Maternity Monday: The Long Sleeve Tee

Everyone swears by Hatch — people love it — and although their styles tend to be a little too casual for most conservative offices, this tee just sort of has this perfect, cool look. It’s a great maternity tee (if you feel like spending this much on a maternity tee). It’s at Shopbop for $98. The Long Sleeve Tee

Update: This has now sold out at Shopbop, but it’s available directly from Hatch in six colors for $98.

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Building a maternity wardrobe for work? Check out our page with more suggestions along both classic and trendy/seasonal lines.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m at 30 weeks and we’ve been getting a lot of generous gifts and hand-me-downs from friends, coworkers, etc. What I’m wondering is how to handle thank you cards? Several people have given things a few weeks ago, then a second batch this weekend, etc. Do we do a card for each gifting? Just one for the first gifting? Only for new items? (This last one doesn’t seem quite right, as we got a second-hand BOB stroller, but would you do a card for old clothes?)

    TIA!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you should do a card for any gift that shows up in the mail, even if the sender has sent you several gifts before. If a friend drops off old baby clothes and you thank in her person, you don’t have to do a card.

      • I think it depends on the friend. I had a close friend who sent me something every other week. I always just called to thank her. I think cards are for formal occasions and/or for more formal acquaintances/friends/relations. For hand-me-downs, I usually just thanked the person when getting whatever it was and then maybe I would send a follow up email down the line to say how great X item was and to say thank you again. If appropriate I included a picture of baby in the item or nursery w/ the swing or whatever.

    • Anonymous says:

      I took care of all my thank-you notes along with my birth announcements. My birth announcements were one-sided, so I wrote a little note/thank you on the blank side. I think I probably wrote an e-mail thank-you the day I received something.

      • EB0220 says:

        Genius.

      • Agreed with this – keep track of what you’ve received and send one note at the end. I ended up receiving multiple rounds of gifts from several people and it felt like I was constantly writing thank you notes!

      • Spirograph says:

        I did this too. I sent shower gift thank yous separately, but everything else and all the hand-me-downs were included on the announcement. It forced me to send them out quickly!

      • I love this idea!

    • I wouldn’t think you’d need to write thank you notes for hand me downs. But I definitely would for new things.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I actually feel bad when someone writes me a thank you note for hand me down clothes – I am super grateful that someone is willing to take our used kids’ clothes. They’re a pain to unload!

    • I’d thank people in person. If you get stuff via mail, I’d at minimum acknowledge it (text: got the box of clothes you sent- can’t wait to use them! Love the red one!) and send a f/up of the kid using it.

      You could do a thank-you, but this really depends on your relationship. If my BFF offered and then gave me a nice stroller she didn’t need, I’d thank her profusely, mention it (“putting a ton of miles on this bad boy!”) but sending a TY would be unnecessary and awkward. Esp if you have had or will have a shower where this same person gives a wrapped gift.

  2. ElisaR says:

    Morning all – sleep question for my son who will be 1 year in 2 weeks. He has been a good sleeper for many months sleeping 11-12 hours each night straight. The last 2 nights in a row he was awake for 2.5 hours and 4 hours in the middle of the night screaming. He has 8 teeth already, could be teething? I don’t think that’s it. Do I just let him cry it out or go in? When I go in he will fall asleep in my arms and then as soon as I put him down he is screaming again. Is there a sleep regression at 1 year? Any advice? How long do I let him cry like this? Last night I tried to go in every 10 minutes to put him down (he was standing in the crib) and rub his back and then leave….maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s probably either teething or separation anxiety. Have you tried advil for a few nights? I actually found the teething between 1-2 years harder than 6 month – 1 year. The two year old molars take a while to work their way through and can be pretty painful.

      Has anything happened at daycare that would make him upset? I found that my kids started waking from bad dreams around that age. It’s hard because they don’t know if their dreams are real or not. I go in every time because we’re non-CIO but YMMV.

    • Running Numbers says:

      My similarly good sleeper had similar issues when he had an ear infection. The random screaming in the middle of the night was his only symptom.

      Because this is out of character, I would feel comfortable going in to comfort him. Hopefully it’s just a rough patch whether he doesn’t feel well for some reason or a developmental issue. It’ll pass and you aren’t going to ruin his awesome sleep habits from providing a little extra comfort through a rough time. If it persists for more than a week or two, then I would consider giving him some more time to put himself down.

    • Momata says:

      When sleep disruptions were an aberration I would go in and comfort my kid, on the theory that something outside the ordinary was waking them and maybe they were in pain. I would also try a dose of infant advil at bedtime – sounds like either teeth or an ear infection. I also might try putting him down a little earlier – I find my kids often have sleep disruptions when they are overtired.

    • anne-on says:

      That totally sounds like an ear infection to me. Middle of the night screaming (and hating to lay horizontally) were my son’s main symptoms. I’d get your kiddo checked by a doctor, and then go from there.

      • ElisaR says:

        Thank you all! I just made an appointment for this afternoon to have the doctor look at his ears.

    • Butter says:

      Ugh, this exact thing happened to us at the same age! Honestly I think it was a growth spurt that caused a sleep regression – their little bodies are all of a sudden so active and can do so much, so I think they just have a much harder time reigning it in for 11-12 hours. We had a couple of rough nights like the one you mentioned (he’d lay down and be quiet/look like he was sleeping, then as soon as we left the room he popped up like a spring), then he settled back into his normal routine. We occasionally have bumps (2-3 wakeups instead of his normal 1), but he seems to always return to his norm after a few days.

