Washable Workwear Wednesday: Dakota Jersey Top

Dakota Jersey TopSometimes there is nothing better than an elevated t-shirt like this simple jersey top from Boden. The front is polyester but the back is modal/cotton, meaning it’s comfortable, easily washed, and perfect for work and weekends. The top is $60, comes in four colors, and sizes 2-18.  Dakota Jersey Top

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  1. Four year sibling gap? says:

    We just found out we’re pregnant with our second! The kids will be almost four years apart, and I’m realizing that I don’t think I know anyone with that particular age gap between siblings. Anyone here have experience with this (either yourself as a sibling or with your kids) that you’d be willing to share? I know this can vary tremendously depending on the kids involved, but I would just love to hear some different experiences.

    • I have a SIL and BIL who have a 4 year old and a 6-month-old. (The big brother turned 4 about 2-3 months before little sister was born.) The 4 year old is an awesome big brother! He’s helpful and very sweet to his sister. Other big pluses for the parents–he’s past the sleep issues he had as a baby and toddler, he’s potty-trained, he can do tasks like getting dressed or getting a juice box by himself, and he can play independently for pretty long stretches.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Congrats! I have 3.5 years between me and my younger sister. We were not close growing up, but we are close now as adults.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        I have 4 years between myself and my younger brother. This was my experience too – we weren’t close (although he would say that I was more like a mini-parent to him) growing up, but now we are.

    • Mama Llama says:

      Congratulations! I have nothing useful to add, but I’m also newly pregnant with my second and will have a 4+ age gap between my two kids, so I’m following with interest.

    • My older sister and I are four years apart. The age gap was such that we were rarely in the same school growing up and, therefore, had our own worlds. We were close enough in age to still play together, and we would do sleepovers in each other’s rooms for birthdays, holidays, etc. We fought like crazy when I was in middle school and she was in high school. She went off to college when I was a freshman in high school and instantly became the coolest person I knew, and sleepovers at her dorm were amazing. At about that time, I realized that she could actually provide advice about our parents, high school, boys, friends and life.

      Fast forward 20+ years and she is my absolute best friend on earth. I can easily say that she is the person with whom I have the most adult relationship in my life (respects boundaries, listens attentively, calls things for what they are and the like). Now, four years amounts to basically no difference. Our kids are within a year of each other, and we are both working moms. Our relationship is what I hope for my kids.

      • Aww…I love this! My daughters are 3.5 years apart and I hope this for them. My oldest has been pretty helpful and she is potty-trained, which is great. There was a couple week adjustment period at the beginning that was rough, but overall we’ve been fine. I’m amazed at how she plays with the new baby. She was hosting tea parties with the baby at 6 weeks old and holding the cup up to her mouth and talking with her like the baby was a real person (it helps that we talk to the baby as a real person too, probably). She holds the baby’s hand in the car as they sit next to each other and it is just overall adorable.

        Daniel Tiger has a bunch of episodes about a new sibling that were helpful in our house.

      • This was my husband’s experience with his brother. They are 4.5 years apart and not close growing up (big brother was always annoyed by my husband tagging along) and weren’t actually in the house together all that long (big brother went away to prep school and then college). But now they are the best of friends.

        Also, it allowed for my husband to have quite a few memories from his childhood where he got to be an “only” – special trips his parents took just him on (because big brother was away at school).

    • My bro and I are almost 4 years apart! At first I was not crazy about him ruining the good thing I had going as the (spoiled) only child. I’m pretty bossy and my bro is super laid-back. So I think a lot of it is personality driven. I like to think we tempered each other’s more difficult qualities.

      We had some knock down drag out fights growing up, but we always made up quickly (we were forced to, haha) and we’re pretty close now. I think the biggest impact was honestly the boy-girl factor. I was a tomboy and wanted to play with trucks, run around outside, etc. which sometimes got me into trouble because I couldn’t always keep up with him, even though I was older.

      +1 to the below who didn’t attend HS with her sibling – we didn’t either: he just missed the cutoff and honestly that made for a better HS experience for both of us. All that to say I think it’s fine for them to attend HS together, but don’t try to force them into the same friend group.

      TL;DR I wouldn’t worry too much! I think you will have a good little “helper” and they’ll get along great. Congrats!

    • Congratulations! My two are almost exactly 4 years apart. (My daughter gave her brother the best birthday present by NOT being born on the same day!) It is working out really well for us. When she was born, my son was potty trained, could listen to directions, and entertain himself for stretches of time. We didn’t have a lot of jealousy. We could have joint birthday parties for quite a few years. Now they are both in elementary school and on the same schedule. They play well together and are interested in a lot of the same things. I’m not sure what 8 continuous years of paying for college will feel like, though….

    • Congrats! I’ll speak more to the logistics of the first year because that is where I am now. My second was born when my first was 3 years 8 months. It has worked well for us. I don’t do well with newborns (or sleep deprivation) and cannot fathom having a younger toddler and baby at the same time. The now 4yo wasn’t too keen on the baby for a while (he mostly ignored him) but we’ve settled into a good routine.

