Nursing Tuesday: Maternity Floral Midi Wrap Dress

This really cute maternity dress has a slight high/low hemline and a nice little daisy print or rose print, depending on which pattern you choose. It has a V-neck with a hidden snap at the overlap panels for easy nursing, and there are on-seam pockets at the hips, hooray! So if you’re looking for something that would be good for maternity as well as through nursing, do consider this dress. While it does look a little less sleek, shall we say, than some of the sheath dresses and others, I think that, a) while you’re pregnant you can get away with more things, if that’s your style, and b) if you throw on a shrunken cropped blazer with this, it’ll be very cute, so keep that in mind. The dress is $69.95 at Gap in sizes XS-XL. Maternity Floral Midi Wrap Dress

Psst: Looking for more info about nursing clothes for working moms, or tips for pumping at the office? We’ve got them both…

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Comments

  1. For those of you with three young kids what is your childcare situation? We are thinking of having a third but would have three under five (4,2, baby) We currently have a nanny but would that be too much to handle? Older two go to church programs but they are short days… We are basically trying to decide if we should space further out not because of us (2 on 3 sounds doable) but for childcare during the day…

    • Legally Brunette says:

      We have two and no nanny, but most people I know with three kids has a nanny who has been able to take care of all 3 kids. If your older kids would enjoy it and it is an option, you could put them in a preschool that ends at 3 pm, so the nanny is only taking care of 3 kids for a few hours before you get home. But there are many competent nannies who can manage three. Issues about spacing should be focused more on what YOU and your husband can handle — not the nanny.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      A friend has 3 under 3. The oldest (2.5) is about to start some sort of part-time school program but has previously been home full time. They both work full time. They have an au pair and a part-time nanny. The nanny comes 3x a week in the morning, so that they can space the au pair’s hours so that the au pair can do bedtime 3x a week. My friend works from home a fair bit, so I think she can help during the day as needed too (taking the older one on an errand). I’m exhausted just thinking about all of it, but I think 3 under 5 would be more manageable – a 4 year old needs attention but can also play independently for a bit.

      • I actually suggested au pair to my husband! He doesn’t want to mess with our nanny’s current schedule and is nervous about introducing a coworker – could be helpful for us though! And we have the space.

        Thanks all for the replies. This seems silly but I live in an area of the country with a lot of stay at home moms. And a lot of people who use nannies – there are less good preschools and it’s hard to get in! My oldest will actually be starting at a good one next year but the hours are 8:30 to 11:30 the first year then 8:30 – 2 the second… I foresee one to two years of pain, but we like having kids close in age???

        My nanny also told us she thinks two is a really good number (ha!) but we pay well and work outside the home so I know she is really happy with us and I think she would definitely stay!

    • Spirograph says:

      I have three under 5 and they are all in the same all-day daycare, which, while probably not the cheapest or most convenient option, is the best choice for us. But my mom was a SAHM for 3 kids under 5 and she survived, so I definitely think a nanny could handle it! I know of several nanny shares with more than 3 kids involved. She would still take the older ones to preschool for part day, right? Gently, much as you like her, I think it’s odd to consider your nanny’s feelings as part of your family planning.

      • haha, fair. less her feelings and more the fact that we might be shortchanging one or more kids having her spread so thin, if that makes sense. I think we will probably go for it, it just seems like we are all operating at 100 percent already! But we love it and we want more…

    • Anonymous says:

      So this may be coming from someone who has forgotten life with 2 & 4 year olds…but I say closer in age is better. Mine are: 8, 6, and 1, and finding child care that works for all 3 seems harder than when we had just 2 & 4 year olds. When they are closer in age they all have to take naps, they have similar interests, etc…Now we have the big kids and a baby. While they all pretty much get along, the big kids need to do homework and practice instruments and the occasional after school activity.

      So we have a nanny for the baby during the day – but much of the work is just sitting there while baby sleeps (which is super annoying to pay for, especially when I work from home!) and then rushing around after school when baby should be sleeping but can’t – someone is always getting shortchanged. Either the big kids don’t get any attention or the baby doesn’t get sleep.

      I don’t know if this ramble has been helpful but my 2 cents are go for it. I love having 3! :)

  2. SuperAnonymous says:

    Can we talk about circumcision? I don’t think the subject’s come up before but please point me to the discussion if it has. How did you make the choice for your male children? We’re not religious so that’s not helpful and, generally, are ambivalent on the issue. I’ve heard people say that you should do “like father, like son” but whereas dad isn’t, he has no strong feelings on this one. On the one hand, it does seem to be more the norm in the U.S. to do it, on the other hand I think the modern trend – at least where we live – has been away from it. I am mainly concerned with not causing my future son any social anxiety as I’ve certainly heard my share of “eww, gross” about not having it done, but I also don’t want to put him through a painful procedure if it’s not really necessary. I also think the “eww, gross” response is largely from people who are uninformed and wouldn’t know one kind from the other, if you know I mean. Our doctor says the medical benefits at this point are relatively minor so this really comes down to preference.

    This is sort of an awkward conversation to have in real life given the detailed disclosure involved but really curious for what other people have done/considered about this.

    • anonyforthisbc it's private! says:

      I agree, it’s totally an awkward conversation, but it is one that I have had in real life so I’ll share it….. I briefly contemplated it when my son was born and opted to have the circumcision. I discussed it with a college friend who also recently gave birth to a boy and had it done. We are from the east coast and our conclusion was that more people on the east coast have it done than in the midwest–totally anecdotal here…..but my friends comment on it was “you don’t want him to be like Justin X!”. Well somehow the gossip missed me, but Justin X was not circumcised and it was apparently well known in our sorority (yes I realize how awful this whole thing sounds)…. but in conclusion I would say it may be more common in different parts of the country and yes, most people certainly know what kind from the other (thank you to the man that flashed me in NYC and proved that to me).

    • Sarabeth says:

      We have an infant son and did not circumcise. We are also non-religious, and while my husband is circumcised, he felt pretty strongly opposed to it.

      I think that in our circles, less than 50% of people who don’t have a religious motive choose to circumcise their sons, so I don’t worry about the social factor.

      • This was the same for us. I left the decision mainly in the hands of my husband (though I was glad to talk it out if he wanted), because I didn’t have strong feelings, but he is circumcised and was opposed to it. Our pediatrician also said no health benefits one way or the other.

        • SuperAnonymous says:

          This was my original plan, but he is basically 51/49 in either direction, day of the week depending. Not being circumcised has never been an issue for him but he is also a very self-assured person who isn’t bothered by being in the minority and went to a v. diverse high school as far as all that goes. I’ve dealt with both, personally, and honestly have no preference. I’ve definitely encountered enough stray remarks about not having it done to make me really anxious about the decision. He’s been in my presence for some of these and yet they apparently haven’t registered with him. I worry if our son will be bothered by this. I think the “norm” is still to do it where we are, whether for religious reasons or just generally.