      It’s hard to balance sleep training/cry it out with wondering if its an ear infection with wondering if I can settle him back down quickly with a nursing session – I’ll take a 5-10 minute nursing session with sweet sleep after over crying for an hour, but it’s hard to know sometimes what the end result will be. But I think there’s a lot going on at this age so I’d chalk it up to a regression. Never bad to get ears checked though!

  3. anne-on says:

    Anyone else dreading the upcoming east coast snowstorm? I’m really hoping it isn’t as bad as they’re building it up to be, but it looks like my area may get anywhere from 12-18 inches, which is way too much to even try sledding and just makes the rest of the week a total nightmare for childcare/scramble with work.

    • Yeah. I’m already anticipating a daycare snow day or two and doing risk management accordingly (arranged to move work meetings to next week, working from home tomorrow early AM while husband is around and then making up the hours at night).

    • Ugh. Yes. The forecasters in our area are just forecasting a blanket 12-20 inches for a state that it take 10 hours to drive through and are not being that helpful on timing. At this point, I have no idea whether Tuesday and/or Wednesday will be snowdays or early release/delayed start days, which makes the math on our au pair’s hours tricky to figure out. And my children are turning into hyperactive monkeys with no self control from being cooped up for four days (windchills were -10 this weekend so no one got outside), so trying to work from home the next day or two does not sound that appealing.

    • Lurker says:

      I have a jury trial scheduled for both days and as of right now the court is saying it is going forth. It is going to be a nightmare.

    • Spirograph says:

      I love snow. LOVE. And our winter here (DC) has been so pathetic. But this is too late for me to get excited about — all my spring bulbs are going to die.

      Daycare already e-mailed this morning to remind us of the closing procedures. I’m not optimistic they’ll be open tomorrow; even if the storm ends up being a bust, the school districts will probably call it tonight to be safe. Work will expect me to work from home, though, and even with my husband trying to wrangle the kids, that is not going to be a productive day.

    • Anonymous says:

      At last, it pays to be married to a teacher!

      • LOL, I always have the same thought. Pay sucks, but I love that he’s home in the summer and for snow closings.

        • Anonymous says:

          For us the benefits are great too – his health insurance alone saves us at least 12K a year over what we’d pay with my company’s plan. And he has a pension, which is like a pet unicorn.

    • Our daycare has already announced that they are closed. My biggest struggle is coming up with things to do indoors all day. All the blogs I’ve read suggest things like making play-doh or doing art, but my son (3 y.o.) gets bored with quiet activities after 5 minutes and just wants to run around. Any ideas? Soccer in the basement? Laser tag?

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Obstacle course in the basement. Orange cones, broomstick over two low chairs, hula hoops, crawl tent. Make him do laps through it.

        Forts are also lots of fun.

      • Fort out of couch cushions and a sheet, and then we let them watch a movie on the kindle in their fort.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Does he have dump trucks and diggers and stuff like that? My friend put a bunch of dried beans in an low sided rubbermaid container and her 3.5 year old went to town. Like an indoor sandbox.

      • Mines a girl but LOVES to play in the bathroom.

        Bathing suit on, I let her play in my walk-in glass door shower- she finger paints, then hoses it clean. She also will squeegee the doors and draw in the steam all day long if finger paint is too messy.

        We also have let the kids ride bikes in the garage (won’t work if you are keeping the cars there bc of snow but maybe after the storm passes).

        Bring snow inside and play ice cream parlor. Bake and decorate cookies.

        Get a giant box. Fort. Color it. Puppet theater. Hide and seek. My kid plays with a box for weeks.

      • Anonymous says:

        The generic version of a Rody hopping horse ($15-20 on @mazon) has been a lifesaver.

      • In House Lobbyist says:

        We need a laser maze for a birthday party a few years ago and just this weekend my son asked if we could do it again for his birthday. Essentially it was just yarn tied between two trees and you had to get through the maze without touching it. It might be something active for him to do.

    • LegalMomma says:

      Yes! Normally I would work from home without a problem. But Wednesday is supposed to be my first day back after maternity leave and I feel like I have to go in.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      Dreading it. Not looking forward to scrambling for childcare. Our daycare (which does before/after school and backup care since ours is in elementary school) follows federal government so i’m sure they’ll be closed. My husband and I are not in positions where we’re encouraged to work from home or use liberal leave, and I’m concerned the snow will be too deep to feel comfortable transporting him all the way to the inlaws’. Sigh we’ll see

  4. Nits, nuts! says:

    Ok, so we don’t actually have lice (yet), but I have a daughter (4) and she wears her hair down all the time (well, I try and put it up, but it’s fine and it falls out and she would prefer it down anyway, so it’s a struggle) and there was just an outbreak of lice reported at her school. Other than instructing her on not sharing brushes, hats, clothes, pillows, etc., is there anything preventative I can do short of shaving her head? This freaks me out so much.

    • Momata says:

      This is disgusting, but if you are truly desperate – stop washing her hair, coat it in a light coating of mayonnaise, and braid it until the outbreak subsides. Some friends survived several lice outbreaks by doing this to their girls’ hair. Lice prefer clean hair and transmit more easily to loose strands.

