Postpartum Tuesday: Pumping in Progress Sign

pumping in progress sign - great for the officeHappy New Year, ladies! This cute “pumping in progress” sign could be great for the office, I think — it’s clear, easy to read, and will definitely be noticed on your office door — and it’s a great deal more attractive than the hand-written or typed-out “PUMPING IN PROGRESS” signs I’ve always seen taped on doors.  For those of you who’ve spent a lot of time pumping at the office, what are your thoughts — what methods did you find worked best to deter people from coming inside your office when you were pumping? (If anyone had to trek to a pumping room or other dedicated space, care to write a guest post?) The sign is $15 at Etsy. Breastfeeding Sign – Pumping Sign – Privacy Sign – Breastfeeding Door Hanging Sign – Pumping in Progress Sign

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. AwayEmily says:

    I think people in my workplace would be WAY more weirded out by that sign than by a hand-written note taped to the door. It does not seem very office-appropriate, somehow. Maybe it’s just me?

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      HA! I agree. this just struck me was wrong. all wrong.

    • Agreed! A handwritten or typed out sign is way more professional. I just used a handwritten sign that said “busy.”

    • Cornellian says:

      I cannot imagine anyone ever using one of these in my workplace. Just put up a “busy” sign and lock your door.

    • avocado says:

      Agree. It’s not just the cutesy factor, it’s also the drawing of the pump. Just so wrong in so many ways.

    • The whole thing is too cutesy.

    • Lord that’s awful. I didn’t bother with any type of note, I just locked my door. It worked for me because very few people ever stopped by to see me anyway, and my paralegal sits right outside my office so she was able to just tell anyone who was looking for me.

      • Katala says:

        Same, though my assistant is a few doors down and didn’t run interference. She was new so I wasn’t really comfortable having her run interference. Boss knew what I was doing and he still knocked sometimes… awkward, because what was I supposed to say?

        Worst though was when facilities knocked and I didn’t respond, expecting them to leave (didn’t know who it was, boss was out of office, didn’t want to explain to anyone else) and during the second knock, they just used their key and opened the door! Not cool. A “do not disturb” note was probbaly the way to go.

    • EB0220 says:

      Yeah, it’s weird. I just put up a handwritten “do not disturb” note and a door stop on the inside. Worked perfectly.

    • Moms Solo says:

      Agree. I only close my door when I pump so 9ish months in people have figured it out without any signage. Luckily I have a lock. The few times someone has asked to come in I tell them (him) I’ll be out in 10 and then explain I was pumping–doesn’t happen twice.

    • PregLawyer says:

      Not appropriate for my office. The bow is what really kills it for me; cutesy doesn’t really fly here. I just close my door and put a “Do Not Disturb” post it on the door. That seems to do the trick just fine.

      • Anonymous says:

        Seriously. Amazon sells “Please do not disturb” door signs for quite cheap and everyone knew I’d just gotten back from maternity leave… no need to spell it out.

    • biglawanon says:

      Yeah, no one wants to know you are pumping. And I sure didn’t really feel like sharing this with my co-workers either.

  2. Amelia Bedelia says:

    No.
    Hard Pass.

    I’m against these “cutesy” signs. But, it may just be me?

    I used a dedicated pumping room for my first and part of my second; however, i switched to a lock on my office door for the second half of my second. (Thank you, partnership. Gave me the ability to demand this and then I changed the rule for all associates, because it was ridiculous.)

    Anyway, for the office door, I just used a post-it note that said “pumping.”

    • I am 100% against these, too. I put up a small whiteboard and would write “available at 10:30” or whenever I anticipated being done pumping. I do have a locked door, but I appreciated being able to let people know I couldn’t respond to a knock.

    • A nice example of why we need more women in leadership positions! Thanks for using your rank to make change for the associates.

    • POSITA says:

      I put a sign on my locked office door that said, “Please call (ext. x-xxx) or email.”

      I was happy to take calls or answer emails while pumping, as my pump was pretty quiet. This seemed to mollify partners more than making them wait 15 whole minutes.

  3. Car Seat Suggestions? says:

    I’m a little worried about my first post of the year touching one of the third-rails of parenting…but…

    For those of you who did extended rear-facing in car seats, when did you switch? We’re still rear-facing my petite 3 year old.

    We’ve got the Cosco Scenera Next rear-facing in my husband’s car, he hates it AND struggles with getting the straps tight enough*. I’ve got a Britax something or other and it’s been hard for me to get her in rear-facing of late. So I think it’s time to switch over, I’m just super nervous about it.

    She’s outgrown the Scenera Next for forward-facing, and I’d like an idiot-proof harness so I can rest easier about his tightening the straps (this is an issue he has regardless of the carseat). Any suggestions?

    I’m also thinking of the IMMI GO for travel (we were using the Cosco seat because it’s so light). Anyone have any experience with this?

    * I’ve mentioned this to him until I’m blue in the face, and check when I’m driving with them and mention it’s not tight enough and he still can’t get it. Any solutions short of divorce and sole custody with supervised visitation would be welcome. I have no idea why he’s so stubborn about this issue, other than it being a generational thing from someone who grew up before car seats were required.

    Thanks!

    • Cornellian says:

      Show him a video of a dummy in a crash with and without properly adjusted straps. seriously.

      • Car Seat Suggestions? says:

        Good idea — I had looked for something like that in the past — surprisingly hard to find, but there are some videos showing the risk of puffy coats in car seats that demonstrate the same issue. Shockingly, he’s totally fine with removing her puffy coat to get in the car seat…

    • avocado says:

      We used a Graco Nautilus with straps from ages 4 to 8. If I recall correctly, we didn’t need to tighten the straps every time we buckled her in the way we did with the Britax we had been using before that–in fact, she was buckling and unbuckling herself most of the time. A strict “no coat in the carseat” rule and periodic checks of strap tightness helped.

      • DH also does not tighten straps all the way. It triggers some sort of claustrophobia for him and drives me crazy.