    • We did not circumcise and my husband is not either. It might be increasingly the norm in some parts of this country but circumcision is more in the minority world-wide. My understanding is that it is the norm for Jews and most Muslims, but not practiced widely in Christianity and Hinduism and other faiths, and putting those latter faiths together — you’re looking at more than half of the world not doing it. Our pediatrician said that there was no evidence one way or another on the health benefits.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        The statistics in the US are overwhelming though – during the 70s, 80s and 90s, more than 80% of male babies were circumcised. Apparently it’s still close to 75% of male babies in the U.S., although it varies by state.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Ok, and I know it looks like I’m strongly pro, but actually I don’t know and was so relieved that kiddo was a girl so I didn’t have to make any choice. I’ve read enough strongly anti viewpoints, but have enough family experience that would push me pro, I honestly don’t know which way I would go if I ever had a boy.

    • We opted for it. For us, the minor health benefits seemed worth it. There is also a chance that your son could need to have it done once he gets older- I know of 2 cases where teenagers had to have it done because of repeated infections that weren’t responding to better hygiene practices. Granted, these are fairly rare, but it’s worth asking your doctor about it.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        My grandfather had it done in his eighties….apparently as men get older and skin loses its elasticity, skin can shrink and cut off circulation (or something? I didn’t ask a lot of questions…). A family friend who is a geriatric nurse confirmed that it’s somewhat common among older men (circumcision was not common in the US until the 70’s or 80’s, so many older men are not).

        • I made my DH make the final call – he is circ’d, but ambivalent. This fact was what ultimately made his decision to circumsize – a geriatric nurse friend said it’s fairly common for older men to have to have some kind of procedure due to a combo of lack of elasticity and declining hygiene habits. He couldn’t imagine having to go through that as an adult, so he opted to have our son done as a baby. Secondarily, it’s “like father like son” but that wasn’t important to him.

    • Cornellian says:

      Didn’t do it. I leaned against but didn’t feel strongly, and my husband was VERY opposed. I know there may be slight health benefits to it, but there were more on the other side for me (plus, it seemed like unnecessary surgery to me).

    • We opted to have it done. Our doctor told us there were no real significant benefits and that it was a matter of preference. He also said that in his practice, he’s seen it about 50/50 in the past few years, so I figured there wouldn’t be much social stigma either way in our area. Honestly, I had no strong preference, so I left it up to DH, who felt pretty strongly that he wanted Baby circumcised “like father, like son.” I still feel like there’s no “right” answer here, but I know reasonable people who feel strongly in favor or opposed.

    • My husband is but we opted not to for our son. I was ambivalent and encouraged my husband to take the lead on the decision. He was worried about something going wrong with the procedure (I think we both read Middlesex) and didn’t feel like the potential benefits justified it the risk. We live in NYC and the population is so culturally heterogeneous that I’m not too worried about what is “normal.”

    • October says:

      I didn’t even realize circumcision is “controversial” until recently (grew up with only sisters, husband is circumcised). My first son is circumcised because I thought that’s just what everyone did. Now that I’m pregnant with boy #2 I’m reading up on it a little and it seems the trend in the US is heading towards NOT being circumcised. However, my husband is glad he is and for family “sameness” I think we’ll make the same decision for the next baby. As people have noted above, there are rare cases where boys/men have chronic infections or issues and need circumcisions later in life, so I’m leaning on that as my justification.

    • layered bob says:

      We did not circumcise, although my husband is. After considering it, we both feel very strongly about it and consider it similar to the less-extreme forms of female g 3 n 1 tal cutting, with about as much justification.

      I also had a very close college friend who decided to be circumcised as an adult for medical reasons, and while he found it painful and difficult, he said he was glad it was his choice to make and the process was not an undue burden given the tradeoffs involved.

      • Cornellian says:

        +1, have two male friends who did it as adults (one for medical one as a result of a religious conversion) and both were still happy they hadn’t been circumcised as babies.

    • LegalMomma says:

      My son is not – husband is. Our pediatrician told us that health benefit was essentially non-existent at this point. We are non-religious (East Coast US) and decided that we would rather leave the choice to change his body up to our son if he ever decides to have it done. Essentially, it came down to a body autonomy decision for us, and seeing as the decision to do so would be non-reversible, we opted not to circumcise.

      • SuperAnonymous says:

        Thanks for all the replies so far, I really appreciate the different perspectives. For those that decided not to, did you worry about the social stigma? I realize this is not a rational reason to make such a major decision, but I worry about our son feeling insecure about his you-know-what in a locker room or with a romantic partner since the majority in the US still subscribe to doing this.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I’ll echo everyone else. We didn’t – my husband isn’t, which played a big role in it. Our ped said it’s about 50-50 now, and there are no health benefits to doing it, so we decided against it. Our ped also said that the biggest determining factor has been whether the father is. I’ve never heard anyone say “eww gross” about that, but maybe it was less common in my circles to have it done.

    • Anon here says:

      I only have girls but we would not have circumcised if we had a boy. My husband isn’t circumcised and we’re not religious. To me, the health benefits didn’t seem large enough to warrant cutting off part of a baby’s skin. Also….this is probably TMI but my husband’s family tends to be large in that area and so I think he was probably immune to some of the teasing that might have otherwise occurred, or at least he wasn’t insecure about it. I didn’t know that older men potentially have to have it done, though! Ouch! It seems to me that the tide is definitely shifting away from it but many still do.

    • anonforthis says:

      DH is, and was strongly opposed in theory but had a hard time actually deciding. I was ambivalent so left it up to him. Turns out DS #1 was born with a birth defect that necessitated having it done in surgery when he was around 1. Since dad and brother are, we circ’d DS #2 for family sameness. It felt like such a big, difficult decision and we probably would have went with not but the decision was made for us. We didn’t think twice for #2. As with many other decisions for him!

    • I was ambivalent; husband felt strongly, so we circumcised my son (he’s 9 now). The doctor did not do a good job, necessitating a surgery under general anesthesia when he was around 10 months old. If I were making the decision now, I’m not sure what I would decide.

    • We didn’t, and both leaned slightly toward not circumcising. No medical or religious deciding factors. Felt there was no strong medical evidence either way, and will leave it up to son to make that decision if he wants. Husband is, but the ‘like father, like son’ argument has always slightly baffled me – did you care what your mother did with her private bits?

    • Anon for this says:

      We did, but like most, I left the decision up to my husband, who is and went with the like father like son logic after thinking it through. I felt neutral about it. I talked to our pediatrician, who was also neutral. A couple of things I didn’t think about beforehand: 1) while the actual procedure isn’t a big deal at all, the care afterwards is kind of annoying (we definitely were doing some sleep deprived Amazon ordering of Vaseline and gauze) and you do need to make sure adhesions don’t form over the first several months; 2) if you can, ask around about who’s good at circ’s at your hospital and if you can get on their circ board–the nurses will know, most likely. It didn’t even occur to me that there would be a difference, but I’ve heard anecdotes about it needing to be redone when kiddo is older . Oh, and lastly, I also didn’t fully take into account that if we did kid #1, I was committing to any further boys, too, because I’m not comfortable with the family looking different. In retrospect, I don’t know that I wouldn’t do it again, but I don’t know that I would either. Sorry–that’s ultimately not a very helpful viewpoint!

    • We didn’t have strong feelings either way – I leaned slightly con, husband leaned slightly pro (he is circumcised.) We talked to some doctor friends – 50% said don’t do it, 50% said it didn’t matter either way. No one recommended it unequivocally. So we didn’t do it.

      It resulted in some amusing discussions after shared bath time with little TK’s slightly older, circumcised cousins. “Everyone’s body looks different” was a sufficient explanation for our three year old, but my 6-year old nephew had more probing questions for his mom (my sister), and was pretty horrified to learn about what circumcision involved.

