Washable Workwear Wednesday: Easy Care Ruched-Yoke Top

Banana Republic easycare topI think I remember knowing, at some point, that Banana Republic had a non-iron dress shirt or something like that — but the fact that they have an entire line of “Easy Care” items is news to me. (For men and women!) This shirt, for example, is 100% polyester, so it’s machine washable — I love the happy yellow color, but it also comes in pink. The top is $78, but you can take 30% off with a purchase of $70 or more (or 40% off with a purchase of $200+.) As always, you can purchase from Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap and Athleta all in one transaction. Easy Care Ruched-Yoke Top

Looking for other washable workwear? See all of our recent recommendations for washable clothes for work, or check out our roundup of the best brands for washable workwear.

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  1. August says:

    Thanks for all the suggestions for pumping/etc. at the wedding I have! I will check back in after. I am sure it’ll be fine.

    • Good luck!! My vote is for driving and/ or a hand pump – love that thing. I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding when kid was 12 months old and still nursing, but he was on site as well – then the real challenge was not juggling nursing, which we did with a nursing cover, but kid demanding mama at inopportune times…!

  2. Posted late in the day yesterday that I might be pregnant. This wouldn’t be terrible, it just wouldn’t be as planned as the first two were, and would put the kids at a 3 year gap between #1 and #2, and an 18 month gap between #2 and #3. We had #1 potty trained and sleeping well, off naps etc by try time our second was born, and would have ideally had similar spacing with the third. So, those of you with 18 month age gaps- what worked well? What was tough?

    Also- going from 1 to 2 left us in shell shock. I know it’s different for everyone, and some people find 0->1 hardest, or 1->2, or 2->3. My second has been a major handful and it’s had andownstream impact on my older kid. Guess it couldn’t be much worse with 3. Except perhaps that my will-be -18 month old has a compete death wish and I’ll definitely need a leash or a stun gun once a baby is around.

    I know I’m borrowing trouble but the hyper planner in me can’t do anything for another week or so except plan for a bit of an unexpected detour.

    • LegalMomma says:

      My two are 19 months apart. The hardest part was bedtime. When our second was born our oldest had a very structured bed time routine, when one or the other parent was unable to be there at bedtime (usually Dad as I was on leave, and he ended up traveling quite a bit when the baby was about 1.5 months old), it was extremely difficult. All three of us ended up in tears one night, then 20 month old wanted her books and did NOT want to share Mommy’s lap, baby just wanted to be held, and it was not pretty – but we survived! and baby girl absolutely adores her baby brother and we now have (at 2 and 5 months) a much more flexible bed time routine.

      So my advice, take a hard look at bedtime routine and how baby will fit in, especially if one of you needs to do it alone. The fact that this will be baby no. 3 may help as no. 2 may already be used to some flexibility. Even at 19 months, by first definitely knew there was a baby in mommy’s belly, but I don’t think she connected it as well as a 3 year old would with the fact that a baby was coming. We got her a baby doll and now she does everything to her baby that Mommy does to her brother which I think really helped.

      Having both in diapers isn’t a big deal for us- just one diaper bag, not two — and definitely put outfits in ziplock baggies in the diaper bag, otherwise you are liable to find that you have clothes for one and not the other by mistake (and inevitably, the one you need clothes for is the one who you don’t). Even at 19 months, I found that big sister was extremely excited to help with her brother, so that was helpful. Also, both of ours are still in cribs, I would suggest not trying to transition no. 2 out of the crib to make room for no. 3 – especially if they are a handful!
      Other than that, good luck! and Congratulations!

      • So since I already have 2 I have the magical outfit diaper bag. But I’m too lazy to keep it properly stocked so I have a pair of bike shorts in a 4T for the big one that have worked as pants in a pinch for the younger one ;). Baby has also sported 4T leggings on occasion (this works when you put socks over the extra material at the bottom. You get footies!

        I am a pretty lazy mom. Or my kids are horrifyingly messy. Or both.

      • AwayEmily says:

        This is SO helpful. I am currently pregnant and my kids will be 22 months apart. The first has a VERY structured bedtime routine, and her dad travels a bit during the weekday, so I will definitely be dealing with both of them alone from time to time. Any specific advice on prepping ahead of time to deal with this?

        • Anonymous says:

          Currently pregnant, kids will be 23 months apart over here. *waves* how far along are you?

        • Another Follower! says:

          Friends! I am 5 months and my kids will be 23.5 months apart. I do bedtime solo most nights. Also following!

        • LegalMomma says:

          Ha – I wished I had prepped ahead. What works for us now: Most of bedtime has been moved to our room, and takes place in our bed rather than in baby girls room. This allows all three of us to hang out on the bed together, baby rolls around while I get the girl into her pj’s, teeth brushed, hair brushed etc. We then all snuggle in the bed and read books (rather than trying to decamp to the rocker in the kiddos room). Basically, everything takes place in one location with everything we need right there and we all fit! We have also MAJORLY abbreviated bedtime — mostly through a hard reset. (it is amazing how at that age you do something once, and it is now a required part of bedtime). I also think part of it is just time, the older kiddo needs time to adjust.

          The other hack is that I now have some form of baby holder in almost every room for the 5 month old — though he is now more likely to want to just roll around on the ground — that I can plop him in for 5-15 minutes while I give the older one attention (think swing, bouncer, standing activity gym thing). It distracts hims long enough that I can deal with whatever minor crisis / need for attention has seized the toddler at the moment.