      • Car Seat Suggestions? says:

        That’s good to know — I think not having to adjust the straps would make a world of difference. Thanks

    • avocado says:

      Also–how are the straps getting too loose in the first place? Is he loosening them when he takes her out and then failing to tighten them properly the next time he buckles her in? Can you set the straps tight enough and then have him not loosen them ever?

      Some husbands have a strong resistance to any information, especially safety information, conveyed by their wives. I will frequently tell my husband something, he will pooh-pooh it, and then he will hear the same thing on NPR or read it somewhere and come home and tell me about this very important information he has learned that we absolutely must apply. So you might try having your husband learn about car seat safety from another source that he thinks he has discovered on his own.

      • Car Seat Suggestions? says:

        Loosen them to get her out, then not tightening. It’s hard to get her out without loosening them.

        And oh does my husband have that trait. It drives me NUTS, especially in areas I objectively know more than he does. But some random person will say the same thing, and it’s gospel. I’ll have to see how/who I can feed car seat safety info to him . . .hmm . . .

        • avocado says:

          We didn’t have to loosen the straps to get our kid out of the forward-facing harness booster the way we did with the convertible seat. I don’t know whether it was the design of the seat or the fact that she was older and could wriggle out of the straps herself once they were unbuckled.

        • Do you have Old Home Days or some other type of local fair/festival in your town? At ours, the police are always one of the vendors demonstrating proper car seat installation. My town doesn’t have a lot of crime so the police do a lot of community info/safety presentations. You could ask where they will be on display next and make sure you happen to drop by as a family.

    • The britax click tight seats basically tell you when they’re tight enough with a little sound. I gave up on explanations and just said “this is the sound, if you don’t hear it, tighten it.”

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      We switched mine shortly after two because she was throwing up at least once a month and I couldn’t take it anymore. The seat always smelled faintly of vomit, my car smelled of vomit, it was just horrible. She’s in a Graco extend 2 fit in my car and a Maxi Cosi Pria 85 in my husband’s truck. I’d get a forward facing 5 pt booster as they tend to be easier to use. Could you convince someone else to tell him? I really think it’s a wife info thing… my (high risk) OB’s husband switched jobs and wanted to tell her all about these fascinating conditions that women can get during pregnancy (also a dr) and she was most eye rolly about it being as IT IS HER MEDICAL SPECIALTY.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        We switched at 2 for the same reason – my kid can ride the subway/train/sit on my lap in a taxi without a problem, but put her in a car seat and she instantly vomits. She’s thrown up 3x in a 45 minute ride while rear facing. I had wanted to keep her rear facing until 3 or 4, but turning her around dramatically cut down on the vomit.

        If you’re ready to turn her forward facing, maybe have him practice on your Britax and see if he likes it better? We have a Britax and a cheaper travel seat, and the Britax is easier for me.

    • I was super nervous about the switch, but my 3yo was huge (42lbs) and his legs kept falling asleep. So we purchased a Clek for the switch because it has some extra technology that makes forward facing safer (or excellent marketing for car seat crazy parents . . .). It is a beast of a car seat, that is very hard to install the first time (the store did it for us), but it made me feel better about switching him.

      He still asks to “sit backwards” like his little brother, which I think is funny.

    • On your ERF (extended rear facing) question, car-seat.org has a board that is a wonderful resource. I got most of my info from the Baby Bargains Board – one of the women on there is a licensed car seat tech and was so helpful!!

      We did ERF with The Kid until 3 in The Hubs’s car and 3.5 in my car, but he is huge (90th percentile on height and weight), so we had to turn him. If ERF words for you, the various Britax seats are easy to install, although I am mixed on the strap adjustment; a lot of people prefer the Diono seats (we also have one and adjusting the straps was much easier) or Recaro. I note that the Scenara is great for travel, but does not have a lot of features, so you may be pleasantly surprised by how much easier some seats are to use.

      On thing I would note even if you do turn is that we preferred to stay with a harnessed seat as opposed to booster (except for travel). The harnessed seats are substantially safe and The Kid remains harnessed in our cars even though he is six. We use a Britax Frontier Click-Tight, a Diono Radian, and a Recaro Performance. That said, we do let him ride in a belted booster in the ILs car when they babysit and have a belted booster for babysitters to use.

      On the strap issue, also consider having your child ride without a coat. It is safer not to have that layer between the child and the seat and you may be able to avoid some of the strap issues.

      For travel, I like the Evenflo Amp (many colors available on Amazon). Inexpensive, good head support, cupholders, and light as a feather. We toss it in a Childress carseat bag (pro tip: along with a few trash bags and some towels for emergency cleanups and keeping the seat cool in the sun) and check it when we fly and it does fine. The Immi Go is popular if you need something that you can carry in a backpack or similar, but if not, I would go with the Amp and then transition to a Bubblebum (inflatable seat) when your daughter is big enough.

  4. Happy new year! Who’s interested in procrastinating on work and giving me their opinion? My husband and I just found out we are expecting our second, they will be just about two years apart. We have three bedrooms, one is ours, one is the nursery, and one is a combo guest room/office. Obviously the baby will sleep with us for the first couple months, but then I’m considering having the two kids share the larger room so we can hang on to the guest room/office. Or, they would each get their own room and just move in with each other when they had guests (which is what my brother and I did growing up, although we did not get as many guests as my husband and I currently do), but then we lose the office (which really only my husband uses, but he does like having his own separate space). Separately, I’m also hoping we can get away with not buying another crib- it’ll convert to a toddler bed, and then hopefully move toddler to a regular bed when baby is ready for the crib.

    Will they just keep each other awake and wake each other up if they share a room? And for awhile, their naps would be on opposite schedules- could we just keep a pack n play in the office and use that for naps? And what about if we get a boy and a girl, how long is appropriate for them to share a room?

    I know we have plenty of time to decide this, and can be kind of fluid with the rooms as we figure it out, but I am also the type of person that likes to have rooms decorated and set up for their appropriate purposes, if that makes sense. Thoughts and opinions appreciated!