      The best parts: the 4 yo can go to the bathroom on his own, get a snack, play independently, etc. I thought he was easy at 3 but he is even easier at 4. The hard parts: tiny legos everywhere, TINY LEGOS EVERYWHERE.

      There are times when I worry that they won’t be able to play together much and that schedules will never align but I think for my sanity it was a great gap. And the baby adores the 4 yo.

    • Four year sibling gap? says:

      OP here; thanks to all who replied! Some of these responses got me a little misty-eyed (thanks, pregnancy hormones!)

    • congrats! my father was 4 years apart from his siblings and my best friend’s daughter turned 4 shortly after #2 was born. it has been a great age difference. the older one sometimes gets jealous, but is mostly helpful and adores her little sister. she wants to know when she can get another little sister…lol. it is also so much easier on the parents to have one who is a bit more self sufficient.

    • Anonymous says:

      Myself, my best friend, high-school boyfriend all had four-ish year age gaps with at least one sibling. Younger siblings are SUPER annoying when you’re in high school. But you never have to attend school with them. Older siblings are SUPER cool when they’re in high school (and college!). As an adult you really do have to put some work in to really be friends with your sibling, but I think that’s true to some extent anyway.

      Pluses: One college tuition at a time. Older kids can babysit (I watched my younger siblings when I was eight, for half-hour stretches).

      Minuses: Older kid can try to “parent.” Younger kid exposed to all kinds of stuff at an earlier age.

      I’m hoping to have a three/four year age gap for mine. (Fingers crossed!)

  2. CPA Lady says:

    Is a 3 year sleep regression a thing? My kid has been an awesome sleeper from 4 months of age, and for the last several weeks she’s having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. She tried to get in bed with me at 2:45 a.m. last night. Ugh. Is she ready to drop her nap? What is happening?

    In related news, the “ok to wake” clock is $21 on amazon today, which is way less than last time I looked into buying it. Maybe it will help.

    • 2 Cents says:

      FYI, looks like it’s the same price at Target too!

    • Yes, get the OK to Wake clock. It’s amazing. My only complaint is that I wish I could set a different wakeup time for the weekends, but that’s sort of a pipe dream. She may also be ready to drop her nap, at least sporadically, so you might want to start working on the concept of “quiet time” where she still rests her body but doesn’t have to nap. Maybe she can play quietly or read books or something if she’s not tired enough for a nap?

      But all of that won’t completely stop the midnight wakeups. Both of my kids have been sleeping horribly for the last few weeks. I think part of it was all of us being “off” routines with the several days off daycare/ school/ work, plus all the holiday food and family and activities. But I also think it’s that weird time of winter (I’m in the Chicago area) where it’s hot with the furnace running, but cold dry air, super long dark nights, and not enough outside physical activity. We have a humidifier in their rooms, and lots of blankets to layer on and off as they need, but I just think it’s a hard sleeping time for most people.

      • EB0220 says:

        We got the Remy clock, which has its flaws…BUT you can set different wakeup times for different DOW via the app. You can change it on the fly, too. It’s more $$ than the OK to Wake Clock but pretty cool.

      • Edna Mazur says:

        We got the My Tot Clock (New and Improved) that has a separate Weekend Wake Time.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Get the clock! It is so great. Also, maybe she’s just going through a developmental thing…mine recently slept terribly for a full week, then spent two days sleeping INTENSELY and CONSTANTLY, and then emerged a totally different kid (speaking in sentences!!).

      • CPA Lady says:

        Oh I did, with overnight shipping. Desperate times!!

        And that’s what I’m hoping– that this is tied to some kind of development… hopefully one that involves less whining.

      • Pretty Primadonna says:

        Will the okay-to-wake clock work for an 18-month old? I need it more for her staying in bed when she wakes in the middle of the night. LSS, we’ve had to transition the crib to bed with toddler rail and at the first moment of her waking up, she’s out and coming to find me or her dad.

    • mascot says:

      Around 3 or 4, my awesome sleeper kid had some wonky sleep regressions with similar symptoms. He napped at school until age 5 so it wasn’t a dropping the nap issue and he wasn’t getting sick any of the times. Our pediatrician suggested giving him melatonin for a couple of nights to help him re-set his sleep. It worked well and he was back to normal sleeping pretty quickly. I think we gave 1 mg each night?

    • Carine says:

      Thanks for the heads-up on price! I’d been considering it for a while but just ordered.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So I feel dumb asking this, but a lot of BFing resources on this topic are related to moms who EBF. How do I wean my baby? DD is 10 months and I would like to stop BFing when she’s 13-14 months (we’re traveling during her 12th month so I don’t want to do it then). Basically I want my body back for a bit before I get pregnant again. She’s more attached to the bottle than nursing so I don’t think it will be too dramatic. I just cut down to two pumping sessions a day, next month I’ll cut down to one, and in March I’ll stop pumping and just nurse her in the morning. Do I just stop offering one morning and give her some milk instead?