          I also echo Blueberry re: br**stfeeding babies take forever at first! (I had forgotten how long). We did go down to part time for the girl while I was home on leave – I both love that we did, and it was also very stressful at times. The key was that I could basically lock us all in the den/playroom and baby girl could play with toys/books while I nursed. This was the most baby proofed room in the house, and it was set up in such a way that she couldn’t escape.

          Hope all of this helps.

      • Blueberry says:

        I think that age gap is actually great. I would have done it if my cycle had come back earlier after having the first kid. I had that age gap with my brother, and we were thick as thieves growing up. I had a bit of a longer gap between 1 and 2 (2 years and 2 months) but I have the same feedback as LegalMomma, which is that bedtime can be really challenging for the first few months if you are alone. Frankly, any alone time with both can turn challenging during the newborn stage, especially if you br**stfeed, because those little babies nurse for soo long, and toddlers do not like to sit still for that long! I had the insane idea to keep my then 2-year-old out of daycare or cut him back to part time during my maternity leave, and I am so glad my husband convinced me otherwise — the few days off school he had while his brother was a newborn were tough, and I definitely used the TV as a babysitter during marathon nursing sessions. Potty training while having a newborn is not ideal, but I didn’t find it to be that terrible either — although I do have a pretty funny memory of nursing my newborn while sitting on the side of the tub during an interminable toddler potty session…

      • Momata says:

        I second that the hardest time is bedtime. Depending on how you feel about screen time, I would recommend building in a half hour show before older one goes to bed during which time you can put the younger one to bed. It’s the only screen time our older one gets and has been a life saver when there aren’t two parents to do dual bedtime.

        If you plan on nursing, I recommend building in some structured time for you and the older kids. I signed my older one up for a Saturday morning music class and it was great for both of us to know that was mommy and toddler time, when so much of my time was otherwise necessarily devoted to feeding the baby.

        It took us a long time to get to a point where one parent could comfortably be in charge of both kids. Like over a year. We also really didn’t like that period when baby was on two naps and toddler was one one nap, because it meant somebody was always napping and we could never go anywhere.

        All that said – now, at 22 months and 3.5, I love the age gap. They play really well together and share interests and schedules.

    • Our age gap is 18 months and I LOVE it. We avoided all jealousy and at 1 year and 2.5 months they are best buds.

    • Spirograph says:

      I agree that the hardest is bedtime. I have 3, at 20-22 month intervals. For bedtime, it’s rough for one parent. The two older kids play by themselves while I put baby to sleep (their bedroom is on a different level than the baby’s) ,or if they’re too rowdy, that’s a job for Daniel Tiger. Then they get stories and songs together and we cross our fingers that they go to sleep.

      I didn’t get a chance to chime in on the thread about kids sharing a room not sleeping yesterday, but omg yes, I feel all your pain.

      Other than bedtime, close age gap has been great so far. Our older two are best best friends, and they can’t wait til the baby is old enough to play with them, too. Literally, my son said that to me the other day. Heartmelt.

    • hoola hoopa says:

      I have three with 2.75 year gaps between. Longer gap, but chiming in on the 3 kid aspect.

      I agree that bedtime is the most difficult. We really, really tried to both be home. Sometimes if one of us couldn’t be, we’d get a friend/family to come over. It’s only 45 min of the day, but it’s like you need to be in five places at once. It was good to have two sleeping in the same room (we had the older two together, so baby waking in the night wouldn’t disturb them), because then there’s one adult for each room. So the older two did pjs/teeth/books with one parent while the other parent focused on the baby. I did it solo many times, though, so it’s definitely do able.

      Get yourself a double stroller if you don’t already. A real double; not a sit-and-stand. Often one seat is just holding the gazillion jackets, sippy cups, etc. I also used it to strap in unruly kids. There were definitely times I had a baby in the ergo and two angry kids in the stroller ;) But everyone was safe and moving in a group!

      Our mantra with the third baby was that we just needed to get through the 18 months, which was so true.

  3. I love this colour and really wish I had the colouring to wear it. Need to buy a bright yellow bag or shoes or something.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I had a watch with a bright yellow leather band for a while. I wore it a ton. And then it broke.

  4. anne-on says:

    I ordered this and returned it – it is VERY sheer. I’ve got 3 of the long sleeve easy care blouses, and I definitely need to wear camis underneath to combat how sheer they are as well. I’m also always freezing so I don’t mind that in a long sleeved blouse, but I am not doing multiple layers for summer clothing.

    • Ugh, thanks for the heads-up! I loathe the trend towards ridiculously sheer ‘workwear’ blouses. Mass-market clothing designers / buyers should be forced to spend a stint in ordinary, non-garment industry, corporate offices to figure out what their market actually wants.

      • shortperson says:

        i ordered a $158 maternity shirt from hatch and it was sheer! i returned it and asked for free shipping on a new shirt bc of the defect and they told me the sheerness was intentional. (funny, not mentioned in product description.) i wrote them back to ask what pregnant woman wants to wear a sheer shirt (esp. w tummy panel pants) and they never responded. so no hatch shirts for me.

  5. Ugh just a vent. Tried to cancel (while being vague) on an inter department meeting yesterday because I was coming from my daughter’s doc appt where we received a bad diagnosis (nothing terminal but still serious and upsetting). Was told I still needed to attend the meeting. Sucked it up and went. Was visibly still upset during the meeting so a different partner pulled me aside and I explained and she said I could be excused. Today first partner (who told me to attend in the first place) chastised me for how I handled the situation. What the heck. So tired of this working mom thing.