    • AwayEmily says:

      I’m due with my second in (OMG) two weeks and we are going to have them share a room so we can keep our guest room/office. They will also be about two years apart. Our plan (subject to revision because who the hell knows how this second baby will turn out).

      Month 1: Baby sleeps in our room
      Months 2- 3: Baby sleeps in the guest room
      Months 4 – 5: Sleep training, baby starts daycare, baby gets on more of a schedule
      Month 6: Move the kids into the same room

      Like you, I’m worried about them waking each other up, but I found it reassuring that over the holidays, my 2-year-old shared a room with her cousins several times and slept through all sorts of hubbub (them coming in, them leaving, etc). And if your toddler is at daycare they are probably used to a fair amount of disturbance during sleep time. I’m also going to put the white noise machine between the two cribs (we have a pretty loud Lectrofan), which I’m hoping will help. Basically, we are going to try the room-sharing thing for a few months and if it doesn’t work, then re-evaluate.

      Anyway, I’ll report back — they will hopefully start sharing a room around the time you are due!

    • I’m due later this month with a boy, with a 2 year old daughter already. We’re in a two bedroom, but I would make them a share a room regardless.

      Here’s what I’ve figured:
      -sharing a room in fine, regardless of gender, up to 9/10 y.o., and the world will not end if you have them share longer either, but that’s a separate subject.
      -whether you have to buy a new crib depends on your kid, but you probably will need to buy one. I thought we wouldn’t and just transition daughter to regular bed before baby is born but a) she has zero interest in this (hasn’t even tried to climb out); b) at 2, it really helps to contain them in a crib at bedtime, if possible; and c) it can be hard on a kid psychologically to give up crib for baby at this age (everything is “mine” and it’s already a lot of change).
      – my personal solution was to get a mini-crib on wheels (Babyletto has a nice one, so does Bloom though it’s more expensive). Plan is to set it up in our room initially and then move around for naps, as needed after the first few months. You can obviously do this with a pack and play, too, but I hated the PnP last time around and am happy to leave it at my mother’s for sleepovers. Other idea is a rock n play or something similar, which is what we did with daughter for naps, but that will have a more limited life span, obviously. You can also just get an inexpensive crib at IKEA. I think the biggest difference btwn cribs like Ikea’s and the pricier ones is how stable they are and this won’t be an issue for the first year because it’s unlikely your kid will try to climb out before then.
      – as far as waking each other up, at 2-3 most kids start to be really deep sleepers so it’s much less of an issue than you might think.

    • POSITA says:

      I would probably put a temporary crib in the office and use it for the baby until he/she is ready for a big kid bed. Only then would I transition to a shared room. I would still use the older kid’s room as the “kids’ room” with all of the toys, clothes and stuff in the meantime and leave the office/guest room in place. I hear that around 4 and 2, they often like sharing a room because they don’t like being alone.

      • Sarabeth says:

        Yup, mine are 4 and 2 and they share a room by choice in our 4-bedroom house because the 4 year-old hates sleeping alone.

    • Walnut says:

      My son was about 20 months when my daughter was born. We moved the mattress/box spring on the guest bed to the floor and moved my son into that room at about 14 months to give enough time for him to acclimate before the baby came.

      We purged most of our office stuff/furniture and now either work from the dining room table or leave the house entirely to work. We keep a small file cabinet and a bankers box of loose documents in the closet in our bedroom.

      • FTMinFL says:

        +1. Son was 21 months when daughter was born and we transitioned him to mattress+boxspring on the floor just before 15 months. He didn’t miss a beat! He never tried to climb out of his crib and, oddly enough, still won’t get out of his bed without one of us coming to get him. He doesn’t remember sleeping in the crib, so there was no issue with “losing his bed to the baby”.

    • Here’s what we did with our baby born while our oldest was 2yr 2months.
      0-6 months: baby in arms reach co-sleeper/our bed
      6-9 months: crib in office for baby naps, he still spent nights in our bed (we moved it to the floor, he was a terrible sleeper and this saved our sanity). We purchased a second crib because 2yo was still using his and we didn’t want to mess with a good thing. Don’t discount the convenience of having a 2 yo in his crib still.
      9-12 months. Moved now 3yo to big bed, made a big deal about purchasing a cool bunk bed. Moved baby into 3yo’s room with his crib once he started STTN (around 11/12 months). He’s still in his crib at almost 2, but will move to the bunk bed once he is ready.

      They LOVE sharing a room. My now 4yo hates sleeping alone, so it was awesome once we put them together. The occasionally wake each other up earlier than the other would like. They also sometimes keep each other awake with chatting. But so far it has been great. One caveat is that neither of them are light sleepers, they both fall asleep and are out cold. So even when we have night waking’s from teething or sickness, the other tends to stay asleep or fall back asleep quickly.

      We’re hoping to add #3 soon and plan on doing the same thing again. Since we already have a bunk bed and crib in the bigger room, we’ll just add the new baby once he/she is sleeping through the night. Then our office is only occupied for a short time.

    • i was obviously too young to fully remember how sleeping worked when she was born (3 years apart), but i grew up in a two bedroom apartment in a city and my sister and i shared a room through elementary school when we moved. somehow my parents made it work and i definitely think you can make it work too!

    • Didn’t read all the responses, but our two have shared a room since they were 2.5 yrs and about 5 months. They really can sleep through a lot and they now (3 and 1) seem to enjoy having company. Occasionally they will wake each other at night, and I think they get up earlier than they otherwise might in the morning (ie they both wake up whenever the first one wakes) but it’s less wakings than I imagined. For the alternate nap schedules, we still have a mini-crib in the master bed where baby sometimes naps on the weekend. (Sometimes their naps overlap, sometimes they don’t.)

    • biglawanon says:

      Yeah, share a room and keep the office! My 6 y/o twins have shared a room since they were born because we don’t have space for them to have their own rooms. Their sleep schedules generally synched and I think a large part of that was being in the same room. My two older boys also share a room (14/12).