      • Nits, nuts! says:

        Good to know about clean v. dirty hair. She would prefer we never wash it and I was just about ready to insist on it nightly due to the outbreak. Sounds like I’d be better off letting her win for a bit on the hair washing.

      • avocado says:

        Yes, keep her hair dirty and braided. I used to spray my daughter’s hair with the Fairy Tales leave-in conditioner during lice outbreaks–the rosemary supposedly repels lice and it smells way better than mayonnaise.

      • My SIL just told me she hairsprayed her girls’ hair – their school in western NY was covered in lice.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      Dirty hair and they also sell preventative sprays (lice supposedly hate certain essential oils etc). I’d gel her hair up (extra dirty) and shoot for French braided pigtails. The gel will hold them in, make the hair grosser and less hospitable, and the braids will also keep her hair contained (harder to jump into), with the preventative spray (possibly hokum but worth a shot) on top. Does she still nap? I would definitely check about the cots and if they are used by multiple kids (lice could be transmitted that way).

    • Tea tree oil is supposed to be preventative. Purely anecdotal of course, but we use a tee tree oil shampoo for my 9 year old daughter, only wash a few times a week, and generally pull it back in a ponytail, and she’s never gotten lice despite the many notices home about other kids having it.

      Also, if you haven’t tried them, those rubbery ponytail holders work really well at keeping fine hair up.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      Get a lice comb and comb through every night to check for nits. The comb is the most effective tool, even once they actually have nits. If you catch it early you can avoid a lot of headache.

  5. Glue and Crayon eating kid says:

    Thanks everyone for your kind words a few weeks ago re: my child eating crayons, glue and generally acting unlike her usual sweet self.

    We took her to the doctor who ran test and could not find anything. Ped told us to wait and said that toddler is probably going through a sensitive/transition period. One thing she did tell us to do is to enlist older sister to help educate younger kid around what is good modeling behavior and encourage for them to be more affectionate with each other. This has been really great advice and has totally helped our overall morning and sleeping routine.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What are some great websites/blogs about feeding babies and toddlers? We’re just starting the process of feeding our 6.5 month old “real” food (we’ve been giving him baby food for a few months) and I’m at a total loss of what to feed him, as well as some techniques to actually get him to eat (he mostly just plays with the spaghetti and other foods we’ve put in front of him). Also, any guidance on how much they should be eating at this point? I would have thought this would be instinctive but I’m really struggling (probably overthinking things, as I’m wont to do). Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully others will have more specific resources, but I just wanted to reassure you that kids get into finger foods on their own varied timelines. My son really preferred to be spoon fed; IIRC (which is iffy) he wasn’t into finger foods that much until he was over a year old. I had friends with babies the same age as mine who HATED being spoon fed and only wanted to self feed, which was challenging because babies aren’t that good at self-feeding, even when enthusiastic about it. The most reassuring advice I remember is that solids are for fun until 12 months, so don’t worry if he isn’t ingesting much – he’s getting most nutrition from milk/formula.

      • Anonymous says:

        (original poster here) I wasn’t worried too much about this whole issue until we had our 6 month visit and our pediatrician told us that we need to get him more solids because the formula just isn’t filling him up anymore (he’s drinking six 8 oz bottles a day!). So I’m feeling a little pressure to get him more solids, since it appears that he’s hungry ALL THE TIME! But good to know that I may just need to spoon feed him – he tries to grab the spoon himself, but as you noted, his completion rate (actually getting food into his mouth) is hovering around 5% :)

      • Anonymous says:

        Yup. First baby wanted to be spoon fed. Second baby is 7 months and will ONLY eat oatmal and pears via spoon. Everything else she MUST feed herself (i put it on the spoon, she jams it in OR she eats it herself).

        We just give her little pieces of what we eat, with only a few exceptions (I make plain squiggly noodles when we have spaghetti, for example. She also gets peas when we have asparagus.)

    • I made most of my sons food and relied heavily on the Wholesomebabyfood site. There is a saying that food is just for fun before one (year). From at least 6-9 months (up to a year) they are just figuring things out and don’t need solid foods for nutritional purposes, so don’t stress too much if he isn’t eating anything.

      • +1 to WholesomeBabyFood.

        I served a bunch of finger foods to work on fine motor. Peas, blueberries, Gerber Puffs, ravioli cut into fourths, avocados rolled in oats to make them less slippery, those mixed veggie steamer bags, etc. I didn’t worry too much about the choking hazards that you see everywhere online – I’m sitting right there and if something seemed too big, then I’d cut it smaller.

        The other trick was to use two spoons. One spoon for them to use, another for me to feed them. Between the two of us, we could get a decent amount actually into the mouth.

      • dc anon says:

        I learned about Baby Led Weaning from a recommendation on this s!ite and loved it. I recommend reading the book, it really helped me figure out how to handle this stage. The down side is that BLW takes longer and is super messy, but DD is an awesome and adventurous eater I think in part to BLW.
        http://www.babyledweaning.com/

        • October says:

          Point of clarification: once you start your baby on purees, as OP did, you are not doing BLW. You are doing traditional weaning, and when you start table food, you should start with smaller, bite sized pieces (since your baby is used to just swallowing, not chewing). Then you can of course work up to bigger, BLW-sized pieces. (At least, this is what I have been told/researched, so passing it on). BLW resources do offer a lot of encouragement and great info on meal planning.