    • Blueberry says:

      First partner can go ___ himself. Try not to give him any more of your mental energy. Sending good vibes for your daughter!

    • avocado says:

      First partner is being an obnoxious jerk. Take care of yourself.

    • Lurker says:

      Could the first partner just be upset that you didn’t tell him/her what was going on so that he/she could excuse you? That partner might feel like he/she looks bad that he/she made you come in under the circumstances and is worried that partner 2 doesn’t know that he/she didn’t initially have the full story.

      I could totally see my boss saying “hey, I need you to come in.” Me saying “I have personal obligations.” Him saying “But we need you.” But if I said “I just found out my dad’s in the hospital, I need to get down there,” he’d say, “nevermind, go.”

  6. We have always sized up at nighttime for diapers, and it has worked well this far, but I am wondering if we should switch to a dedicated nighttime diaper. My son is 15 months and about to move up to size 4’s. Anyone have pro/cons either way?

    • After two soaking the sheets nights in a row, we started sizing up at night. I think it is a sign that he’s about to move into the next size. The only difference I’ve noticed is that I think the overnight diapers are a little more expensive. We use Target brand diapers, if that helps, and the overnight diapers are also not always available.

    • ElisaR says:

      I don’t see any reason not to use a 12 hour diaper at night – it holds in more!

    • AnonMN says:

      We use overnights (Honest Brand) because we’ve found them to be more reliable for our second. Our first did not need them, and sizing up was fine.

      I think it really depends on the kid/fit. Our second is a tiny little guy, so the next size up is still HUGE on him, which means it can leak through the legs. Our first always had huge thighs and waist, so sizing up was never a problem.

    • That’s about the age we switched to night time diapers, and got less nighttime wake ups because the nighttime diapers were less likely to leak. We use Seventh Generation diapers, so YMMV if you’ve got another brand preference.

    • anne-on says:

      Agreed – overnight diapers (we used Huggies) were a lifesaver for us – and I’d try those in a size up and see how they work for you.

      • BTanon says:

        Another overnight diapers fan here. One warning re Huggies though – a few months ago they changed significantly (much thinner and cheaper feeling than they used to be) and instantly stopped working for us. We switched to Swaddlers Overnights, and those have been great.

      • hoola hoopa says:

        I’m definitely a fan of Huggie overnights!

        I haven’t noticed a difference. Maybe I will with our next box.

    • AwayEmily says:

      We use Bambos (ordered via Amazon) as our overnight diapers for our size 4, 14-month-old and they work great.

  7. I miss sleep says:

    Just another vent. My previously lovely 5 month old – who has slept through the night since about 6 weeks old – has decided that sleep is for the weak. She is up every 3-4 hours. Sometimes to eat, sometimes not. We had successfully ditched the bassinet for the crib about 3 weeks ago using the Merlin suit and she was still sleeping through the night. But now, not. Any suggestions? Commiseration? Thoughts on how to make it through the day when I feel like I’m either going to pass out or accidentally commit malpractice?

    • Anonymous says:

      Is she teething? Not that that helps but it may be a *reason* which sometimes is helpful in and of itself. Other potential reasons – did she recently start rolling over and/or crawling?

      • I miss sleep says:

        She does roll, both ways. She has for about 6 weeks, but the bassinet stifled it at night, and then the Merlin.

        • octagon says:

          Are you still using the Merlin? It’s not recommended once she can roll – she may have trouble getting comfortable.

          Is she hungry? Try adding another ounce or two at bedtime and see if that helps. Otherwise, I hope it passes soon!

          • I miss sleep says:

            We are still using the Merlin. Maybe that’s it. We used it with my older child after he could roll (all the way until he basically overcame the suit and was standing in it). It worked for him, so I was hoping for the same here. Has anyone tried any other sleep things like that? The Zippity-Zip?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Have you gone through the 4 month sleep regression yet? If you don’t know what that is, google it….

      My only good advice is that co-sleeping saved my sanity when kiddo was tiny.

      • I miss sleep says:

        I thought she did right around 4 months. She still slept from about 9-4 at that point, after having done 9/10-7 for several weeks. I thought that change was the regression. Maybe this is really it…

      • October says:

        Our 4-month sleep regression lasted until 18 months. At least he’s a wonderful sleeper now (til 8 am!), and those sleepless nights have turned into a rose-colored memory (as do most phases of child-rearing, I’m convinced).

        • This might be the ‘4-month’ regression!
          Ditto October, except that ours was such a terrible sleeper anyway that the sleep regressions were indistinguishable from normal sleep. It took 21 months for kiddo to start sleeping through the night, so that was 21 months of general grumpiness and resenting the world on my part. But now at 2 he’s a great sleeper, except for a spring-loaded internal alarm clock that is triggered by me trying to sneak out of bed.

          • Anon in NYC says:

            Or the 6 month! My daughter went through all of her sleep regressions a little bit early.

          • NoVa Mom says:

            Ha, I’ve said the same thing so many times about not being able to identify sleep regressions because my son is such a bad sleeper all the time. At 18 months he’s doing a little better but we’re definitely not out of the woods completely.