  5. Here’s how my 2018 started:

    – Mastitis with a potential abscess (at the doc now…)
    – Husband has the man flu
    – Baby is in full 4-month sleep regression, waking up 6+ times a night

    Today is his first day in daycare. I’m a mess. Basically just trying not to cry at work today or stress too much about my pumping output!

    • avocado says:

      Awww, hang in there. If it’s any consolation, there’s a chance day care will tire baby out so he will sleep better!

    • Cornellian says:

      Mastitis is the worst. If you end up needing to have it drained or have other surgery, don’t assume it’s the end of your b-feeding story (unless you want it to be!). My NP/IBCLC said she’s never seen an abscess so bad that you couldn’t at least pump during recovery.

      Good luck at the appointment!

    • Ugh I am so sorry. Is it possible to get a night nurse or pp doula to help you out for a night or two?

      • That’s a good idea. My mom came over during the day yesterday to help out.

        DH reasonably could do the 8pm-midnight shift, because even when he’s sick he still doesn’t go to bed much before midnight. My issue is needing to be relaxed enough to fall asleep – which is hard when I hear him fussing (even tho I know DH is in there with him).

        Finding out that I don’t need any surgery on the angry boob makes me feel a lot better tho!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m a couple of weeks away from my due date and my baby is in position, but resting his head on my pubic bone. Hopefully baby will move, but my doctor said that if not, I may end up with some kind of pubic bone separation post-delivery. The internet is not very helpful and my doctor doesn’t think there is too much that we can do now other than hope that baby moves and try to encourage this by sleeping on the left side with two pillows between the legs. Wondering if anyone has had something similar and has any advice or solutions that I may be missing. TIA.

    • POSITA says:

      Maybe try swimming? It always seems to help babies reposition themselves.

    • Cornellian says:

      I had this problem (without knowing it while pregnant). Find yourself a pelvic physical therapist, STAT. You can do exercises in advance, and he/she can be a lifesaver after delivery. If you’re in NYC, I recommend Pamela Morrison or Renew! PT. It will probably be out of pocket, but it is so, so worth it.

      Beyond that, if you can limit motions where you lift your knees up directly in front of you (like climbing stairs facing forward), you may have less pain…

      • Thanks. This is part of what is confusing me: doctor didn’t say I have it, just that I was at risk during the delivery if the baby stays as is. So I’m not sure what PT can do in this situation ahead of time. Google seems to suggest there is SPD that you get during pregnancy and then SPD post-labor. I asked my doctor about physical therapy and was met with a “it might be helpful after” but maybe I should call these places to see what they say.

        • 2 Cents says:

          I’m experiencing pelvic separation (since 18 weeks) and found this book recommended a few places: https://www.amazon.com/Relieving-Pelvic-During-After-Pregnancy/dp/0897934806
          Relieving Pelvic Pain During and After Pregnancy by Cecile Rost
          It offers some exercises and tips that have been helpful so far. I went from barely able to move to moving with pain (which is definitely an improvement). I also bought one of those symphysis belts.

          • How did you find out you are experiencing this?

          • +1 to this book and to swimming.

          • 2 Cents says:

            All of my symptoms pointed to it, and when it went in for my 20-week, the doctor confirmed it. For me, it feels like someone is standing on my pubic bone (which a less-than-helpful, just-trying-to-be-funny-I’m-sure sonogram tech responded “that’s because someone IS standing on it). My doc told me I could also do PT, if I felt like i needed it. For now, the book’s exercises and just not pushing myself to pre-pregnancy efficiency has helped.

        • Cornellian says:

          I think the traditional diagnosis of separation involves an MRI, although they can also diagnose manually (unpleasant). Are you experiencing any symptoms? I was puffy and alternately numb and in pain over my p. bone, which was the biggest symptom. There was pain when I was going up stairs or lifting my legs in front of me generally. By the last month I couldn’t even slide my foot up to bend my knee when lying on my back.

          PT should also be able to advise on birth positions. Some are contraindicated if you’re at risk of separation (or already have it).

          • This is helpful. I’m in general discomfort sometimes but I think that’s maybe just par for the course when you’re 9 months along. I’ve had some uncomfortable varicose veins on my “front bottom” and inner thighs which makes walking a bit taxing at times, but nothing specific with bending or lifting legs other than the belly generally not being helpful. I can still touch my toes and I’m usually fine lying down. I could be quite comfy spending my days on the couch, if only I could. I think talking to PT is a good idea though.

      • If you’re in the DMV, I recommend Nancy Branberg in falls church. Didn’t have this issue but she’s been really helpful with pelvic floor PT.

  7. Prepaid or Debit Card for Nanny Petty Cash? says:

    Looking for recs on how to handle petty cash for our (starting soon!) part-time nanny. I would really prefer to avoid an actual envelope with cash and instead use some sort of prepaid or debit card that would make it easy for us to look at what payments have been made and to add more money when needed. Any recommendations? It seems like many of the reloadable prepaid cards need to be reloaded at a store, which wouldn’t be convenient.

    • Cornellian says:

      What about making her an authorized user of a credit card with a very low limit?

    • POSITA says:

      I think we just got a prepaid Visa for our au pair off of the Visa website, but my husband arranged it. I can ask him tonight.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Can you open up a new checking account with a debit card at your bank that is linked to your accounts? You can transfer a set amount as needed, but you can also see all of the activity in the same place.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Happy new year! Have you found any toddler coats that aren’t bulky and can fit in a carseat? I know you’re not supposed to wear coats in a carseat, but it is too cold and I want to find something thin but warm that my 4 year old can wear in his carseat.
    I saw some on Lands End that looked thin but warm. Any advice would be welcome!
    Thanks!

    • POSITA says:

      We buy the Patagonia Down Sweater. I usually buy it from 6PM in June or July for the best price (about $35-40) in an old color. We can usually get two years of wear out of a size, if we buy a bit big.