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t have a strong feeling about it, but my husband did (cultural norms in his family background) and I deferred to him. My boys are uncircumcised. I think the scientific recommendations are really mixed: slightly lower chance of certain STDs with circumcision, but inherent medical procedure risks as well. The only thing our pediatrician had to say about it was to make sure the boys learn to wash thoroughly. Which…. is important either way.

    • Strategy mom says:

      my hubs is uncircumcized and insisted on circumsizing our son. it is just not fun to be different in that way when you are growing up and in a locker room. once you’re 25 i think it doesn’t matter

  3. avocado says:

    My kid started middle school today–eek! I am usually very relaxed about back-to-school, but this year I am nervous about her changing classes, remembering to bring home the right textbooks, handling classes with eighth-graders, etc. Anyone else freaking out about the new school year?

    • My stepdaughter started middle school last week! I also don’t love having to make sure the backpack is going to the right parent’s house and all the papers get signed by the right people. She’s doing well so far. Her homework is definitely harder, and I think we’re going to have to get used to really riding her to get it done. Not looking forward to that with wrangling our baby and everything else, but, I guess it happens.

      • avocado says:

        Wow, you’ve got a lot going on with middle school and day care starting at the same time! And getting the backpack and papers to the right place has got to add an extra layer of complexity.

        I have no idea what to expect with the homework. From veteran parents at our school, I have heard everything from “fifth grade gives more homework than sixth grade” to “they assigned six major projects due on the same day.”

        Best of luck to you and your kiddos with the transition! Sounds like day care drop-off was a success. He is there + you are alive = win.

        • Thanks! It is definitely a crazy time. Good luck with your kid, too. So far there has been less lunchtime drama than fifth grade, which is a big life improvement for us. Ha.

    • Tfor22 says:

      In our district the lower middle school is 5th and 6th, and my guy starts 6th in Thursday. I am not nervous about school per se but more about how we are going to manage all of our schedules. I am shifting my work hours to 8-4, which should help. I am also trying to streamline the menu planning and preparation of dinner. Wish me luck!

  4. My almost 14mo started daycare today after a year of being cared for at home with a nanny/grandma combo. Ahhhhhhh! Drop off went fine; he immediately ran into the “gym” with all the toys and big kids and didn’t really give us a second glance. I still feel highly stressed about all the food and rules and labeling and providing everything, AND he got the worst diaper rash I have EVER seen this weekend (but it seems to have cleared mostly by this morning), AND he’s teething and went through an insane biting period on Saturday and Sunday…but he’s there, and I’m alive.

    I remember there was a Canadian poster also starting daycare this week. I hope it went well for you too!

    • Anonymous says:

      That was me, thanks! We did a trial run on Friday and it went as well as it could have, I think. Today was my first day doing drop-off and it wasn’t easy but the teacher (wisely) told me to (politely) to scram :)

      Food rules etc. can’t be easy. We are lucky that our daycare provides everything, so I won’t have to deal with that until junior kindergarten (which here starts the year kiddo turns 4)

  5. Pigpen's Mama says:

    Kiddo started preschool today. It’s in the same building as where she’s been for the last 2.5 years, she’s with kids she’s known almost her whole life, and seemed to do just fine when we left here there this morning.

    But I’m a little sad. 95% of the time I’m very happy with being a mom to an only, except when major milestones seem to happen way too quickly.

    • avocado says:

      I also have an only. I didn’t notice the milestones happening too quickly until she turned 9 and all of a sudden I realized that we were more than halfway done. Now I want to slow time down.

      • Toddler leggings says:

        Several of my friends with just-turned 9-year-0lds have felt the same way. (They have multiple kids, so I don’t think it’s just an only child thing, although I can see why it would feel even more poignant.)

  6. Toddler leggings says:

    Now that the weather is turning cooler, I need recommendations for toddler leggings. My almost 3-year-old puts holes in the knees in no time flat. Maybe that’s just inherent to leggings, but I’ve decided I’m done with the Cat & Jack and Oshkosh/Carter’s versions unless I’m desperate. I’m intrigued by the Lands End Kids and Primary versions, but I’m also opposed to spending that much on leggings unless they wear like iron.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My 2.5 year old is not super rough on clothes, but Hanna Andersson leggings are my go-to and they definitely have held up for an entire season/until my kid outgrew them. Sometimes they have a sitewide sale or “basics” that are less expensive (usually when I buy!). They also have an unconditional guarantee.

    • My kid is younger but we’ve done the Jojo Maman Bebe thick knitted leggings and that’s worked well for him so far. They are like sweaters though, not knit like sweatpants.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Caveat that she hasn’t actually worn them yet, but we ordered and received a bunch of Uniqlo toddler leggings and they are very thick. Much more so than Carters/Old Navy/Target.

    • octagon says:

      Cat and Jack have some this fall that have reinforced knees, so we’re trying those.

      We’ve had good luck with Tea Collection and Hanna. If there’s a Nordstrom Rack near you, they carry Tea.

    • Here’s where I make the case for heading to the boys’ section: specifically Children’s Place ‘baby and toddler boys pull-on cargo pants’. 2.5yo son is a rambunctious critter; these have held up through fall, spring, and what looks to be part of another fall before he outgrows them. They’re super soft, extremely comfortable, and have a functional drawstring!

    • EB0220 says:

      We have been buying the Primary leggings for a few years and they’ve held up well. I would say that my kids aren’t super hard on clothes but they can put holes in some of the cheaper leggings in no time. I think we’ve bought at least 10-15 pairs of leggings from Primary over the last few years and have torn one. FYI I think they run a bit small.

      • Toddler leggings says:

        Thanks, that helps. I don’t feel like my daughter is overly hard on clothes, but she does manage to put holes in leggings!

    • shortperson says:

      i like a lot of primary clothes but think their leggings are weird. not stretchy enough or something. i like tea and hanna.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Can we talk about how to have rules/boundaries conversations with a nanny or au pair? We have a wonderful nanny whom we love dearly but recently we have had a couple things come up that we need to address with her. For example, on Thursday, she mentioned to us that when DS (2) doesn’t want to finish his lunch she lets him watch cartoons if he keeps eating. Since we discourage screen time in general (which she knows), would prefer he doesn’t have any screen time while eating (which she doesn’t know) AND encourage him to listen to his hunger/full instincts and let him be finished eating when he thinks he is, this really drove me batty. Generally we give her a lot of freedom with him but as he’s getting older, I’m sure there will only be more “conflicts” between what we think and what she thinks are the right way to tackle issues. Both DH and I are extremely conflict-adverse and hate having conversations like this. How do you decide which “battles” are worth fighting with a caretaker? Either “Seriously just talk to her” or more constructive feedback on this welcome. Thank you!

    • Anonymous says:

      For what it’s worth, you’re not alone in hating conversations like this. I’ve been putting off a conversation with our nanny.

      In your situation, I’d either speak up next time it happens or say something tonight, explaining you’d been meant to say you didn’t want screen time even when it helped him eat more but had forgotten to mention it. Just say you trust your son to decide when he’s full and that you’d still like to discourage screen time, including when he’s eating.