    • Anonymous says:

      Love blwideas- both the site and her instagram. DS also just played with food until he was about 7 months. Food under one is just for fun, and he should still be getting most of his nutrition from BM/formula until then.

    • Related question – did you start giving peas and blueberries and cut up small things before teeth? I’ve totally forgotten. So far kid is only getting much at 7 months (not the OP)

      • I’m the Anon who mentioned peas and blueberries above – yes I did. Gums are excellent mashers. I just watched like a hawk, and only put 1-2 on the tray at a time at first to make sure they weren’t stuffing their mouth full. Once they seemed to have the “chew” motion down, then I let them have a few more at a time.

    • Do you have a small food processor? I got a mini one and would just puree simple foods after steaming them or (easier still) boiling in water until very soft. It takes almost no time and virtually no effort. Carrots, sweet potatoes, apples (peeled), etc. You can work your way up to adding seasoning as baby gets used to eating (e.g., cinnamon to apples), and start mixing them (e.g., potatoes and yellow squash), as your baby gets older. But really it’s not something to overthink. Mashed ripe avocado is a good “first food,” bananas, raspberries… We worked up to meats a little later. I would make a very simple chicken soup with potatoes, carrots and celery and puree with a bit of the broth in the food processor until it was a nice mushy consistency. We would also just give baby shredded chicken to do as finger foods. She loved that. We also did oatmeal, which proved a hit and is nice and filling.

      Honestly, in the very beginning, it’s so new to them that anything you cook will be very hit or miss. In my experience, my friends who went all out making “baby recipes” ended up feeling overwhelmed and then never really did it much again. Simple is best. I never cared about quickly boiling 5-6 baby carrots and pureeing them if it didn’t work out and I had to throw them away. I think as a result we always had fresh food for baby and she was able to get into good eating habits.

      • This. You don’t need special equipment, recipes, or food containers. Just take a vegetable, steam in pot to mushy, then mash with a fork. Or just a banana. Your kid won’t eat much, and his tastes will change rapidly, so there’s no need to freeze batches.

        Don’t overthink it.

        • Anonymous says:

          This. Fork for mashing up mashable stuff, knife for chopping whatever you are eating into tiny pieces. That’s it.

      • I used an immersion blender to make all of our baby food and it worked amazing.

    • shortperson says:

      i highly recommend the book bebe gourmet, which has “french-inspired” baby food recipes. basically good recipes for not completely bland baby food to develop a good palate. i.e. add mint to the peas, etc. the stuff is not hard to make and is delicious. our 2.5 is still a great eater, i give this book partial credit.

  7. layered bob says:

    We want to replace our nanny. No immediate issues, but we pay above market and she does not perform above market, despite setting expectations when she took the job and weekly conversations over the last 8 months.

    The problem is she is active on all the sites/boards/groups I have used previously to find a nanny, so I don’t know how to go about searching for a new one without her knowing (I want to take my time finding the right person). Do I need to use a nanny placement service or something? Or is there no way to accomplish this without firing her first and then finding a replacement? I am probably overthinking this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you have a friend on the same boards who could post for you? Will the admit post anonymously for you?

      • layered bob says:

        oh that’s a good idea. I do have a couple acquaintances who would probably post for me/could ask the admin.

    • This doesn’t answer your question but curious for my own benefit, what do you consider above market expectations?

      I’d definitely try to avoid firing her and then getting a replacement – make it as seamless as possible. Would she be a good fit for another family? Can you assist her with finding a new position to ease the transition as well?

      • layered bob says:

        Re: “above-market expectations” – I guess it’s a couple of things:
        – we have a fairly uncommon parenting style (RIE) that we want the nanny to also follow (we pay for a week-long training course if the nanny does not have prior experience but wants to learn),
        – we don’t allow any screen time (so nanny can’t use that as downtime),
        – we want all of the kids’ snacks+meals to be fruits/veggies/homemade, (so no reliance on packaged snacks),
        – we expect outdoor playtime regardless of the weather, (it’s a lot of work to get kids bundled),
        – we want the nanny to be proactive about keeping the kids on a consistent schedule, including naps, which she can’t seem to manage,
        – and proactive about arranging appropriate activities/sensory play,
        – AND we want her to clean up after the kids (we don’t expect any housecleaning/laundry etc. but want the counters wiped after snack time etc., which has been a HUGE sticking point for our current nanny – I just don’t understand why she finds it so difficult to wipe up the milk before it congeals into a sticky mass.)

        • Anonymous says:

          Not relevant to the conversation at hand, but I had never heard of RIE and I don’t think the google results I just skimmed are doing it justice. Can you explain how it plays out in real life?

          Also, just a vent: I agree that these are “above-market expectations,” based on my experience with a nanny (who we were not satisfied with, and switched to a childcare center), but I don’t think they should be! I expect all of that from my kids’ daycare, so why shouldn’t there be the same expectation for a nanny? I definitely let the kids watch some TV so I can get things done around the house, but that’s because I need to be doing household stuff AND kid stuff. If I’m paying a nanny to do only kid stuff, there’s no need for her attention to be divided.