      • +1 this is what we do. But I didn’t know about the 6PM sale, we tend to buy at the Patagonia sale in February, and buy a size or two up.

    • We bought the Primaloft Packable Jacket from Lands’ End, and it’s worked great for car seat use for my 3.5 year old. We live in a very cold and snowy climate, so taking her jacket on and off every time she’s in the car is a giant pain and not realistic. She seems to be warm enough in it, too–we have a heavier coat for use when playing outside, but she prefers the thinner jacket.

    • My son, who uses a booster, has a North Face Thermoball (really similar to the Patagonia Down Sweater) that packs down nicely. I wish I’d bitten the bullet and bought one for my 3-year-old, too. My DH is wayyyy too lax about the winter coat rule and it’s driving me crazy.

      Honestly, I don’t think any of the “packable” coats are warm enough for outdoor play when it’s this cold outside, but it would be fine for most winter days.

  9. Talk to me about sleep training? Is it worth it if baby is still in your room? He’s nearly 5 months and we’ve never recovered from the 4 month regression. I go back to work in 2 weeks so the next few weeks are just about getting him in some sort of napping routine and then I think we need to tackle nighttime sleep.

    • Cornellian says:

      We had no luck while he was still in our room, but he was in an open-sided sidecar bassinet so he was pretty much in bed with us. At six months we moved him to his own room and he started sleeping like 8-2 and 2:30-6 within the first week. I really missed having him nearby but the sleep made all of us much happier.

      I think if you can get naps down, he’ll have learned skills to help him go to bed on his own at night, as well. We did nights first, and then naps but I imagine the opposite would work as well. is he going to a daycare?

    • mascot says:

      Our situation was a little different in that he was in his own room from basically the beginning. But, we still focused on nights first because we could “control” more variables then. If you are doing daycare, they will have their own nap routine. I didn’t want to spend the last few weeks of leave stressing about a nap situation that was going to change very soon.
      For night training, we used the dream feed to adjust his feeding times to something more tolerable (11pm was better than 2am) and that got some longer stretches.

    • Two things. First, my baby REALLY followed the wonder weeks schedule, like to the day. We saw a massive improvement in sleep naturally when she ended the 4 month leap, which I think is the same thing as the 4 month sleep regression. I think for us it ended at about 5.5 months, so you are bumping into that and will hopefully see some natural improvement in sleep very soon. (Seriously, we went through about 7-8 hellish weeks of the 4 month regression and I thought I would die.) In my opinion, sleep training is easier after that leap is over because that leap is literally all about learning more mature sleeping patterns and the brain is undergoing a major renovation with respect to sleep. You can do sleep training once that leap starts, but it does seem to be easier if you can get closer to the 6 month mark for night sleep.

      Second, I think you have to decide what is “worth it” in terms of your circumstances and baby’s temperament. My baby would have been very difficult to sleep train if I was in the same room as her because she did best with the Weissbluth method. If I had stayed in the room, I think we would have needed to swing the pendulum all the way to the other direction and done the very gradual no tears method because she would have been too sensitive to our presence and just cried for hours if she knew I was there but just ignoring her. However, I think that method takes weeks and weeks to work whereas the other methods are much quicker. As far as being worth it, her sleep was so horrid that sleep training of any type would have been absolute worth it for us no matter how difficult it would have been to do it with us sharing a room. Not to be too crunchy, but I think there is a maternal instinct as to when you and your baby are ready for some sleep training or a big sleep change. For me, when I was reaching (and staying for days) into deep levels of frustration about some aspect of sleep, it was time to change something and do some sleep training, drop a feed, shorten bedtime routine, whatever. I just get a certain “frustration” feeling that I now recognize as a signal to me to change something about my parenting (works for more than just sleep)–it is a different feeling from the normal day to day frustration that comes with parenting.

      Finally, I wouldn’t stress too much about naps if you are using daycare. They can get the baby on a schedule. Just try to build a good and consistent pre-nap routine at home, but I don’t think you need to worry too much about the schedule.

    • I am very very pro sleep training and I don’t think it would work in the same room.

      • I wouldn’t bother in this situation and didn’t when my daughter was this age and we shared a room, but our pediatrician said you could do it by putting up a sheet along the ceiling to separate baby’s space from yours.

  10. @Cb (on mobile)

    Solidarity from the other side of the pond!!!! We just go to hit with regression 2 weeks ago but I feel like I’ll never sleep again.

    I tried sleep training, and had some success – he’s good at settling himself for the night and has successfully gone down drowsy but awake many many times with minimal crying.

    However. Night waking are another story. Doing CIO but still doing night feedings is so confusing. Weissbluth says to only go in at the feeding times and ignor at others, but it’s not like baby can read a clock?! I quit after three nights when the middle of the night crying was getting worse and my heart was breaking. Still trying to minimize feedings and do pick up/put down at other times but….. ugh.

    I guess my advice is, doesn’t hurt to try but I can say for my kid at least it wasn’t the magical “oh he cried for 20 min going down but slept 10 hours!!” That you read about.

  11. New Mom says:

    DD will be three weeks old tomorrow! In some ways, the time has flown by, yet it also feels like the longest three weeks of my life. The newborn phase can be so sweet but it’s also so much harder than I anticipated.

    My life also feels like it’s been totally turned upside down. Any advice for coming up with a maternity leave “routine” or making the most of your time off? My husband goes back to work next week and I’m worried that I’ll lose my mind being alone with a baby all day.

    Also, when should I try to start putting DD on a schedule? Right now, we’re basically in survival mode (anything that lets me shower/eat/sleep works!), but I don’t want to create bad habits that we’re going to pay for later. Sleep is super important to me and I’d like her to be sleeping through the night (or close to it) by the time I go back to work in 4 months. Any advice?

    • Congrats!