      Wanna help me with my conversation? It’s mostly around food choices and food education. I hate my kids know what McDonalds is and what’s served there, think Gatorade makes you stronger, think applesauce is a fruit, etc. I think most of this is due to what our nanny is eating around our kids, not what she’s feeding them. Not sure how to deal with it.

      • Maddie Ross says:

        Wait wait wait – is applesauce not a fruit?

        • avocado says:

          Yes, if it’s not a fruit I am negligent because I count it as one every. single. day.

        • I also count applesauce as a fruit. I buy one that’s unsweetened and is pretty much just apples, and I definitely count it as a fruit. I understand the benefit of whole/unprocessed fruit, but it’s a challenge to get Kiddo to eat it. We have fruit as an after work/after school snack while we prepare dinner, so we offer a different fruit about 5 times a week, at a time when Kiddo is hungry. He’s usually OK with tasting it, but more often than not, he spits it out and says he does’t like it.

          • And I think she’s not even upset about her kids are eating it. She’s upset because her (presumably) adult nanny is eating it and calling it a fruit? Which it is.

            I may be reading that wrong. But if I’m not…. that seems really controlling and classist.

            I grew up going to fast food restaurants because that’s what my family could afford. I can’t imagine being so privileged that you’re angry that your children know what a McDonald’s is. How is that going to harm them in any way?

        • Unsweetened applesauce is just cooked apples – how is it not a fruit? I mean, must all fruit be raw?

      • Anonymous says:

        Whoa– the only way you get to dictate what your nanny eats is if you provide food for her.

        Otherwise, wow. I mean Wow. Like what if your boss was like, hey I pay you just enough that you hit the US poverty line, which is a joke in all of Europe, but you’ve got to start and only wear designer clothes while you’re here also I don’t care about your feelings or bodily autonomy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, these conversations are tough. Seriously, just talk to her. Early and often about things big and small. You have to, otherwise little things will get under your skin and everything starts feeling like a power struggle. Ask me how I know. If you are in a people-managing position at work, treat this similarly — you should be providing continuous feedback, communicating your expectations, and having periodic “formal” check-ins to make sure everything is going according to plan. I always prefer to frame things as “this is what I want done, what do you need to execute it?” so I don’t end up asking for the moon and having unrealistic expectations of the effort involved. I hate people-managing, though, which is why my kids are now in daycare. Clear boundaries, clear rules with better accountability, clear paths for communication/escalation, and I limit my people-managing to the stuff I get paid for, not paying for the privilege of doing something I don’t like!

      Bringing it up when you first hear about something you don’t is best. “oh! We prefer if DS doesn’t watch TV while he’s eating. Please have him finish his meal/snack at the table without a screen distracting him going forward.” If you have to start a new conversation about it, “I was thinking about what you said the other day about DS watching TV while finishing his food, and I’d rather if you don’t use that approach. We want him to do blah instead.” As long as she doesn’t push back and you don’t hear from the kid that she was skirting the rules, that can be the end of it.

      When we had a nanny, we made sure the things that were *really important* were written down in the contract as “house rules.” If you don’t have something similar, I’d think about drafting them. Then try to come home a little early one day to have time to talk to her about it. “As DS is getting older, we’ve been thinking about what’s important to us as far as activities, mealtimes, etc. I want to make sure we’re on the same page with all of this so expectations on him are consistent between all of us. I made a list so I don’t forget anything I wanted to discuss with you! I want to get your feedback on all of this and find out if you feel you’ll need any extra support from us to help implement.”

      • Thanks, this is super helpful. I popped in at lunch today (rare for me, but I had a reason to) and saw it happening again, so I’ll say something tonight. I was hoping my vague “Oh we don’t usually do it that way” comment when she mentioned it last week would cut it, but apparently I need to be more clear!

        And your point about things adding up is well taken; I can already see that starting to happen. We have #2 coming in the fall, so it will only be helpful to have better communication lines going moving forward.

        • You definitely need to be more clear. What you said could easily be interpreted as “I never thought to do that, how clever!”

          I would just say something like, “we are fine with Kiddo not finishing his food if he says so and we don’t want him watching TV as an incentive.”

  8. We did not circumcise my son even though my husband is.

    We’re not religious, though I was raised Jewish. I leaned toward doing it for minor health benefits and to avoid the low but not vanishingly low risk of needing to do it later in life. However, my husband was STRONGLY opposed to it, resents his own circumcision, and went on about how he would not allow the “genital mutilation” of his son. I didn’t feel nearly as strongly, so his opinion carried the day. My observant Jewish parents were deeply upset about this, but I think they’re mostly over it. I’m sure my mom is a little disappointed every time she changes a diaper, but I’m over caring.

  9. Anon for This says:

    Can we talk about post-partum periods? I was EBF until about 3 weeks ago. 7.5 month old. About a week before I stopped EBF-ing, I thought I had my first period. It was only about 3 days though (normally mine are 5-ish) and light. After my first child, mine came back with a vengeance when I stopped EBF-ing and were immediately heavy and regular. It’s been 35 days (but who’s counting…) since my last and I haven’t started again, though I feel all the symptoms. I took a pregnancy test yesterday (because I was absolutely freaking out – we do not want anymore kids!) but (thankfully) it was negative. Is this normal? Are my hormones totally out of whack? And should I be worried despite the negative test? (Logically, I know probably not, but the part of me that would totally lose it if we had another is not acting rationally right now…)

    • Before baby, mine had always been 7-10 days, much of that super heavy. Postpartum, mine came back very light and lasted for 3-4 days about 10 months postpartum (was still BF but kiddo was eating solid foods). It got a little longer and a little heavier after I finished BF’ing, but it’s not as bad as it was before having a kid. So your experience somewhat matches mine.

      But if you’re getting “symptoms,” it may be spotting and you may be experiencing PMS?

    • I don’t know what’s normal, but I got my period about 9 months post-partum. I EBF until one year. We are weaning right now and my periods are still changing. I have been chalking it up to my body figuring it all out.

    • ElisaR says:

      I think it takes some time to go back to “normal” so I wouldn’t be too concerned, your body is still adjusting!

    • AwayEmily says:

      My first three cycles after weaning were suuuuuuuper long. My OB said that was normal.

    • Katala says:

      My period doesn’t wait for weaning to come back (yay) but it’s not regular. My cycles were exactly 28 days for as long as I tracked pre-kids, now they are much longer. And definitely irregular at first. PMS is much worse than before and lasts 10-12 days (double yay), so I also wouldn’t be concerned.

  10. CPA Lady's Threenager says:

    My kid is turning 3 this month. Age 2 has been a roller coaster ride, but much better than the tedious suicide watch of age 1. I kept hearing people talking about how rough 3 was. I thought “how could it be worse than the bad parts of 2?” But if how she has been acting the last couple of weeks is any indication of what we have to look forward to during the next year, we’re in for a bumpy ride. Enraged tantrums, constant defiance, tyrannically ordering me and DH around (not that we give in, which enrages her and then there is another tantrum), not responding to any bribery or threats of time out.

    At this point I’m able to stay calm in the moment, because her behavior is so stereotypically over the top that it’s funny. But I would imagine I’m going to get really sick of this soon…. any guidance? Advice? Book recommendations? I just ordered the How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen book.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Three. Is. Worse.

      Four though? Four is awesome.

      • For my son, 4 was definitely worse than 3. I think girls are early bloomers on PITA behavior though!