    • Solidarity. Mine is 10 months and while she started sleeping through the night at 5 months, that was just a tease (bug a lovely 3 week tease)and it took until now for me to get decent sleep. Teething, ear infection, growth spurt, vacation- all kinds of factors. Also, just generally not as good a sleeper as my other kid was as a baby.

      But now this one sleeps 7-6 with one wake up (sometimes 4:30 then back to sleep, sometimes 5:45 and up for good), naps 9:30-10:30 and 1:30-3:30 pretty consistently.

    • shortperson says:

      at that age i fed her and after that it was CIO until she fell asleep. saved my sanity. the 4 month sleep regression started a few days before i went back to work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like teething. Try advil or tylenol before bed. If it makes a difference in her sleep then it was probably teething.

    • CPA Lady says:

      My kid was an awesome sleeper but went through a regression around 5 months. That’s when we sleep trained. It worked in three nights and she was back to her 10-12 hour per night schedule. Once she started sleeping through the night regularly, we didn’t feed her at night.

  8. Started to sleep train somewhat by accident last night. I posted the other week about nanny woes but some gentle sleep training is working well so far for naps. Decided to try nights last night after that success. There was a A LOT of crying.

    He is three months and part of me feels like he is too young but I’ve committed to trying for three nights since we went all in last night.

    We got rid of the dock-a-tot (it was previously in his crib) and just put him in the crib swaddled. Should I ditch the swaddle too? I have a Merlin’s suit I can use but it is going to be very hot here this week.

    • No way says:

      Gently, 3 months is way to o young to be sleep training at night, and I say this as someone who is all about sleep training. Babies’ stomachs are so tiny at that age and most get hungry at that young age. I would give it three more months and try then. Many/most babies are capable of sleeping through the night without feedings by 6 months.

      • Not dropping night feedings!

      • Anonymous says:

        Eh. My baby self trained at 9 weeks, dropping all nighttime feedings. And she was EBF.

        Babies do what babies do.

        I REALLY believe that people who scream about babies being too little either need to A) be advocating for 1 year maternity leave EVERY time you post this stuff (as in you said this, but did you also write a letter to a senator or congressman or CEO about it or are you just torturing the sleep deprived mom?) or B) you need to quit trying to make other people as miserable as you were.

      • I think there is a nuance in using the term “sleep training.” It can mean to some essentially cry t out h til you have a baby that sleeps all night. 3 months is too early for that, without your doc saying otherwise.

        We did CIO at 3 months just to get the damn baby to sleep. She got up a time or two at night, was fed and put back to bed. The crying/rage was all about wanting to be nursed to sleep, not actually eating. And. Once we got her to put herself to sleep (3 nights- one awful one, two not nearly so awful ones), she magically started napping better, too.

    • October says:

      Is he rolling, or trying to? Generally you should ditch the swaddle at that point.

      Also, heed the poster above you; there is a BIG sleep regression coming up, and you may want to save you and your baby the stress and tears of trying to sleep train now, just to have to go through the whole rigamarole again. I also agree that three months is too little for “training” in any capacity; they need to eat and they need to be consoled. (I know Tribeca Pediatrics may give you the go ahead, but I’m pretty sure they just tell parents what they want to hear since basically every other pediatrician discourages sleep training for under four months minimum).

    • Anonymous says:

      Three months is too young. If you decide CIO is right for your family, then closer to 6 months is the time to try.

    • For what it’s worth, my pediatrician said sleep training was okay at 14 pounds or 4 months, whichever comes first. We trained at 3.5 months (baby was 16 lbs and already sleeping through the night occasionally – our objective was more about not taking 2 hours to nurse to sleep and get him to STAY asleep putting him down every time) – and it worked for us. I think at that point we used the Merlin sleep suit and just cranked the AC.

      • Thank you! The baby is over 16 lbs at just over three months and the hour plus of bouncing just isn’t physically possible for me any more. He doesn’t nurse to sleep. Once he’s asleep he’s doing really well at night. Waking 1-2 times which is totally manageable for me. I may give the Merlin a try!

    • Blueberry says:

      Also FWIW, I had success with sleep training at around 3 months. We didn’t really mean to do it so early either, but baby’s sleep was just such a disaster at that stage — he literally couldn’t fall or stay asleep unless he was nursing, which was resulting in poor sleep for him and no sleep for me. He would still wake up to nurse when he was hungry, but he learned how to fall asleep on his own.

      I highly recommend a book called “The Good Sleeper: The Essential Guide to Sleep for Your Baby–and You” by Janet Krone Kennedy. It convinced me that sleep training at that age was the right thing to do for us and that I wasn’t going to harm the baby by doing it. (And I am definitely not a Tribeca peds fangirl. My older kid was actually a patient there for a few months, and we switched practices because they really rubbed me the wrong way.)

      I can’t remember what age we ditched the swaddle, but it was whenever he started being able to get it loose.

      • I feel like our sleep training is sort of accidental too. We did it early with our first and it was the right thing for my physical and mental health. This baby is different and generally a better sleeper but it is taking hours to get him to sleep (and there is plenty of crying during the process despite trying to avoid overtiredness).

        Thank you for the book rec. I have friends of friends who have been patients at Tribeca peds and it seems like your experience isn’t uncommon.

        • Blueberry says:

          Yeah, I am a real evangelist for that book — I hope it helps, or at least reassures you. Many sleep books are surprisingly lacking in actual science, IMO.