          • layered bob says:

            here’s a good article on the basics, I think:
            http://www.janetlansbury.com/2013/12/rie-parenting-basics-9-ways-to-put-respect-into-action/

            It also means we don’t use time outs or other types of manipulative or punitive discipline; we try to let our kids solve their own problems and be in charge of their own bodies; we don’t make our kids share; we don’t say “good job” or offer other positive or negative critiques of their work and behavior; and we have high expectations as far as participating in family life (i.e they sit quietly at restaurant tables and in church; they use cloth napkins and glass dishes appropriately from the time they are infants; and in general they are active, respectful participants in our family life.)

            Obviously none of these things are exclusive to RIE – lots of parents have the same goals and approaches. RIE is just an explicit framework for how we approach each parenting decision – “how can I treat my child as a whole human person, aware of their own needs and bodies, and trusting their own emotions and developmental timelines?”

          • Just my point of view – I think some of these are “above market” expectations, and the combination definitely is.

            We had a nanny when Kiddo was 3-14 months. The nanny was very experienced and had a relevant master’s degree, and we paid her over market for our area. She took him on walks and later to the playground almost every day. She kept him on a good schedule and cleaned up after him. She actually did a fair amount of housework (laundry and dishes) as well. We didn’t allow her to use screen time to take a break, but we were OK with it occasionally, such as when Kiddo was sick. She didn’t organize much sensory play, but she probably would have as he got older, especially if asked. We didn’t (and still don’t) have any particular parenting philosophy, and we didn’t (and still don’t) have any particular preferences on food. I think OP is asking a lot, which is totally fine since she’s paying a lot, but I would expect to have to take some time searching and be willing to pay above market.

            Also, my kid’s daycare relies on packaged snacks and does not cater to particular parenting philosophies. I definitely appreciate the consistent schedule, sensory play, and outdoor time though, plus the group/social aspect–especially since Kiddo is older.

          • layered bob says:

            I hear you on the vent! But I totally own our high expectations – I know it is a lot to ask (whether it should/should not be, I don’t know!). We pay 25-30% more than what seems like the going rate, plus paid sick time/vacation/professional development time, and we are very upfront about our expectations. Our previous nanny was amazing but this one is just not working out, so I am starting the slow process of finding a replacement and struggling with how to do it without her knowing :-)

            We will definitely pay severance and would help her find another position – I think she would be fine for a family with older children who need less intensive care giving. But we’re not ready to let her know before I somehow line up someone else.

        • I’m tired just reading this list.

        • Brooklyn nanny says:

          Hey layered bob, if you are still reading – my nanny will be available in September and she would be perfect for you. In case you’re in Brooklyn. Probably too long to wait.

          We don’t follow RIE, but have all the same other rules (and a few of the practices you mentioned specific to RIE) and it never occurred to me that this is “above market expectations.” If a nanny used screen time with my kid that would be beyond unacceptable to me.

          • layered bob says:

            Ah that’d be perfect! Except we’re in the Midwest. The “no screen time” and “include vegetables” seem to be real sticking points out here.

  8. whitney - thinking about you! says:

    You’ve been on my mind since your post last week. Hope things are going ok and that you are getting the support you need!

    • whitney says:

      so nice of you. just checking in after the hardest week of my life. as if life with a newborn wasn’t hard enough. the last week came down to surviving and staying warm during days without power, snow storms, house flooding, etc. it was actually helpful to have to focus on the basics. more in a more recent thread.

      again, everyone’s support was so helpful.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is a bit of a random question, but do any of you use a table cloth? We have a standard-issue Ikea table that worked well for us through our 20’s but is now pock-marked as a result of lots of toddler fork-banging and a bit of an embarrassment when we have people over for dinner (or, would be in theory, if we ever had adults who are not family members and/or who don’t also have toddlers over for dinner). One day, once our kids are done with mistreating our furniture, we will buy a grown-up table, or maybe I will inherit a lovely teak midcentury one, but for now, I’m thinking of buying some table cloths. Do any of you use these? Any recs for ones that won’t get terribly stained (or show their terrible stains)?

    • I don’t, but I do have a lovely scar from yanking on a tablecloth as a kid and receiving a scalding fresh teapot as a bonus :( so that is something you might want to consider (height and size of table, age of kids and propensity to pull on stray tablecloth edges)

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmm good point. I prefer a gross tabletop to kids with painful injuries and permanent scars!

        • Anonymous says:

          depending on the thickness of your tablecloth, you might be able to use clips marketed for use on outdoor tables to keep the cloth in place.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I don’t keep a tablecloth on my table for everyday use for exactly the same reason, but when I have people over for dinner I’ll put one on the table. I think we got an inexpensive one on Amazon or Bed Bath & Beyond that sort of repels water/spills.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I use a table cloth – in part because it’s easier to swap out tablecloths than it is to scour mashed-up food off the dented and dinged table surface. I just went to Ikea and got some of their cheapest fabric then sewed the edges up. My favorite, however, is one I got from my mom (I think from Kohl’s) that causes liquids to bead up. It’s amazing.

      • NomNom says:

        This. We have about three in rotation to just throw in the wash. easier than cleaning up dried food off the wood:) Also because we are super cheap, we buy curtains from target that fit our table. No one can tell the difference unless they look really closely.