    • avocado says:

      Things change very quickly around that age, I assume because their little brains are developing so rapidly and they can’t always handle it. Mine went through a couple of intense periods of tantrums that suddenly disappeared after a few weeks, so you don’t necessarily have a solid year of this to look forward to.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Do you read / have you tried “1,2,3 Magic”? That’s always my recommendation. But my kid is 2.5. And sometimes a terror.

    • I have twin 3.5 yos and for me it’s WAAAAAYY better. Than everything else. Yes, there’s definitely boundary-pushing, and button-pushing (the look you straight in the eye and do the thing you just explicitly said not to do kind of button-pushing), but so much more rationality. And tantrums for the most part tend to be more manipulative than out of control, which makes it so much easier to just hold firm (at least in my mind — if my kid’s just being a pill, I don’t mind that he’s upset). We also can talk about how it’s okay to be angry, but not okay to scream/throw things/etc. We practice deep breathing, using a non-whiny tone, and stomping our feet to show we’re angry and they mostly get it. And then, compared to 2, my 3yos are also imaginative, say hilarious things, give the best snuggles, and are just developing into fun little people. I wouldn’t go back to 2 for anything on earth (nevermind 1 — ugh, the cutest but the WORST).

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I remember we had a bad month just before kiddo turned three, and I was like…uh oh. But it turns out that we have fewer tantrums now than we had at 2 (the ones we have are bigger and angrier though), and she is so much more self-sufficient, that I find 3 to be overall easier. I started some serious boundary setting with time-outs and sticker charts just before age three. It’s not a surprise that many of the families featured on the Super Nanny shows have a newly-minted three year old : ) The good news in my family is that kiddo needed regular time outs for a month or so, and now at age 3.5 she probably gets a time out once a month or less.

      It’s true that I can’t just give an order and expect her to do it anymore (to the extent I ever could), things have to be done more diplomatically and more thoughtfully. If you try to be an authoritarian with a 3 year old, you are going to land flat on your face.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am of the opinion (having worked with little kiddos) that parents just expect their two year olds to just sort of … go back? to being a baby or something. Basically being a three year old is like going through puberty and then the adults are like, great, now go back to being 12! I think a lot of people just white-knuckle and / or coddle kids through the 2s instead of realizing that this is a big messy growing experience for everybody and the better response is to give kids more control, more responsibility and more independence by the age of three. Three year olds in Western communities of 80-100 years ago and three-year-olds in subsistence communities today were/are expected to watch babies, carry firewood, carry water, make sure the fire doesn’t go out, collect eggs, help weed, help clean etc.

      Now, I don’t think three year olds should be in charge of fires (duh!) but try making two or three item picture checklists and seeing what she can do (put pajamas in laundry, go to bathroom, brush teeth // pick fruit for lunch box, put lunch box in backpack, put backpack by door). Have her help set the table or tear up lettuce for salad. Focus on physical things, not emotional or mental things.

    • I like 3. It takes longer to explain a ‘no’ than it used to, and little TK enjoys a vigorous debate (with 2 attorneys for parents, we’d expect nothing less), but it’s all part of learning. When he loses a battle, he’ll remember the lesson for next time and articulate the rule – “We’re not watching Ninja Turtles because there’s too much fighting.” “I can eat Cheerios in the car but not yogurt because yogurt is too messy.” So the tantrums, as frustrating as they are, are learning experiences. Are they fun in the middle of a supermarket? No. But I’ve found that we’re not re-fighting the same battles over and over again, the way we did when he was 2.

  11. AwayEmily says:

    We just got a second car (which will be the primary kid-transporting vehicle) and I am determined to not let it become a total disaster zone like our other car. Does anything work particularly well for your family for keeping the mess corralled? Back-of-seat organizer? Trash can? Better habits? Should I just give up now?

    • Maddie Ross says:

      I think it has to be two-fold (or it is for me) – the stuff that “lives” in the car, has to have a place (for us, that includes a stroller currently and a diaper bag – they both fit in the trunk with cargo nets) and you have to diligent about cleaning it out. Trash is immediately removed the next time the car stops. I do a sweep once a weekend for toys/clothes/outerwear that has made its way in.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I had a 14 year old Honda that basically became a garbage can. When I got my new car, I swore things would be different. And, so far, they have been. This is what I do:

      – Kid has two car books at a time that live in the car. They are the ones I hate reading at bedtime.
      – Any other toys or blankets or snack containers that migrate into the car migrate back out the same day. A blanket does stay in there during the winter.
      – I pick up all trash out of my car at least several times a week (I try to do it every day) and take it directly to the trashcan that sits in the driveway. Sometimes I do this when kid is still buckled into her car seat so I’m not juggling a bunch of stuff and trying to corral her at the same time.
      – We go to the car wash with the free vacuums as a special treat outing. (I spin it that way anyway). Kid gets super excited when I let her help vacuum the little floor rugs and dry off the car with towels. Try to go once a month at minimum.

      Basically, the only “secret” to keeping it nice is to just get in the habit of doing stuff as you go along, rather than letting it get really bad.

      • Anonymous says:

        Going to the carwash was totally a special treat! We’d go to Dairy Queen, get ice cream cones and then sit in the car while we went through the automatic carwash.

        (Once a month we’d also get hotdogs at the 7-11 and then go to the movies — it was a small town.)

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I wish I had an outlet in my garage stall so I could keep a dustbuster right next to my car. I haven’t found it feasible to avoid food in the car, but it would be lovely to have an easy method to clean out the crumbs immediately upon returning home.

      • avocado says:

        We kept a dustbuster in the garage during the cheerios years and it was fantastic. We still have a rule that all trash and stuff that does not permanently live in the car is removed as soon as we get home.

      • Wehaf says:

        You can get handheld car vacuums that plug into the cigarette lighter. Search “car vacuum” on google shopping to find tons of options. Armor-all even makes a wet-dry version.

        I don’t have experience with any of them, but they are out there!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I don’t know how well this will work if you have more than one kid, but for all kid-stuff that stays in the car (kiddo likes to play with a calculator, likes to have access to a selection of sunglasses, has a special car stuffed animal, etc.) there is a small tote bag (from the impulse-buy section at Target) where everything goes. It started as a solution to “mooooommy I can’t reach OWL!” because she can reach anything in the bag, but it also generally helps keep things contained.

    • Artemis says:

      Toys/animals/books stay in the car in the rear seat pockets (my oldest and I can both reach these to distribute).

      Hinged-lid snack containers, one for each of my kids, stay in the car in the glove compartment for filling after school or any other drive where they are hungry. I occasionally remove them to rinse out but I only put dry goods in there.

      Car snacks in closed containers that stay in the car–like a giant bin of animal crackers that lives on my front seat. If they want a snack, I fill the containers, and they give the containers right back when they are done.

      Water is the only drink that can be consumed in the car (by kids, haha).

      Baby wipes to wipe hands and faces when we get in the car if anyone is really sticky/dirty.

      I take all trash up front in my side-door pocket and throw it out as soon as there is a trash can.

      I have a large “trunk organizer” in my trunk that corrals everything that could possibly be loose but that I need–spare shoes, diaper bag, blankets, reusable grocery bags, etc.