    • Echoing October that if baby is rolling or trying to roll, consider ditching the swaddle (but also iirc they shouldn’t be in the Merlin once they are rolling either). We had luck with using the swaddle sacks (Little Lotus or Halo) that allowed for tightly wrapping the torso while leaving arms free as a transition. Also, while most would say 3 months is too young for full CIO, if you’re talking about a less aggressive method, I’m in the camp of it’s probably fine. At that age even allowing 5 minutes of crying often meant baby put herself back to sleep. Our ped gave us the blessing to full CIO sleep train at 4 months – we didn’t end up needing to, but just another data point.

    • AwayEmily says:

      We also got the pediatrician’s OK to sleep train early (10 weeks) — she was barely eating during her night feedings at that point and we all felt ready. And yes, we dropped all night feedings. So I don’t think it’s a one-size-fits-all — some babies are nowhere near ready at 3 months, some are VERY ready. Trust yourself and your instincts! But I agree that if you are doing any sleep training, get them out of the swaddle/Merlin so they can learn to self-soothe. Good luck!

      • Thanks! Working on a plan to make the swaddle transition next. And we had a super great night:)

    • shortperson says:

      not to pile on, and i realize you are done with this, but in case you are considering going back: the dock a tot is not safety approved for in-crib use. their promotional materials are misleading.

  9. Potty Training? says:

    Sooo I would like to start potty training my daughter, and her daycare would like that too. But there’s debate in our household about the right unders to put on her.

    I would love to just send her to daycare in something potty-training friendly, and let them do the work. Who wouldn’t?! She’s in cloth diapers right now, and a lot of the disposable things irritate her skin… so the question is, what do we put on her butt for daycare?

    Husband is on team “keep buying disposables until one doesn’t irritate her,” but I’m seriously considering getting 10-15 reusable undies that will hold in accidents but let her feel when she’s wet (like a cloth diaper). Yeah, it’ll require daycare sending home a bunch of gross undies every day, but they send home a bunch of gross diapers every day, so it’s not that different. (I have some guilt about the environment for pull-up type things, too.)

    Any advice?

    • avocado says:

      We used Hanna Andersson training underpants (they have about four layers of fabric) with a disposable diaper over them to hold in the mess while actively potty training. If you have good waterproof covers for your cloth diapers or plastic pants that don’t leak, you could use those instead of a disposable over the underpants. (All the plastic pants we tried leaked horribly.)

      • Was kiddo able to take the diapers off to get him/herself onto the toilet?

        That’s something that’s concerning me, that she won’t be able to do it herself…

        • avocado says:

          She definitely could get the diapers off by herself, but she couldn’t put them back on without help. They may have been pull-ups some of the time, but if I remember correctly we mostly used actual diapers because it was easier to dial in the fit over the training underwear. She had no problem undoing the velcro on the disposables, but I don’t know much about cloth diaper covers. She had been able to rip off her diaper at will for quite some time before we trained. She was older (2y 11mo) and trained quickly, so we didn’t need the diapers for long.

      • Thank you! A lot of me just wants to wait (she’s only 2 yrs 3 mos). Daycare says they think she’s frustrated because she’s a bit behind her peers, physically (this is true) but we are flying across the country in June and again in September and I sort of want to just kick the can down the road until then. Obviously I am full of mixed feelings here.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          You can have it both ways – until recently, I put kiddo in pull-ups for flying even though she was mostly potty trained and wore underwear during the day. Now that she is 99% potty trained, I probably will skip the pull ups even for flights.

    • EP-er says:

      We skipped the pull ups and went straight to cotton training unders. The Hanna ones are great, but expensive. Gerber also makes ones that we used

      I think we picked them up at Target or Meijer. Easy to get on & off themselves.

    • Blueberry says:

      We did the Oh Cr*p method and my son actually went commando for a week or two at daycare, with sweatpants. They sent home a few wet pants, but it was no big deal. So I think you’re fine with reusable cotton undies — just make sure you provide enough. I think being able to pull them off easily is key. Maybe ask what the daycare folks think works best, since it seems they are potty training enthusiasts :)

  10. Next step after swaddle? says:

    More sleep advice please. My 15 week old just rolled back to front when I went to visit him at lunch. I have to ditch the swaddle now right? Problem is his moro reflex is still going strong. We are in the midst of overcoming the 4 month sleep regression too… sigh. What did y’all use with success after the swaddle?

    • Honestly…my baby slept on his stomach (no swaddle!) once he could roll. It was semi-advised by a doctor since he was developing a flat spot and we wanted to nip that in the bud.

    • Anonymous says:

      What are your sleep arrangements? We kept the arm swaddle until about 6 months for all three of my kids but they were sleeping in a crib next to our bed. What about a sleep sack swaddle with his arms swaddled loose enough to get one out and prop himself up if he rolls on his belly?

      • Next step after swaddle? says:

        I have him in a Halo bassinet next to bed but just realized it’s not recommended after they start rolling either. Not quite ready to move him out of the room though b.c we are working through the 4 month sleep regression and nights have been unpredictable. So pack and play maybe? Maybe I should just put the crib in our room…

        • Anonymous says:

          We put the crib in our room. They don’t actually take up as much space as you think. Or if you have a big one, you can get a cheap IKEA one for around $100

    • I think we worried more about what to do after the swaddle than we needed to, but we used and liked the Zipadee-Zip from Sleeping Baby. It lets the baby roll around but there’s also a teeny bit of resistance in the arms since he’s still startling. Plus they’re really adorable – you have a tiny starfish baby!