    • EP-er says:

      We use one daily. I have my grandparents dining room set & it is 75 years old. The table is in serious need of refinishing, but that isn’t on the agenda these days… so table cloth. My mom uses a table cloth and puts these fancy runners on them, then covers the whole thing with clear plastic from the craft store, which is easily wiped down. I can’t be bothered with that — seriously, who has time for ironing textiles! — and have made peace with the fact that I don’t even iron mine. I have plain cotton ones that cover the table, then put down removable plastic place mats at the kids’ spots. I change them one or twice a week and wash weekly. I recommend something with a print that makes you happy to hide stains. There are also some waxed cotton ones that you can get that repel water but don’t feel like the cheap vinyl ones.

    • We alternate. Our table is a hand-me-down from DH’s family and it’s got a laminated top that is pretty resistant to scratches and can be wiped clean. But, I like the way it looks better with a tablecloth so we have several in rotation.

      We plan to buy a “real” dining room set of our own when kids are past the majority of their destructive tendencies, lol.

      Honestly I find the floor clenaup post-toddler-eating harder than the table. How does a pea get so so far from kiddo’s plate? Defies the laws of physics.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try coated fabric, or vinyl, that you can wipe clean.

  10. So pretty random. My daughter is ~ 15 months and recently started biting her hand, mostly when frustrated by something. Is this normal? What does one do? My guess is that she is frustrated by her inability to do certain things and/or communicate what she wants but I don’t want her to hurt herself.

    • Anonymous says:

      My son did this a bit, and grew out of it. I think you’re right that it’s a way of managing stress. I wouldn’t worry unless she starts to do damage to herself, and I’d bring it up at the next well visit if it keeps up.

    • CLMom says:

      My daughter is 16 months, and she bites her hand or wrist (has for a few months now). She has never broken the skin, however repeated bites can cause the skin to look red/swollen. Now she occasionally will bite my husband (when she’s can have something) or attempt to bite kids at daycare.
      I don’t like the behavior at all, but the doctor said it’s a phase and that we shouldn’t worry. I feel the biting is exacerbated by teething, however the immediate trigger is often food/sleep/other want-but-can’t-have. We have purchased nearly every teether on the market, and try to keep one handy everywhere for redirection. We’re reading no-biting books.
      For reference, my daughter is slightly behind developmentally in speech. So the frustration of knowing what she wants to do, but the inability to communicate it is a huge contributing factor.

      I take comfort from the moms above stating it’s a phase she will grow out of.

      • Thanks all! Very reassuring. I’ve heard of kids going through biting phases with other kids but I don’t know that I’ve read anything about biting themselves so this is all good to know.

  11. Spirograph says:

    Kat, there is an auto-play ad with sound in the top spot (just below “recently seen on [mains1te]”). It’s for amovie from Focus Pictures and the first few seconds are kind of nsfw with a slow pan up a lingerie-clad torso. I’m using Chrome on a laptop.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Shout out to working moms out there, and an inadvertent benefit of our “villages.” My husband ended up in the hospital this weekend (thankfully all non-life threatening issues, but serious nonetheless). We’ve had two long term nannies in the last five years (basically, the first year and a half of each of our children’s lives), and even though we have not employed either in over a year, I heard from both of them within 24 hours. One brought our family dinner and stayed and entertained our kids for a bit, and the other – though out of town – reached out of her own volition to a few sitters to check in and make sure we had coverage if we needed it while he was in the hospital. I also had a friend at my house within minutes of texting on a late weekend night, no questions asked.

    There have been times when I’ve really wondered if going back to work was the right call (seems like more and more happens as they get older). But when I think about all the extra “aunties” and “uncles” my kids have in a city with no “family” – nannies, daycare teachers, sitters, close friends – I feel fortunate that they are learning to be part of and rely on their community.

    • EB0220 says:

      Yes, I love this too. We have only been in our current town 2 years. We have one set of grandparents in town, and I still find myself leaning on my village often.

  13. Anonymous says:

    How long does the baby putting-everything-in-the-mouth phase last? I feel so caught off guard since my first was (a) the worlds easiest baby and (b) in daycare. The second is giving us a run for our money and we are trying to decide how to child proof based on how long she’ll be jamming stuff in her face.

    She’s 7 months now.

    • October says:

      My son is 19-months-old and still doing it. It did get noticeably better around 13/14 months, but I thinks he’s the type of kid who just always wants to be chewing on something/have something in his mouth. Plus he’s been teething pretty nonstop since 5 months.

    • Anonymous says:

      Varies by kid. I have 26 month old twins – one hardly ever puts things in his mouth, the other one is constantly chewing on a random item.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ours got a lot better at 13-14 months. He only does it now with things he really likes (e.g. his shoes, ugh)

  14. Daycare question…

    How many did you look at before deciding? What were deciding factors? I looked through the archives and didn’t see a post tailored to this – some discussed costs and pros/cons of different childcare (very helpful!)

    I feel like there’s so much to consider, and if two places seemed truly ‘equal’ in my mind I’m not sure how I’d decide. People tell me I’ll have a gut feeling but I’m worried I won’t. We’ve looked at two so far, and have plans to check out two more. Is a half dozen a normal amount to tour? 10?

    Did you tour both when center was open (to see how children were tended to) and closed (so you could talk to teachers/director 1:1 without distracting them from their job)?