      Finally, if you can swing it in your budget, I get my car fully detailed once a year. Then it never gets quite so bad, and I have a major incentive to keep it cleaner because it looks so nice when I get it back! I also view it as an investment in my car lasting longer, since I definitely drive cars into the ground.

    • I had a lemon car and had to lease a car all-of-a-sudden a year ago, complete with cloth seats (hello Scotch-guard!). I instituted a strict no-food rule, excepting, occasionally, for long car trips (though I try to plan rest stops and encourage eating then). They may have water at any time in a flip-top thermos (not a sippy cup – those things leak), but no milk, not even on long car trips (they’re 2 and 5)! After long car trips I clean it out thoroughly, even removing the car seats. I opt for etch-n-sketches instead of crayons that wind up in cracks and melt in the summer heat. We also have a 17-year old truck that’s a disaster, and was so even before children!

    • Newbie Momma says:

      This is embarrassing but in the spirit of sharing how people actually make it work…. I literally throw garbage/anything I don’t want in the car out of the car on to the garage floor every time I get in the car. I’ve been able to maintain a clean(ish) car as a result! I just clean up the garage once a week and pick up non-garbage on my way into the house. I realize this will not work well if you park on a street….

    • Toddler leggings says:

      Set and reinforce the rule that anything that comes into the car must come out. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a wrapper or a backpack, it has to happen at least once a day. We do all the unloading when we get home from work/daycare, which means the mud room looks like a wreck for awhile, but all the fiddly stuff gets thrown away pretty quickly.

      We really don’t eat much in the car at all, unless it’s a granola bar, dry cereal, or something that’s relatively simple to clean up. After a really horrible incident involving a sippy cup full of spoiled milk … milk isn’t allowed in the car, period. Water bottles are fine.

      Our car is not perfection, by any means (hello, daycare playground with sand/gravel), but I’ve had many people remark how clean our car is for a family with kids.

    • Spirograph says:

      Trash can! One of my favorite things about my Honda Odyssey is that there’s a hook for a trash bag (well, I assume that’s what it’s for. That’s what I use it for!) by the passenger seat. When it gets full/smelly I throw it away on my way into my office, and I keep plastic grocery bags in the glove box so I can replace it.

      Otherwise, we try not to do snacks in the car unless we’re on a long road trip. Car trips are a disaster, and we just have to dedicate an hour to cleaning the car out again afterward. At all times: water bottles are ok, NO juice or milk. Books go in the seat-back pockets. We always have several books that live in the car, and my kids are content to look at those for entertainment while driving around town so there aren’t too many other toys in there. Kid stuff travels to and from school in their backpacks, which they are responsible for bringing in the house every day. My car does need a good vacuuming, but otherwise it’s pretty clutter-free most of the time.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Thanks all! this is all great advice. Seems like one of the common threads is “take trash and random stuff out of the car daily” which makes a ton of sense but ugh is so hard when you are ALSO carrying a toddler. Looking forward to when she can climb out of the car herself and be trusted not to run into the street.

      • I’ve been known to stuff a bunch of trash directly into my purse when I needed more hands than I had…

  12. Katala says:

    Advice on starting combo feeding? I nursed DS #1 until 15 months and pumped for a year. He never had formula and I ended up tossing a little bit of my freezer stash because I didn’t realize it got old.

    DS #2 is almost 8 months, EBF also. I never built up a huge stash, but had enough to make it through dips and accidents (the Friday I forgot to take the pumped milk out of the cooler, one day last week I WFH and totally spaced on pumping). I’m now down to 1 full bottle and a few 2 oz. frozen bags. I’m about to get my second PP period and not pumping enough. I also remember having supply issues around 8-9 months with #1.

    I think it’s time to add in some formula, mostly to relieve my anxiety over it. I want him to have breastmilk for a year but not opposed to some formula. How do I start? We prefer to try first at home rather than send formula for one of his bottles at daycare, just to see how it goes. But I want to nurse when we’re together. How did you wise ladies tackle the actual transition? If I keep pumping, should I still send a formula bottle each day and freeze any extra pumped milk to build up a little freezer stash?

    Baby doesn’t eat solids yet. We do baby led weaning and he isn’t into it, just tastes things and makes hilarious faces. Maybe it’s also time to do some purees to start expanding his palette?

    • You don’t have to do a full meal with the formula when you’re at home. Just give him a couple of ounces of formula and then nurse afterwards to finish the feeding. Repeat as many times as it takes for you to feel comfortable sending formula to daycare, and then proceed! Get your husband to give him the bottle, and go out of the room when he does it.

    • We combo fed beginning at around 9 months, as my supply started to decrease. I exclusively pumped, so my experience may be a little different, since there wasn’t any direct nursing involved. We may have lucked out, but my daughter took formula without any issues and switched between the two seamlessly. I just gave her a bottle of it one day, and that was that. We didn’t mix BM and formula in the same bottle because I didn’t want to risk throwing any BM out. We started with one bottle of formula each day at daycare (with pumped milk making up the rest). As my supply continued to decrease, the number of formula bottles at daycare gradually increased until she was getting all formula at daycare and all BM at home. I increased the number of formula bottles and continued to try to freeze some milk (rather than ceasing to freeze anything at all), thinking that I wanted to make it to a year with at least some BM each day. It worked out well, and I made it through 13 months until both my supply and stash ran dry. Good luck!!

    • Butter says:

      We started combo feeding around 7-8 months. I wanted my son to keep getting breastmilk in his daycare bottles through one year (mostly to get through cold and flu season), so I did a 2:1 ratio of breastmilk and formula in his bottles and froze the rest, which allowed me to back off of my pumping (I dropped from 3 pumps to 2 around 7-8 months, and from 2 to 1 at 10 months, then stopped altogether at 11 months). We sometimes did all breastmilk bottles and sometimes mixed bm with formula – the only thing that annoyed me was if he didn’t finish a bottle it couldn’t be saved, unlike with bm. We never gave him formula at home, as he always breastfed when he was with me. He never had any issues taking formula, and we just let daycare handle it (ie didn’t try it at home first).

    • Redux says:

      I am in the middle of this, too! Older kid EBFd to 13 months, but second kid I decided to intoruduce formula at 8 months for many of the same reasons you list. It’s super awesome. This is what I did to start:

      Continue BFing/ pumping as normal. Have husband offer a small bottle of formula (2 oz) once a day at a time baby seems like he could eat but when I wasn’t going to BF him– for us, that was the hour after daycare and before dinner when we’re rushing around getting dinner ready. He would drink the bottle, then sit at the table for dinner and play with/eat his BLW food. After dinner, I would nurse him as usual before bedtime. I was surprised that he still wanted to nurse with the same frequency as before.

      • Redux says:

        Now we send one full bottle of formula (out of three) to daycare every day. Anything I pump over the needs for the next day goes into the freezer (this hasn’t amounted to much, though). At home, I BF as usual, with the added option of having my husband offer baby an additional bottle during that rushed hour, or just before bed, or as a dream feed, or if he wakes up after bedtime. So many options!

        • Katala says:

          So good to know this works well for you. Sounds very similar to how I envision it working. DH does pickup and I get home anywhere from 1 hour later to just before (sometimes after) bedtime, so adding in some formula in the evenings would really help and relieve the stress of trying to make sure there’s always a small bottle available so he doesn’t have to thaw frozen while doing dinner/evening routine. Thanks!