    • Penelope says:

      Yes, you should probably ditch the swaddle or swaddle with blanket and leave arms out of the swaddle.We used the Halo sleep sack with the swaddle wings and continued to swaddle his stomach leaving the arms out. I think the tightness gave him a sense of security.

      • Yep, we did this but with Little Lotus, same idea as Halo. Then gradually loosened the tightness until next step was just a sleep sack (no swaddle wings).

    • Can he roll while swaddled? If not I think you are okay, but I am not an expert. My son managed to learn to roll over while swaddled the very night before I went back to work when he was 12 weeks old. Our solution was to swaddle him and buckle him into the swing for sleep for a few weeks until we were ready to make a transition. I got this idea from Harvey Karp; it was also good for his reflux to be elevated, so I just went with it.

      • PS – IIRC, which is suspect, he rolled back to front the first time unswaddled several weeks earlier, like around 9 weeks. It was kind of a fluke-y thing for a while, and he didn’t learn to do it swaddled right away, so you may have a few more weeks. And no, he has not been ahead with any of his other gross motor milestones – didn’t learn to walk until 13 months or so. He does have a giant head, and he used to throw that to one side and then the rest of his body followed.

      • hoola hoopa says:

        We swaddled one of our kids (who really needed the swaddle!) until they could roll in the swaddle, which came significantly later.

    • Anonymous says:

      My kiddo HATED the swaddle so, so, so much. We used a HALO sleep sack to keep her warm, but we quit swaddling after a couple weeks.

    • Zippadee Zipp! It gives them a swaddle feeling while still being able to roll. That’s what we switched to around this time. I’m a huge fan.

  11. We used the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit.

  12. Cross posted -- Tops tops tops! says:

    Shopping help wanted!

    I have recently lost some weight and am refreshing my wardrobe. I need inexpensive cotton tops that don’t make me look like a Carpool Mommy (no offense to them– I would just like to have a few things to wear out with jeans that don’t make me feel frumpy and older than I really am). Have been spending a bit too much time on the instagram feeds of my unmarried friends who work in the arts and go out on weeknights and just want some fast fashion so at least I feel like Mama’s got some kind of game.

    Going to comb Forever 21 when I can, but please send links, anything! I’m tall, pear-shaped, mainly looking for things that are drapey and pair well with skinny jeans and my extra few inches of tummy flab where my child grew.

    • Especially since the only reply was this troll:

      “I would just stick to frumpy/ill fitting/age appropriate. You are helping to adopt gendered stereotypes.”

    • anne-on says:

      What’s your style in general? And what area of the country are you in?
      My summer uniform is generally some sort of mix of ‘camp shirts’ or ‘popovers’ or plain old button down shirts with the sleeves rolled up, with cropped chinos/longer chino shorts. I’m almost always cold, and in the NE, so preppy works for me. When it is incredibly hot, I rotate through the Lands end ponte fit and flare dress. Very comfy, disguises a belly well, and long enough to not make bending down to play with kiddos indecent (and come in long).
      I could desperately use some cute (non poly) sleeveless blouses for summer though to refresh some of my stained ones from the past season, which are HARD to find.

      • Classics, neutrals, solid colors. Most of my clothes come from Talbots/ Nordstrom/Ann Taylor. I usually have good luck with cotton and natural fibers, and fill in with random things from Marshalls…

        Live in the South, so AC actually means you don’t want anything TOO skimpy for summer. I just want a shirt I can wear to a bar. Not that I am going to a bar, but that I wouldn’t feel like I was wearing a shirt that said I AM A MOMMY

        • anne-on says:

          So it takes a lot of picking (and I always wait for sales) but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by LandsEnd Canvas. Ditto with Boden – their tops are more $$ but I find myself turning to them waaaay more than my Banana/Lofy pieces.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        How do you manage sweat issues on camp shirts? I think because camp shirt sleeves tend to be more close-fitting, I find myself getting big wet circles under my arms. T-shirts are looser and don’t get so wet maybe? But I would love to wear wovens during the summer and not just shlumpy knits.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I like Loft and J Crew Factory/Mercantile? whatever it is these days. I’m an hourglass, but I have big ole hips.

    • Blueberry says:

      The sort of shapeless shift dresses that are in fashion now have been getting a lot of hate on the main site lately, but I actually think they are awesome for the summer, particularly if you want to show off your arms and legs but have a bit of a pooch. They are doing a good job of hiding my first trimester bloated looking belly these days. I have a dress from Everlane from last season that I fully intend on wearing every weekend this summer until my belly makes it impossible — looks like this: https://www.everlane.com/products/womens-cotton-poplin-v-tank-dress-white?collection=dresses. I am not a pear (I think? I don’t ever know what fruit I am…), so maybe take with a grain of salt.

      For more going-out-top looks, I like the look of some of the shirts in the easy care line Kat posted above. They look nice and flowy, so forgiving for a pooch. To me, most of them look sufficiently modern but not like you’re trying too hard or want to look like you’re 21. I’d wear this one, personally, but maybe I’m boring: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=590710042

    • avocado says:

      These are not tops and I am a cucumber not a pear, but I absolutely love the jersey swing dresses from Old Navy.

  13. LegalMomma says:

    No suggestions, but following because I need the same!