    • NoVa Mom says:

      Toured 4 daycares, only when they were open (not sure after hours was even an option). We had two top choices, but it was based on location and convenience more than anything. We only ended up getting into our 3rd choice before my leave ended, so that’s where my son went. If you’re talking about daycare centers, you might not have a real choice, depending on your location and the demand for infant care. If you’re looking at in-home daycares, it’s probably different (we didn’t consider any in-homes).

      Having done the daycare thing for a year now at two different centers (we switched to one of the more convenient centers when a space opened up), I can say the most important things to me are (1) caring teachers (though unfortunately this is something you can’t tell for sure based on a visit or two, it takes a while to unpack); (2) responsive administration; and (3) good food (not an issue for those early infant months, but your kiddo will be into solid foods so soon and having quality food provided by the daycare, instead of having to send your own, is huge).

      • Thanks for the thought on food – that is currently one of the tiebreakers, and I wondered how much it really matters (one place does snacks but no lunches, though they charge less).

        We’re looking at both centers and in-home. One of the centers had an after-hours open house, which was really nice as far as getting a relaxed tour and meeting 1:1 with the director, but obviously didn’t get to see if the teachers were actually kind/caring.

        Amazingly, knock on wood, waitlists have not been as bad as I feared. I’m now pretty far out in the suburbs, so I’m sure that’s part of it.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 to somewhere that includes food. It’s one of the most important things in my work-life balance.

    • I emailed three, only heard back from one, toured that one and that’s where we ended up and I love them. When we did the tour they asked if we had any questions and I said “not really, you’ve kept more kids alive than we have.” We toured when it was open – I don’t think closed was an option, and for us that would have been overkill anyway. Costs are similar in my area so we really just looked for somewhere with happy kids that was near our house.

      With that background, four seems reasonable, six or ten seem like a lot.

      • To follow up on NoVa Mom, yes, we only looked at centers, not in-home, which is where 6+ would have been excessive and far from home.

        • What’s crazy is there legitimately are like 5 brand name centers within a few miles of our house. There’s one chain that has TWO locations in our town!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think we looked at 5, only 3 of which were serious contenders. Main limiting factors on our search were price and proximity to our home – because we split drop off and pick up and commute by public transit, we needed a place we could both easily get to on our way to/from work. This limited us to small centers with an in-home license. Most would only allow visits at a specific time – often naptime – so we didn’t always see a lot of caregiver interaction; and we often met with an owner but didn’t get to talk to the caregivers. One owner told me they actually weren’t even supposed to host visits when kids were there due to City or State security regulations. I’m not sure its true but it sounds plausible – best practices for visiting/assessing daycares as a parent did not seem to be in line with reality of the daycares available to us (i’m in NYC). It is a really hard thing to assess – I remember thinking, just how much are organic chicken nuggets worth (as opposed to non-organic)? You will get a better sense of what you like after you start visiting. If two seem equal they are probably both fine. There is no one perfect place, and lots of places are probably okay, and if you change your mind you can change daycares. One thing I would not have thought to ask is how much time do kids spend watching tv/videos?

      • Thanks for your thoughts as well, since we’re considering in-home. The first place we toured did not even have a TV in the 3 rooms that comprised the ‘daycare’ part of the home, so I didn’t think to ask! Good point tho.

        • Anonymous says:

          In NYC in-home is often not actually in someone’s home; it’s just the kind of license. But they are still smaller places and are in spaces that maybe used to be someone’s home at some point, rather than constructed as daycare centers.

    • We toured 6-7 for my first child and only 2 for my second child. For my first, it was more of a gut feeling about fit. For my second, I had a much clearer idea of what I wanted, so it was easy to narrow centers down before touring them. Those things were:

      – Convenient to my commute. Either close to work or close to home, but not too far off the path.
      – Independent center, rather than a chain. (We had a bad experience with teacher turnover at a chain due to low pay / minimal requirements for hiring.)
      – Good outdoor space.
      – Clean, bright, spacious rooms for all age groups.
      – Responsive staff and easy scheduling of the tour. I think that’s indicative of how responsive they are in general, which matters a lot once your child is there.

      • I’d add to this list:

        – Ask about caregiver-to-child ratios. I believe the vary by state, but one of the reasons I went with a large center was the oversight that would ensure they adhered to ratios every single day. I got nervous about in-homes where a family member was the 2nd caregiver, and I didn’t always get a good answer about what happens if #2 calls in sick that morning, whether they would just operate over ratios until someone else could come by, or if they would close, or #2 would just be in the bedroom instead of with the kids, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Toured 3 before choosing a dayhome – all were personal references from friends. Toured 3 centres when switching to daycare centre. Chose the one with lots of outdoor time and a cozy feel in both instances. They weren’t perfect but they just felt right.

    • We toured 3. I didn’t have good feelings about A or B, and C had a long wait list, so we hired a nanny for the first year. Kiddo is now in Daycare C.