      I liked reading to my daughter even if she just looked at me or at the ceiling. Same with music. For routine, mine was also a winter baby so not much going outside, but I took advantage of the random naps to try to get some chores done, organize a few things, etc. This is obviously baby specific, so don’t sweat it if your little one doesn’t lend itself to this.

      For schedules, I don’t think you can really do a schedule at this age (I think we waited closer to 3-3.5 months), but follow your babies cues. I think it’s more important to not create bad habits now like only having her sleep on you or only being able to sleep being rocked, etc. Those are the things you pay for later, not having a nap schedule or not. My daughter didn’t sleep through the night at four months, but she woke up to eat and went back to sleep easily and that was *almost* as good.

    • mascot says:

      For daytime, we tried to do EASY (eat, activity, sleep, you-time). We also toyed around with a bedtime routine, but that was more helpful for training us to be consistent than him.
      Your job on leave is to keep the baby alive and for you to heal. Everything else is bonus. You’ll feel a lot bettert at the end of 2-3 months than you do right now so go easy on your expectations. Find the thing(s) that help you survive and make sure those happen. For me, this was a daily shower. A screaming baby is a breathing baby so put that little one in the crib and take those couple of minutes. I also found that the end of the day was really rough. I was touched out and craving adult interaction so I’d basically accost my husband the second he walked in the door with a flood of conversation and hand him the baby. Meanwhile, he’d want to change clothes and wind-down from work in peace. We had to hash out a schedule that meant we both got a little break.

      • +1 to just being done in the evening. We have a dog and I normally don’t walk him but when I was home with the baby, I couldn’t wait to take him out – alone – as soon as Mr. AIMS walked in. 15 minutes around the block was very helpful to recharge. Some times I’d go get wine or something random at the store, it didn’t matter really, but you need a few minutes to unplug I think.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Congrats!

      Night time sleep will take more time to work itself out (I’d reassess at, like, 12 weeks). Right now, just roll with it and try to get sleep during the day.

      In terms of daytime sleep, however, make sure that you’re putting her down as often as she needs it. I realized that I was keeping my daughter awake for too long during the day. Google “baby sleep site” and “infant naps” — I was really surprised! I found that it was helpful to plan my day around naps. Like, she’s up at 7, she needs to go back down between 8-9. When she wakes up at 10, I need to get out of the house and do a quick errand so I can be back by X time for her next nap. And again, later on in the day. It created some automatic structure. Of course, if your kid naps easily outside of her crib/bassinet, just put her in the stroller/carrier and leave the house!

    • I need to do this with #2, but with #1 my routine consisted of nursing, holding while napping, and watching copious amounts of Netflix while doing both of those things. I don’t think my daughter napped not being held more than two hours during my maternity leave, and she’s a boss sleeper now, so I don’t think we created any bad habits (that daycare couldn’t fix, at least). #1 was also a winter baby, which limited us, but #2 will be summer so I’m hoping to be a slightly more productive member of society. While still rewatching Hart of Dixie and Psych.

      • Katala says:

        Ha, +1 to watching Hart of Dixie while holding a napping baby. #2 did not nap without being held my whole leave. It was a surprise because I would get 1-3 hours/day (not in a row) with #1 to do a chore, work out, nap myself, shower, etc. #2 is still not as good a sleeper as #1 was at the same age, but it’s getting better. He did learn to nap on his own so any bad habits were not irreparable (and honestly were probably more his temperament than anything I did/didn’t do).

    • For schedules, we implemented the Moms on Call schedule starting around 6-8 weeks. I think it’s similar to other schedules that basically follow the eat/play/sleep routine, and it worked well for us. FWIW she started sleeping 11 hours a night by 11 weeks which was amazing for returning to work, but agree with PP that you’re in the survival days right now, hang in there!

      If it’s in your budget, I’d consider hiring help during the day. I had this thought that since I was “off work”, I didn’t need to have help yet, but really being a mom was way harder than lawyering and I needed a break from parenting all day every day (DH was helpful but worked long unpredictable hours). I love my daughter fiercely but I’m a better parent with some time for me apart from her. We hired a part-time nanny to come help starting when DD was 2 months through the end of my 4-month mat leave. Next kiddo I’m bringing in help right away once DH is back at work. It allowed me to nap, go to the gym, run to the grocery store (or nanny would even run to the grocery store instead if I wanted to snuggle with baby).

    • Knope says:

      Congrats! I agree with the posters that said it’s too early to do any kind of schedule, but I would practice putting the baby down in the crib or bassinet for naps so she can get used to sleeping on her own for naps. Re: routine, I had baby in the spring so I tried to make a point to get out and walk somewhere/do something every day, but I realize that might not be possible if you’re anywhere with seasons right now. But to the extent that you can get out, especially to places like malls or museums where you can walk around, do!

  12. Help me decide whether or not to say something about all the christianity at my daycare.

    We go to a Montessori-inspired daycare for infant to school age kids. We’ve been there over 2 years. A new teacher came in this summer and she talks to the kids a lot about jesus. My 3 year old now recognizes pictures of jesus and crosses and crucifixes, and last week relayed a fairly detailed nativity story to me, emphasizing that we celebrate christmas because baby jesus was born to save us from our sins and that we killed him on a cross. So, more than just a passing christmas story.

    The newer teacher and the owner of the daycare (the owner is the lead teacher) know each other from the church in which they are very involved. It is a small daycare and they are all together, so I imagine that the owner is at least aware of jesus talk, but I do not know if she condones or encourages it.

    I am pretty uncomfortable with this not only because it does not match my beliefs, and that the daycare never told us it would begin to incorporate lessons on christianity, but also because it assumes a level of homogeneity among the children and families that rubs me really wrong. We live in a small town and the demographics are such that the other children may well all come from christian-practicing homes. But, that does not describe our family and puts me in a position to refute or contextualize these stories for my kid before I am ready. I feel defensive. Something about the assumption that this is all ok and part of a daycare environment leaves me pretty irked.