  14. Nanny--husband issues says:

    My nanny has a bad relationship with my husband, and I don’t know what to do about it. She is saying that she has contemplated quitting several times over his treatment of her. Husband is a teacher and we have no problems during the school year, but he has summers off (and is on paternity leave right now) and that’s when we have issues. If it was one particular area that they disagreed over I could handle it, but she says that he generally micromanages her and speaks to her in a harsh, commanding tone that is insulting. My kids and I absolutely LOVE the nanny and everyone who sees her interact with my kids (other parents, preschool teachers, my mom) has the same feeling about her. I want to do whatever it takes to solve the problem with my husband, but I’m not getting anywhere with him despite repeated conversations over at least two summers.

    This morning the nanny sent me a series of unhappy texts about her interactions with my husband around getting my older daughter dressed. He told the nanny to change my daughter’s shirt, that it was too big, and that her shorts were too small. This was after she told him that the shorts (which were new) fit well. She tells me that these interactions are a constant source of strain because he’s hovering over her, contradicting her, questioning her judgment. She also told me that last night my husband reprimanded her sharply when she told my daughter that she could read one more page of a book before going to bed. She says my husband is always yelling at her, “Nanny, do this!” or “Nanny, get me those pajamas/change those sheets/etc”

    I’ve begged my husband to stop micromanaging her. I’ve told him that I have confidence in her judgment and that he needs to stop hovering over her constantly. I’ve said this over and over, and I’ve also told him explicitly that we’re in danger of having the nanny leave us for another job. I don’t know what else to say. Advice?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      It sounds like dad should not be in the house when nanny is there. I know he’s on “paternity leave,” but can you arrange with nanny to handle baby part of the day while dad leaves the house alone, have nanny and daughter leave the house part of the day, and dad to take baby and leave the house for the rest of the day?

      I’m sure he means well, but I could totally see my dad doing this – forgetting that someone is a trained childcare professional and just barking orders for his own convenience.

    • Anonymous says:

      What does he say when you say this stuff? Does he deny that he’s doing it, or does he assert that the nanny needs to be micromanaged? Are you sure he wants the nanny around? Because it sounds to me like maybe he’d be happier with no nanny in the summer. Can you sort that out with him? If he wants to be a full-time parent in the summer, then you probably need to hire a nanny who is happy with a nine month schedule (or give this nanny paid summers off if you’re determined to keep her). If he doesn’t really want to be a full-time parent in the summer, then you need to find a solution that gets him out of the house. Maybe he could be out of the house from 9-3 or something like that and you could just let the nanny leave early when he comes home to hang out with the kids?

      • Nanny--husband issues says:

        We have a 4 month old and a 3 year old. Generally he stays with the baby while the nanny takes the older one to preschool and various activities, although sometimes they swap. They are all home together in the early mornings and afternoons from 1pm until I return from work (3 year old takes her nap then). He definitely needs and wants the help with the kids. I think the problem is actually that he doesn’t really want to be home, at least for the whole day. He could easily take off in the afternoons and let the nanny handle both of them, but I don’t know what he would do with that time.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          He will find something to do. There are libraries, bars, gyms, Meetup groups, volunteer opportunities, community ed classes, bike trails, and park benches everywhere in this great nation.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not on topic exactly, but I would probably give my left arm for time in the afternoon where my children were watched by someone else and I didn’t have to be in the office/at work. I would also have six pack abs as a result. Le Sigh.

        • hoola hoopa says:

          FWIW, my father was a teacher and always had a summer job (house painting, for example). I expect your husband’s colleagues have something that he could join.

          Summer camps often hire teachers, too.

          He doesn’t just need to get out of the house – he also needs an outlet for his teacher-ing. I’m not surprised to hear that he’s telling the nanny what to do when he doesn’t have a classroom full of kids to order around. The same phenomenon nearly ended my parents’ marriage when he retired and only had her to boss around. It came up once among the wives of a group of retired male teachers, and they all had the same experience. I’m not sure how much of it is nature and how much is habit, but it’s a common phenomenon.

          • Anonymous says:

            There are DEFINITELY teachers out there like this. My parents were both teachers/school administrators and socialized almost exclusively with other teachers. You have to have a very commanding presence to get compliance out of 30 teens and if you turn that full force onto one person…. Well there are a lot of teachers’ kids out there I don’t envy. (I got the total befuddlement of elementary trained adults trying to deal with a teenager instead. Much preferred!)

          • anne-on says:

            Ugh, this is one of the reasons I have a VERY strained relationship with my mother (teacher, then principal). She does NOT understand that we are all not her students and can disagree with her opinions/not follow her directives. It has gotten to the point of us having to literally shout at her after saying politely (no, I don’t think so, no thank you, no, please stop) before the yelling ‘wakes her up’ enough to drop it.

    • anon for this says:

      This is fascinating to me. First, because my husband and I are good friends with a couple where the wife loves the nanny and the husband can’t stand her. He is not a teacher, otherwise I’d have thought it was you. How does that dynamic work? My husband and I have marveled at it several times. How does your husband feel that you’re not backing him up on this? I more often hear the husband’s side of our friends’ situation, and I know he is intensely frustrated and a little resentful that his voice has less weight than the nanny’s with his own wife.