    • EB0220 says:

      With your first, I think it’s really hard to pick one because you just don’t know what kind of parent you’ll be (at least, I didn’t know). Here are things I wish I’d looked at/asked/valued.
      – Are the babies being held? What’s the rate of bouncer usage? Are the babies always held to eat?
      – Are the infant teachers experienced with breastfed babies and do they know how to treat breastfed babies differently (e.g. slower feeding, less volume, etc.)?
      – How do they communicate with parents? It’s really important when your kiddo is young and can’t tell you things. I like the apps the best.
      – How often do they take the babies outside? Do you see evidence that they really do this?
      – For older kids, do they have good outdoor space and do they make use of it? What is their outside play policy? (This can change based on temp, air quality, etc.)
      – What is their learning philosophy? How “serious” are they about teaching things and how often do they “evaluate” the children?
      – What is their discipline policy? Is it in writing?

      • +1 to babies being held. At the center I just picked for DS #2, there were 7 babies in the infant room, 1 was napping, 5 were being held (2 per lap), and one was standing up leaning against a teacher affectionately. That made me feel good about their infant care.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 Have you started touring? Because for me, honestly, going and seeing the places to get a feel for them made the decision pretty easy for me. On paper, they can be hard to tell apart. Once you get there, you can see how the teachers interact with the kids, and that is what makes most of the difference. It’s less overwhelming once you start seeing them for yourself, and while you should obviously do your research, you will likely just have a gut feeling about whether it will be a good place for your kid. I also made good use of the mommy listserve in my area, and folks were happy to discuss daycares very candidly with me.

      • YES to babies being held. We toured one daycare where all the babies were in swings or bouncers, except one who was being changed. It seemed like they just moved the babies from crib to swing to bouncer throughout the day. The next daycare we toured was really big on tummy time, which seems like an improvement over the first place, but it still didn’t appear as though the babies were held. The daycare with the long wait list had very small rooms with a higher staff to infant ratio, plus it just had a much cozier feel, with staff members actually holding and rocking/feeding babies. I didn’t know until I saw it how much of a difference it would make to me.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      Washington Post had a really good article about which questions to ask an in-home daycare. Some I didn’t realize/think of. For example, do they have a landline phone? this is essential because often precious time is lost looking for a cell phone in an emergency to call 911. This article is in the context of Virginia, where many in-home daycares don’t have to be licensed so one has to ask a lot of questions, but could be useful anywhere.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/searching-for-a-home-day-care-here-are-nine-questions-to-ask-a-potential-caregiver/2014/08/30/7d841f12-24b3-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I think we visited 4 day cares. Where I live, in-home places are much more likely to be cited for violations than day care centers. Just fyi. Your state probably has an agency that inspects day cares–check out their ratings.

    • Anonymous says:

      First daycare: toured two home daycares. The first one, walked in and thought “nope.” Clean, safe, kids seemed happy, but no separate napping area, too much in the way of educational focus for us (flashcards, etc., for infants). Proud of having all the kids, ages 12 weeks to 3 years, on the same schedule, when our 4 month old was still taking 3 naps. Walked into the second one and thought YES! Clean, tidy, happy happy happy kids, separate nap room, good outside space, lots of explanation of routines and policies, several licensed fill -in caregivers, kids who had stayed there from 3 months until kindergarten and then sent younger siblings. We checked on the reports to the state and were okay with the few minor violations that showed up (missing an outlet cover the year before, etc.) — didn’t see any that had no violations. Then we moved cross country when kiddo was 18 mo. and had to find care on short notice. Fewer licensed home daycares here. Daycare affiliated with spouse’s employer opened a spot and we thought it was fine but not amazing — kiddo would have been totally okay, but it was the wrong religion, no real outdoor play area (semi-outdoor, I guess), kids were all crying, management was a little disorganized, no real explanation of daycare philosophy, and I guess it boiled down to no overwhelming warm feeling of love. Also spouse would have had to do all drop off and pick up. Found another spot that was more of a preschool, the right religion, outdoor space and commitment to outdoor play every day, teachers have been there 15-30 years, everyone seemed amazingly loving and caring, consistent school philosophy and rules. Turns out several friends send their kids there and moved them there from another well regarded daycare down the street. We’ve been extremely happy there even though the hours are not QUITE long enough to be ideal (7:30-5:30).

  15. (former) 3L mama says:

    A little story of encouragement for any moms of littles who are concerned that if they don’t night wean/sleep train NOW it will “never” happen. We happily co-sleep and are a non-CIO family.

    On Friday night we night-weaned my 18-month-old, and it was so easy and pleasant. Thursday night we talked about how this was the last night that we would nurse during the night time because mama’s b – – – sts needed to rest at night, and she could have a milk in a cup if she was thirsty. We reminded her a couple times on Friday and talked through how she might feel.

    Friday night she woke up at the usual time she wakes up to nurse first, and asked to nurse – I reminded her that we could not nurse at night, but we would in the morning. She cried angrily in my arms for about 5 minutes, then asked for a cup of milk, drank it, asked me to rub her back, and went to sleep until morning.

    Saturday night she woke up twice and asked me to rub her back, but did not ask for milk and did not cry.

    Sunday night she woke up but crawled into our bed and went to sleep without intervention. We’ll continue letting her crawl into our bed partway through the night until she’s in a good place to stay in her own bed the whole night. Or at this rate she might make that choice herself.

    When I think about how much I stressed over the “right” timelines for night-weaning and independent sleep, I wish I could have told myself to just chill for a couple more months until she’s ready, and it will be so much easier. If I live to be 80, I will have spent less than 1.9% of my life caring for this child at night – what a privilege.

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