    BUT, we love the daycare. The environment is wonderful in so many ways and they take great care of my kids.
    There are limited daycares in the area and it took us a long time to find this one. We love its emphasis on Montessori methods. We do not want to leave. I am hesitant to say something that will put the owner on the defensive or label my kids as the reason we can’t talk about jesus, or put me in a position to defend my minority beliefs. I am obviously pretty bothered by this, though, so I should say something, right? How should I couch it?

    • Wow, you should definitely say something. I think you’d be justified in outright saying, “when we enrolled, I understood that there was no religious curriculum. has something changed?” Or you can say, “I’d appreciate it if Junior is not given religious instruction during the day. We want to handle those topics as a family.” Whether you want to say that you don’t subscribe to Christian views is up to you.

    • EB0220 says:

      I think you should definitely say something. I’d start the conversation with what you said at the end of your post – you love the daycare, you don’t want to leave, you were hesitant to say anything because you respect the teacher’s beliefs BUT….then make your case. In my opinion, people don’t necessarily question the jesus talk if it’s what they believe too. So someone needs to make the point that some kids aren’t religious, some are Jewish, Hindu, etc.

    • I admit I read your first sentence and said “no” and then I kept reading and said “oh noooooo.” Yes, you definitely should say something. I like BC and EB0220’s suggestions above. The important point is that they know you love it there, but this is a new thing you’re just not okay with.

    • I love my kid’s daycare but if this kind of thing happened I would absolutely say something about it and it might be a deal-breaker if it continued.

      That kind of talk doesn’t match my belief system and puts my child in the place at too-young of an age to decide whether Mom or his Teacher is telling the truth. That’s a problem. I’d also be very concerned about what other things are being taught to my child under the guise of Christian principles (on gays, on women, on people of other faiths, etc.)

      • Redux says:

        Ugh, yes, this is the logical extension of my concern. We live in a pretty red part of the state and unfortunately, these things are linked here. Thanks for voicing this.

    • Check to see if they are covering multiple cultures / religions. My mom teaches at a similar preschool and they do a unit on 5 different religions I think and 15 countries.

      • Redux says:

        I wish. They put out an invitation to all the families to ask if there is a special tradition that you incorporate at the holidays so that they could talk about it at daycare. It was a nice invitation but I am not sure if anyone replied (we did not) and my kiddo is certainly only reciting christian doctrine.

    • Say something! Imagine it wasn’t Jesus, but aliens. Would you hesitate?

    • I had one more thought – are you sure this is specific to the new teacher’s arrival? Could it have been going on since you started and you just weren’t aware of it until your child started absorbing/repeating more? Wouldn’t change the fact that you should talk to the owner about it, but it would be helpful to be sure it was limited to the new teacher. If there’s a chance this has been going on the entire time and you just didn’t realize until now, I think that’s going to be a more difficult conversation.

      • Redux says:

        I wondered that, too, but I’m pretty confident it’s the new teacher. My kid is almost 4 and is a fairly reliable reporter. I explicitly asked her who was telling her these stories and she named the newer teacher. What I am concerned about though is that it would be very odd (subversive even!) if the owner weren’t aware of it. It’s a small, in-home daycare, so supposing that the newer teacher isn’t only talking about it when the owner is out of earshot, I have to assume that the owner knows and has not done anything to stop it.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          I would definitely say something. I think you can say something along the lines of, “Hi Owner, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I wanted to ask you about some things that Child has mentioned over the past few weeks. She said that Teacher has been telling her about Jesus, and crosses, and crucifixes. We love Preschool, but we’re a little concerned about Child receiving religious instruction at school. We think that Child should receive religious instruction at home in accordance with our beliefs, and we also want to make sure that Preschool is an inclusive environment for children who may not share the same faith. I hope that the school does not plan to begin incorporating religious teachings into its curriculum. Can we set up a time to talk about this further? Thanks, Redux”

  13. 16 month old co-sleeping says:

    Our 16 month old has started waking up around 2-3 am and the only way to calm him is to put him in bed with us. Is this safe? I felt fine about it (he’s very strong and 99% weight for his age) but some things I’ve read online suggest I might be putting him at risk with the pillows and blankets. Thoughts? And I know this situation isn’t sustainable – I am working on figuring out how to keep him in bed but until then, I want to ensure he’s safe!

    • lucy stone says:

      I have been cosleeping with my sassy 16 month old since about 6 months. You’re fine.

    • My understanding was that the minimal risk associated with proper co-sleeping mostly ended once the child was a year. I originally thought I would co-sleep but didn’t because I couldn’t get comfortable with it, but we occasionally brought my son into our bed after he was a year.

    • Yes, it’s my understanding that it has a lot to do with young children’s immature breathing patterns combined with their small size and inability to maneuver well (roll, push something away from their face, etc). A 16 month old should be good on both these fronts, but your ped would definitely know for sure!

  14. For those of you with toddlers at the pool or beach, what have you found to work best? We are going on a beach vacation with our kid – will be 2 then – and I’m wondering whether to do a wetsuit style, or a rashguard shirt and shorts – basically what will keep him protected from the sun best? Also, is there a hat in the world that will stay on his head??? We bought the LL Bean sun tent, but I know he won’t stay in that.

    • We’ve done a rashguard and shorts since 2 because of potty training, and that worked just fine – you can get long-sleeved rashguards and slather them with sunscreen. Also, kiddo has never protested his iplay sun hats that tie on the chin, but he’s been in those at daycare every spring and summer. (Also: it’s about 10 degrees F here; I envy your beach vacation!)

      • Single digits here, too, which is why I’m enjoying planning for this vacation! We did the iPlay hat last year at the pool, and it seemed to work better than most. I like the idea of taking one to daycare for daily use so he gets more used to it. He’s getting sliiiiiiiiiightly better at winter hats over the course of this frigid winter, so maybe by June he will be happier in hats!

  15. I do not need this sign. I do need a sign that indicates I am going to run out briefly in between 3 consecutive hours of meetings/ calls to throw up, because morning sickness.