      Also because we fired our nanny because I didn’t like her, even though my husband didn’t have a problem with her and the kid was perfectly happy, because united front. I’m sure my former nanny made similar complaints about me. We butted heads whenever I was around on my way in/out of the house. She probably felt I was micromanaging, I was angry that on both big and small things, she wasn’t respecting that those are MY kids, and I’m the decider. Maybe that’s the real source of your husband’s curtness? In which case, it might be good to have a conversation about that. This is a two-way thing between husband and nanny, I can almost guarantee that. I strongly caution you about “siding with the nanny” against your husband. She is pitting you against each other, whether intentionally or not, and that’s a Very Bad Thing.

      All that said, both husband and nanny probably should try to find some outside-the-house activities to do until this situation is resolved.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ohmigod, I just had to giggle at “MY kids” and “I’m the decider.” Glad it worked out for you! Hope you gave her a good recommendation!

        • anon for this says:

          I mean, I’m really not asking for you to agree with me. That’s kind of my point. The only people who need to be happy with the nanny are the family she works for. I felt like I was in a constant power struggle (picture the worst stereotype of an overbearing MIL trying to box out the mom and tell her she’s wrong at every turn, and you just about have it) and it p1ssed me off. To his eternal credit, my husband said “if you’re not happy, I’m not happy.” Not : “I love her! The kid loves her! Everyone who sees them together thinks she’s so warm and loving! ” The OP has never said how her husband reacts when she confronts him about the nanny’s accusations. If he doesn’t realize that he’s coming off brusque and is apologetic, that’s one thing. But if he is defensive, disputes her account of the events, says he doesn’t like how the nanny’s doing things or that he doesn’t get along with her, imho, it’s messed up that his OP is taking the nanny’s side.

          I fired her. Of course she didn’t ask for a recommendation. But if anyone had asked, I would have told them very honestly that I was never concerned for my kid’s health or safety, and that she was very loving, but she would do best in a family where the parents wanted a coequal extra parent making decisions with them about every aspect of their home and child’s life, often without prior consultation. Some families like that, but I don’t. ::shrug::

    • Is she complaining to him directly? I’m not sure having you be the go-between is helpful, especially if it is insulating your husband from how unhappy the nanny is. It sort of sounds like you are her boss, but you both need to be. Does he not trust her judgement?

      • anon for this says:

        and, pursuant to my comment above, do you not trust HIS judgement? If your husband isn’t usually rude to people, there’s a reason for this. Maybe she’s a great caretaker, but if she’s not a good employee and can’t get along with her boss (because fundamentally, your husband is her boss, right?), maybe this isn’t a good fit. I get that a great nanny is worth her weight in gold, but nannies are more replaceable than husbands, so the definition of “great” should include that both parents like her.

        • Anonymous says:

          So if you complained to your supervisor that one of your bosses YELLED at you constantly in the midst of your workday, YOU would be the bad employee. Gotcha.

    • Honestly, I think you should talk to your husband about whether he wants to fire your nanny. If he does, you should probably fire her. If she is not a good fit with the whole family, then she is not a good fit for the family.

      If your husband doesn’t want to fire her, then he needs to find a way to back off and stop micro-managing her. The examples you cite are over stuff that literally does not matter. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bitten my tongue, with both my own husband and my (former) nanny, about the way Kiddo was dressed.

    • Chi Squared says:

      Your nanny is putting you in an awkward position. She wants you to side with her over your husband. That means she is not a “great” nanny . It sounds to me she is overly sensitive to your husband’s comments. It’s her job to make your life easier, and she is making it harder. There are better nannies out there! Yes, the process is excruciating, but you will be much better off without the drama. And even if you repeatedly fight with your husband and spend lots of mental effort trying to find a way to help them co-exist, she might/probably will quit anyway.

      Your situation reminds me a bit of our first nanny. She did not get along with my husband (who did try to be as non-offensive and out of her way as possible (he worked from home)). While I was pregnant with my 2nd, she confronted me with a huge list of complaints and demands. Because I was desperate to avoid having to find another nanny, I gave her everything she asked for and listened to her complaints, and tried to address them. She ended up quitting while I was on maternity leave, with very little notice. I had always thought it was worth putting up with her drama b/c she was good with the kiddo, but now I realize she really wasn’t all that. After a lot of inconvenience and pain (yes, nanny hunting sucks), we now have a great, drama-free nanny.

    • Anonymous says:

      It sounds like you believe your husband to not just be “micromanaging” but yelling at and belittling a household employee. You really should ask him if he is modelling appropriate behavior toward a respected adult for your four year old. I nanny-ed in college and the WORST children were the ones who felt like they could threaten, yell at, belittle or ignore their nannies. (And yes, I understand that parents need to empower children to avoid abusive situations. But that’s different from an eight year old running through kitchen screaming and knocking things over on purpose and then when the nanny asks the kid to not run inside [while she cleans up] the kid threatening to have the nanny fired.)

      Aside from that, you could ask your husband to communicate with the nanny via a list of tasks (since I was an after school sitter, this was how I got my marching orders every day). If the sheets need to be changed or whatever, it can just go on the list. It could be an issue of him not having the household tasks planned (needing the sheets to do laundry) and then him interrupting what she’s already doing.

      But from the clothing thing — that just struck me as being a jerk. I’m guessing he didn’t buy or stock the clothes in your daughters room so he’s seriously questioning your judgement on a pretty un-rewarding, never ending, high-emotional-labor task. I’d be less upset at my husband for yelling at the nanny (and I think anyone who yells at waiters or household staff who haven’t ACTUALLY ENDANGERED someone to be highly questionable humans) than for treating all of my labor in dealing with children’s clothing as garbage.

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