  13. Ok, I need some help communicating with my 21 month toddler–kiddo has gotten really into pulling the cat’s tail/ears/fur recently. Unfortunately, the cat is way too tolerant of this behavior and isn’t providing any kind of negative feedback. I try to intervene & stop the action, remove kiddo, plop in my lap, make eye contact, and say some version of, “Stop, that hurt’s kitty/that’s not how we treat our friends/I won’t let you do that.” This is met with giggles and full-body limpness to avoid the eye contact. My methods feel totally counterproductive–nothing changes and kitty’s tail is grabbed immediately after–and honestly like I’m trying to discipline a dog (which is pretty much the entire basis of my disciplinary experience…). Kiddo is super-easy going generally, so we don’t have great strategies. Anyone have any good scripts or strategies ?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      It sounds like you’re giving kiddo too much positive attention for bad behavior, and it’s feeding the behavior. Can you take some quick, automatic step to separate kiddo from the cat when kiddo is pulling the cat’s tail? Bonus points if cat gets to stay and kiddo has to go to time out. Baby gates may be your friend to separate kiddo (I know they are pretty much useless for cats).

      I would use the Happiest Toddler method of using few words, repetitively, “No hurt cat! No hurt cat! Time out.” Or if you have to remove the cat, “No hurt cat! No hurt cat! No more playing with cat.” And then let the tantrum roll if it happens.

    • – Give your kid instructions about how to approach and pet the cat, not just negative feedback. We taught our 2-year-old something like, “Cat likes it when you’re quiet. Put your hand out. Pet gently.” He’s not perfect at it by any means, but he stopped intentionally hurting the cat.

      – When Kiddo hurts the cat, remove/protect the cat. Pick kitty up, comfort/stroke it, and say something like, “Ow, that must have really hurt!” in front of your toddler. Then tell your toddler, “I won’t let you hurt kitty,” and take kitty to a spot it likes where toddler can’t reach or put kitty in a different room where it has a spot it likes. Basically, give the cat positive attention and affection and remove attention from your toddler.

    • I would assume your child understands you and doesn’t care to do what you say, not that he/she doesn’t understand. This sounds terrible but as the owner of 3 cats, if the cat really doesn’t care, I might not fight this battle – if you get a new cat that is less stoic (99% of cats), negative reinforcement will solve the problem. But otherwise, say no, offer an affirmative option – you can pet kitty this way – and if child doesn’t respond, I’m not going to let you touch kitty this way, and then physically remove child from cat/restrain child’s hand so he/she can’t continue. You have to enforce a consequence of some kind, but at 21 months I think the most effective consequence is forcing the child to stop, bodily, rather than some kind of punishment like taking something away. You could also maybe do a crib time out. But I would consider whether you want to haul out the big guns for behavior that isn’t causing a real problem and is unlikely to turn into animal abuse long term.

      • just seeing the responses above and rethinking – removing the cat is probably a better idea than restraining the child.

  14. Potty help, please! One of my 3.5 yo twins was totally potty trained as of July. He was even going to the bathroom by himself, pulling down his pants and peeing all without help. He had no trouble with public bathrooms, or bathrooms in other people’s houses, and even seemed okay with poop. Then recently he just stopped using the toilet. We’re really not interested in trying to night train right now for a number of reasons, and he still gets a pullup at bedtime and naptime. Lately he’s been just holding it until naptime or bedtime, and going then. Because of this, he’s also sort of dribbling throughout the day. He’s really, really resistant to going to the potty. He does NOT want to even sit on it. Not on the toilet, not with the Elmo insert, not on the little potty. He gets really upset any time anyone mentions the potty. He’s not into any rewards. We used M&Ms and matchbox cars to get him trained, but he’s so resistant that these and any other reward we’ve tried is not worth it to him to go to the potty. If you ask him, he’ll insist he doesn’t have to go, even if he’s walking around holding his crotch or his backside. Yesterday, he insisted he didn’t have to go even though he was holding his bum. Then he went in his pants. It was kind of a disaster all around. Has anyone dealt with this? I would back off and let him ask for a pull up any time he wants to go and see how that works, but his school started today and they don’t allow pull ups. Just not sure what to do to work through this. And he’s too little to explain why he doesn’t want to use the potty. If we knew why, we could address it. But really no clue.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I dunno either, but kiddo goes through the same thing sometimes. It maybe follows a traumatic incident (being rushed through a potty session, making a mess in the bathroom, reprimanded for something bathroom-related), maybe? The last one ended after I started reading her a favorite story only while she sat on the potty, and then she got stamps on her hands after she went.

      Also, if school is just starting up, things might get a little worse with the stress and then get better with the peer pressure/teacher assistance.

    • Can you have him try to pee standing up? If you have a backyard, you can encourage him to go outside (water the plants) to get the hang of it and make it fun/ not traumatic. Or have him aim at Cheerios in the bowl. Basically make him want to go at appropriate times. And if he says he doesn’t have to go, ask him if he can find the pee that is “hiding” in his belly and push it out. There is almost always hidden pee.

      • I worry this is what might have started it. He’s closer to me than to my husband and I think he’s distressed by the idea that we’re not 100% the same. He didn’t want to learn to pee like daddy. He just wants to pee like mama. And I think he was freaked out when he learned I don’t have a p3nis. He started saying he’s a girl and that he has brown eyes like mama (his eyes are very clearly light green like my husband’s).

        • Anonymous says:

          This is a very different scenario than the one you painted initially. I would actually start with pointing out REAL similarities between you and your son (we both love popcorn! we both are right handed!) whenever he points out a not-true similarity (eyes). And then I’d start doing it with EVERYONE (look! you and Mr. Gordon are the same — you both have feet!) Then once he could sort of do it too (what do you and Mrs. Rodriguez have in common? Curly hair! Great answer! You both have green shoes? Cool!) I’d start pushing back by pointing out all the differences between people (not you and him). In this phase I’d embrace a lot of “diversity” art, books and music (Free to Be You and Me; The Skin You Live In; Same Same But Different; The Day the Crayons Quit). I wouldn’t focus at all on genitals or the differences between you and him — just that differences are good and make the world better.

          If he hasn’t snapped out of it by then (and this could be really existential for him — people are walking around with body part under their clothes that he can’t see — that’s actually freaky if you think about it!) Also, he’s a twin — he’s A LOT (or exactly) like someone else. That is weird psychologically when it comes to differentiating yourself from others. I’d start pointing out pretty minor differences between you (you can tell Mommy and Jimmy a part because we have different birthdays! We are different heights! etc.)

          This doesn’t seem like a bathroom problem so much as a Lacanian separation moment.

    • Take him to the doctor now. Get referrals to pediatric gastroenterologist and potentially a pediatric behavioral psychologist. Do what they say.

      One of my twins struggled in a similar way, and our attempts to address it on our own did not help and, in fact, I now think made it worse. We had some success finally with a pediatric behavioral psychologist who specialized in this issue. (Nothing crazy–really primarily he recommended a reward chart, but obviously he provided a lot of additional assistance.) The gastroenterologist was to make sure there was no physical issue. Sometimes a physical issue can cause a longer term behavioral issue.

      My son did go to kindergarten still having accidents. We went through a lot of hiding/lying behavior, a lot of accidents, and a lot of negative in our relationship. I would recommend getting assistance. And school or no school, you may have to figure out how to back off of it for awhile.