  16. Christina M says:

    I definitely would not use a sign like this. It’s way more awkward than just putting up a do not disturb sign and locking the door.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi ladies. I’m trying to wean from pumping. I’m currently only pumping about 4 oz, one time a day and have been for about the past 5 days. I go on an international trip Friday and wondering if I can fully wean by then to avoid bringing the pump and all the supplies. Thoughts? This is actually my second baby, but I have no recollection of what weaning was like last time around, probably due to lack of sleep!

    • I think if you’re down to once a day you can just stop…

    • Redux says:

      Agreed. I think 5 days at once a day is probably sufficient to wean to zero. If you feel pressure you can hand express just a teeny bit.

    • Yeah, you can just stop. I was never any good at hand expression, so I’d bring a manual pump just in case, but you’ll probably be fine.

    • Cornellian says:

      I’d take a cheap hand pump or one of those silicone hand grenade looking thing.

  18. 11weekspregnant says:

    I’m incredibly moody and worried that it’s at the point where it’s damaging my marriage. It’s better at work because 1) it’s earlier in the day and 2) less personal interactions. Any advice? I’m going to research therapists tonight but am not sure if that will help at all. I think some of the problem is that I’m not very good at telling my husband when/why I’m frustrated so a therapist might help with that (good for the long term too).

    • Are you actually 11 weeks pregnant now? I ask because I found it EXTREMELY helpful to start a relationship with a therapist when I was pregnant. Hormones affect my emotions, mood, and irritation tolerance level a ton, and there are a lot of fluctuations with pregnancy – BFing – weaning. YMMV, but for me, it was an incredible investment in my own self (and my marriage, probably!).

      • 11weekspregnant says:

        Would you be willing to share what you looked for in a therapist? (I am 11 weeks pregnant now.) Short of logging into my medical insurers website and searching there I’m at a loss on how to proceed.

        And thank you for sharing your experience. I had an argument with DH last night which was entirely my fault and I feel like I’m failing at life now.

        • Ask your ob/gyn for recommendations! I asked mine to have a name handy just in case and she was very helpful. I said I didn’t want someone interested in medicating my issues or someone who would just sit there and say things like, ” and why do you think that is?” or “and how do you feel about that?”

        • I asked my friend network – it felt too overwhelming to vet people! Your ob/midwife or your PCP are also good places to start. I didn’t look for anything in particular, to be honest, other than recommendations. Hopefully friends or your med professionals can get you started.

          Also, it might help to just have an honest conversation with your husband in a non-tense moment. I had to be really up front with him that I was a complete mess at the beginning of my pregnancy, and I needed him to be forgiving and understanding while I was trying my best to basically stay alive.

          Pregnancy was really tough for me, and I was grateful for the help of a therapist. My son is 17 months now and I still go every other week.

          If you have other questions, feel free to contact me at l s w re tt e (at) gee mail

          • 11weekspregnant says:

            Thank you for your kind offer to answer additional questions. Emailing you now!

    • Katala says:

      I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. I found it helpful to (sometimes mid-argument/cry/yell-cry) just say “ugh, hormones” to DH. Hormonal mood swings are pretty uncontrollable. It’s normal to have moods you can’t control or can’t identify the cause of. Absolutely see a therapist, I’m sure it will be helpful, but could you also have a talk with DH about how you’re not in control of your emotions right now and will probably say things you don’t mean? But you still love him and could he try to let things slide that are not how he knows you to normally behave?

  19. Anon for this - would this bother you? says:

    My office has signs in the kitchen to the effect of, “your mom isn’t here, clean up after yourself and we’ll tell your mom the next time she stops by”. (A) would this bother you, and (B) would you say anything? I’m not a partner but am the most senior female lawyer at my small firm and well respected. I am 100% sure these signs were the result of our admins getting tired of cleaning up after people and were not some misguided attempt to pigeonhole women as homemakers. But, as a working mom, my antennae are all up lately for this sort of quiet perpetuation of stereotypes and it drives me bonkers. Complicating factor is that these signs have been up for months; it was only recently I started to get annoyed by them so I feel like the time to discreetly mention something to HR has passed. Is this a time to just let them be and pick another battle?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I would be irritated too, but I would probably let it pass.

    • Can you “accidentally” spill your coffee on the signs as you are cleaning up and then put up something less gendered?

    • Can you just take them down and replace it with, “Please clean up after yourself”? Who would complain?

  20. Another rooming question says:

    I have 2 girls, who will be 23 months and 4.5 when my 3rd girl is born. We have 4 traditional bedrooms, but one is a “railroad style” or walk-thru which has a 5th room behind it. It’s about 10×10.

    Currently, we have a girl in each regular bedroom and we use the double room as an office (in front) and the small back room as a guest room.

    When the baby comes, my plan is to put the two older girls in the big double bedroom, either in 2 twin beds (or one twin 1 crib) together and make the front room a playroom, or keep ODD in her full bed in the back bedroom and YDD in her crib in the front room.

    I’d move the baby into ODD’s current room, which has a full bed in it, and add the crib.

    The last bedroom that is crrently YDD’s (which is small and also had attic access) will be a guest/office hybrid. It’ll be a little right to get our queen guest bed + my desk and files in there, but maybe with a small or no dresser it would work.

    Does this make sense? Should I bunk the older 2 in the same room or since I can split them up a little, keep them separate? They are both sound sleepers once alseep, but YDD will often have a 3am rage until she cries herself to sleep.

    Also, I’ve been talking this idea up and my 4 y/o is all about it. Do we do it now? Closer to June when I’m due? Push YDD into a bed or keep the crib?

    • Katala says:

      Sharing plus playroom sounds awesome! Could you try it soon, that way you could still shift if it disrupts their sleep too much? You can always redo after baby comes too. Maybe try to use the furniture you have to test things out before baby.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        +1 on a bedroom/playroom combo — would there be enough room in the playroom to put a cozy area of sorts where one of the girls could snuggle into if she needs some ‘rage space’?

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