure of, though, is that if parents don’t have the emotional resources to deal with more than one kid, they shouldn’t set out to have more.

[Before I go on with that, let’s point out that you can’t always control it. Some people struggle for years to have one, and don’t have the luxury of considering having more than one. Some people have one and then can’t have another. Some people only want one and then have a surprise baby. So, to a certain degree, this is all hypothetical anyway.]

But back to resources. If you don’t feel like you can handle another baby emotionally or in terms of energy or time, you’re going to put yourself in a really bad situation by having another one. You’ll be stretched too thin to parent as well as you’d like to, and you just won’t feel good about your life or yourself. I don’t think the same argument can be made as strongly about financial resources, since having two kids isn’t two times as expensive as having one. And your financial situation will, presumably, improve over time. You do have to consider how having less money will affect your parenting, in the sense of childcare, working hours, choice about where to live. Giving your kids "the best of everything" doesn’t resonate with me personally, because I’d trade anything, including my college education, to have my brother. But there’s a big difference between not being able to afford the very best thing because you have to buy two, and being stretched too thin with daycare or having no options for schooling.

So, yeah. You’re not horrible for only wanting one. Or for wanting two. Or three, or four, or however many. If you feel that having a sibling is important, then have one. If you don’t, you will have to do extra work to set up playdates and activities for your child. But if you do, you’ll have the extra work of two kids, so it probably comes out even in the wash.

One thing I would like to say is that when my older one was in that 15-20-month age range, I couldn’t even imagine having another child. That period was so lousy for me with the emotional stage of early toddlerhood that the thought of having another child in the mix was enough to drive me over the edge. So my advice for people wondering about this when their child is 15 months or 17 months is that if you think intellectually that you want to have another child, but emotionally don’t want to, just make the decision to table it and revisit it in 6 months to a year. Once you’re in a new stage, and your child is more verbal, it will probably become more clear to you whether you really want only one, or would like (and could deal with) another one.

Thoughts from the readers? If you got to decide about siblings, how did you decide? Did your decision change at all over time? If you didn’t get to decide, how did you reconcile yourself? Regrets? Things you’re happy about? Post anonymously if what you say could hurt your child’s feelings someday.

School lunch cry for help

Hey, have any of you tried the new Amazon Kindle? They keep sending me emails about it. It’s a wireless device that you can load books onto and read. I have to admit that the idea of eliminating all my stacks and stacks of books (seriously–they’re like wire coathangers in the way they seem to multiply) is tempting. (I wouldn’t get rid of my current library–perish the thought–but would be able to avoid new acquisitions.) The $400 price point seems kind of decent. But then I just can’t imagine how it would be comfortable to read from a screen, any screen. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s tried it. (The review are predictably conflicting: "It will replace the book by next year!" "It’s unconscionable!")

(Also, I don’t know if I’m really supposed to release this little tidbit yet, but is going to start a book club soon. Hooray! An online book club, and I don’t have to do any work on it. I’ll post more info when I get it.)

Now, on to the school lunch outcry. From Lisa:

"How about a starting a discussion on school

Every mum I know has trouble thinking of healthy
tasty food that doesn’t go off in a hot lunch box, that their kid will actually
eat!  Any change from the humble sandwich would be a treat in my

I know we’ve talked about it before back at the beginning of the year, but here we are in the thick of things, when school lunches have gotten to be routine. Some kids like that (mine, although he allowed me to add clementines to the mix this morning), while other kids want variety.

I should report in on the results of the Laptop Lunchbox experiment: My older son decided he didn’t want to use his anymore, because it wasn’t a licensed character lunchbox like his best friend S. has. So much for innovation. The kid’s apparently a victim of peer pressure. His little brother loves the Laptop Lunchbox, though, so he’s been using it for snacks.

We’ll see what happens as they get older.

Every day we need a lunch (doesn’t usually get eaten, because they’re too busy running around) and a snack (usually gets eaten completely). So I’m packing a small lunch (today was a half sandwich and a clementine) and a larger snack (cheese, fruit leather, crackers, cucumber).

Here’s a shot of my RL friend Beth’s bento boxes for her kids. Here’s the Vegan Lunchbox site (want vegetables? talk to the vegetarians). More bento boxes for kids’ lunches ("frozen rice"? Interesting…).

Please post your ideas or links. I’m interested to see if we get any kinds of regional foods, or if parents all over the world are packing the same things.