  15. BabyBoom says:

    I’m always a day (or more) behind in reading comments. But I had to pop in to say that I just saved CPA Lady’s comment from Friday’s thread about self-preservation and coping while your spouse is traveling/working off hours. I absolutely love this and I am going to go an re-read this every time I’m loosing it with regards to my parenting. Thank you CPA Lady!

  16. Redux says:

    This is a super basic question, but: What kind of mattress protector do you use? I never grew up using them which totally horrified my college roommate. I am familiar with the plasticky sheets for bed wetters, I guess, but not interested in those because they sleep so hot. Really, I want to protect the mattress from staining by drool, etc., but not really for anything worse than that. What am I looking for? Specific or general recommendations welcome!

    • avocado says:

      We had a waterproof mattress pad from Garnet Hill that was like a regular mattress pad with a membrane hidden inside the quilted part. It was not overly hot or noisy.

      If you are primarily worried about drool and not potty accidents, a regular old non-waterproof quilted mattress pad should be sufficient.

    • I have two actually, because I was convinced I was going to go into labor in bed in the middle of the night in some kind of dramatic Hollywood “my water just broke!” way. That’s when I got a waterproof protector to put under the normal fabric one.

      I got the “SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector” from amazon. It’s very thin, with a terrycloth type feel on top, but is completely waterproof. Then I have a normal quilted fabric mattress protector from tj maxx on top of that. I thought the waterproof protector might make the bed hot or something, which is why I put my normal one on top. So far so good. We have pets and kiddo and I’d rather not have to replace our mattress any time soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have this one: Luna Premium Hypoallergenic 100% Waterproof Mattress Protector and it’s worked great. Sounds similar to the poster above– terrycloth-type material on top.

  17. My phone isn’t allowing me to respond in line today.

    Re: applesauce, above. I’m not the poster bothered by child thinking applesauce is fruit, but here’s my 2 cents. I give my son unsweetened applesauce without much pause when convenient or that’s what he wants, and yes, all it is is apples. However, I do think there’s a distinction to be made between whole fruit and processed/packaged fruit, even with no additives. Think about 100% pure orange juice – most pediatricians advise against it (and other juice) on a regular basis for normal weight children. I know many parents here do no juice. I think about applesauce being about halfway between whole fruit and fruit juice. As I mentioned, I’m still comfortable giving it and thinking of it as a reasonable choice, but I think whole fruit is the gold standard.

    • Anonymous says:

      I see your point, but just want to point out that pediatricians’ recommendation against juice are because it messes with a kid’s appetite. They’ll drink juice and not want to eat at mealtimes, which makes for an unbalanced diet. And of course there’s the sugary juice + teeth issue. People recommend against juice adults because it’s high in calories and doesn’t fill you up because the fibery parts of the fruit aren’t involved.

      Most store-bought applesauce doesn’t have the skins, so you could still make the case that it doesn’t have as much fiber as whole fruit, but on the scale of whole fruit to juice, applesauce is much closer to the whole fruit side because it is literally the flesh of the fruit. It’s just more dense, and therefore easier to overeat (as much as one could overeat applesauce). I personally like apple slices better than applesauce, so we’re more likely to have whole apples around, but I don’t think they’re appreciably different, nutritionally speaking.

    • I replied above. I agree that whole fruit is the gold standard, but I also think applesauce “counts” as a fruit. We offer both regularly, but it doesn’t bother me if Kiddo refuses to eat a whole fruit we’ve offered and eats applesauce at another time.

    • I make my own apple sauce. It’s close to zero effort. I peel an apple (usually when it’s not so good looking anymore), put chunks into a small pot of water, cook till mushy and then puree in a food processor or just mash with a fork. I sprinkle a little cinnamon and call it a day. I don’t see how that is different from just eating an apple so I have no problem with calling it a fruit.

      I do think a lot of the fruit pouches and other things marketed to/for children as healthy aren’t actually and so I can see how this can be an issue.

  18. Accidental VBAC - I need a real name says:

    I need some encouragement, please. I am now 38 weeks pregnant and have been 3-4cm for at least 2 weeks. I’m one week out from my scheduled, repeat c-section. I had been super excited to hopefully go into labor early. Last week, my toddler was sick, had a febrile seizure for the first time and we ended up in the ER. He’s finally better. My overall enthusiasm for labor and delivery in any manner has faded. I’m exhausted from fear with happened with toddler and I’m so uncomfortable from pregnancy. I verified that I really am a poor candidate for a VBAC and I’m nervous about both recognizing labor and getting to the hospital in time. I actually can’t feel contractions (and didn’t with my first either) even though I’m clearly having them. My current state is I will go to the hospital when I’m either screaming in pain or my water breaks. Hospital is not overly close. Husband works strange hours so I’m home solo in the evenings with toddler. I’m usually a pretty sunny person but I feel dumpy in every way. I should be excited but mostly I’m dreadful – still wanting to go into labor early, yet afraid to. I’m afraid of being home in the evenings on my own despite plenty of help near by. I know this is temporary. Talk some sense into me, please.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      You are so close!!! Just one more week. Do you ever work with a therapist or meditate? I would be leaning heavily on both those things in your shoes.

      Honestly, if you were in my neighborhood and told me you were worried about being alone with toddler in the evenings, I’d bring dinner over for a few nights so you didn’t have to be alone. Because being home alone with a toddler is hard, and being home alone with a toddler while 38 weeks pregnant is super hard. It’s ok to ask for company or even help! Is it possible for your husband to shift around his work schedule this week so he works daytime hours?

      Also – are you in my neighborhood? Because I *would* bring you dinner and handle bedtime for you.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Please please please ask for help! If I knew that a friend or family member was a week away from her due date and was feeling down, I would absolutely spend an evening hanging out, eating takeout, entertaining her toddler, and watching a movie. You’re almost there – you’ve got this!

    • I agree with NewMomAnon – you’re so close! And you’re doing great given the circumstances. Can you invite a friend over to hang out in the evenings? Or make a plan to have one on standby? I always feel better about whatever is worrying me if I have a plan. So maybe the plan is “Nancy will come over immediately if my water breaks tonight” or “babysitter knows I may call her any night this week in case of emergency” but it helps my anxiety to know that some plan is in place.

    • October says:

      Commiseration, due date buddy! I am also 38 weeks and my toddler was sick last week (croup — but luckily no ER for us). It’s such a weird time, I alternate between being SO READY and then at the slightest cramp terrified about how our life will change and how labor will be. My planned childcare for my toddler is 2 hours away with no traffic, and I’m worried about recognizing the signs of labor in time for them to get here. Labor #1 was quick! So no advice, but we are almost there and we can do it!!

  19. overspending says:

    My husband and I went to an art exhibit today (had the day off) and he spent $42 on a tshirt featuring the artist’s work — for our 3 year old son. Does this seem excessive to you guys? Because I’m irritated. We aren’t rich – have tons of student loans and 2 kids in daycare.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a cheapskate and would not spend $42 on a t-shirt for myself, let alone my stain-magnet offspring, but I think that is nuts. Frame the shirt, don’t let the 3 year old wear it. And I am an artist by training and am all for supporting artists, but not by buying shirts that will immediately get ruined.

  20. Thank you!

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