    • FTMinFL says:

      The strategy recommended to me was “don’t offer, don’t refuse”. If you offer her milk and she doesn’t ask to nurse, don’t offer, but if she asks, go ahead. As soon as we started this strategy my son completely stopped asking in the morning. After a week he only asked to nurse right before bed. When I was ready to drop the nighttime nursing, I gave him a sippy cup of milk for cuddle time before bed and when he asked to nurse I told him that “it had to go night-night.” He was familiar with that concept so it made sense to him and he didn’t ask again. We had a few evenings of using that strategy, then he stopped asking. Good luck!

      • We were told to use the ounce-by-ounce method. Replace one ounce in one bottle with cow milk, and see how the kid tolerates it for a few days. Then replace one ounce in a second bottle with cow milk, wait a few days, add a third cowmilk ounce, etc. This method takes about two months to wean her off breastmilk bottles.

        For the nursing part, you just end the session a minute or two sooner than usual, when they’re slowing down but not completely done. Just say “Mama’s milk is going night night!” (or all gone, or whatever) and then sing a song right after, or cuddle without nursing, or whatever is appropriate for the time of day, so they still get the closeness and interaction but without the milk. The timing of this one depends on the kid and whether you still want them to have cowmilk at that same time, but it can be a week or a couple months.

        At the same time, you drop your pumping sessions, just like you’re doing, so your milk naturally starts to “go night night” anyway.

        I had my kids on cowmilk during the day by 12 months, but I kept nursing them at nighttime for another 2-3 months until everything finally dried up. It was pretty gentle and painless because it was such a slow reduction for them, but of course ymmv.

    • Cornellian says:

      I’m not weaning totally but have been cutting down and talking to my IBCLC. She said to make sure you move gradually. If daughter is nursing for more than a minute or two, once you stop her from nursing in the morning, hand express a little bit for a few days so your body gets used to it. This is supposed to help reduce risk of mastitis, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re on the right track. ‘Don’t offer, don’t refuse’ is usually a low stress way to wean. I’d cut down to one pumping session a little sooner and start introducing cow’s milk. You can nurse just morning and evening for a relatively long time even with no pumping so if you want to stop entirely, you’ll have to stop offering at a certain point. You may want to try not offering but nursing if requested for a week or so, and then if she doesn’t stop requesting, you can try offering a bottle instead. I found a slow wind down helped with the hormonal adjustment.

    • Marilla says:

      I stopped offering one nursing session every 1-3 weeks and replaced with a snack or a cup of 3% milk. I started this at around 10-11 months. (Our dr was totally fine with cow’s milk starting at 9 months, according to Health Canada recommendations.) I kept the bedtime and first thing in the morning nursing for a little while longer, then cut out morning, then cut out bedtime by 13 months (she was eating enough food that she didn’t seem to need it). I was worried it would be a struggle but it was easy as can possibly be.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My daughter was similar in that she wasn’t particularly attached to BFing (I mean, she liked it, but she was equally fine with a bottle). She ended up self-weaning at 15 months. Right around 12 months (maybe 11.5 months), I started cutting pumping sessions. I had been pumping 3x a day (2 at work, 1 before bed). I was also nursing 2x a day (morning and before bed). I kept the nursing sessions in place while I cut pumping (1 session per week). I used my freezer stash and also started to mix BM and cows milk. After ~3-4 weeks, I was completely done with pumping and just nursed 2x a day, and she was drinking cups of milk. My plan was to cut the AM session first because at that point, she was already eating breakfast + drinking milk, and to cut the PM session last. But, like I mentioned, she self-weaned and just refused to nurse, so we cut both sessions at the same time, and it wasn’t a big deal at all.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Over the course of about three months (from when she was 11 months to when she was 14 months), I did the following, in this order:
      – Dropped from two pumping sessions to one and subbed in cows milk, from a sippy cup, for half of her daycare milk (we never did cows milk from a bottle, mostly because daycare was really into getting her to drink from a sippy and we were like “if you’re going to do the work, then awesome!”).
      – Dropped all pumping sessions, she switched to entirely cows milk during the day
      – Dropped her evening BF and switched to cows milk, drunk from a sippy while snuggling in bed with Mama and Dada. At this point we also gave her plenty of yogurt or cheese for dinner (both of which she adored) to make sure she was full enough for the evening, because she didn’t always drink a ton of cows milk in the PM.
      – Then, when she was 14 months and only nursing in the AM, I went away for four days, did a lot of hand-expressing in the shower (sorry if TMI) and by the time I got back we were both done with breastfeeding.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks, this sounds like what I was planning to do. I should’ve clarified – we combo feed so she does get formula as well as B-milk. Right now its nurse in the morning, breakfast at home, 3 bottles plus meals/snacks at daycare (2 b-milk, 1 formula), dinner at home, and then a bottle of formula before bed. I nurse in the middle of the night if she needs it but thankfully she’s back to sleeping all night.

    • I started by mixing cow’s milk with breast milk in the bottle around 11 months. By 12 months, we could do half and half or all cow’s milk. I think as I pumped less, my production naturally decreased so that it wasn’t really hard to stop nursing. I tried to stop night nursing at around the same age too because she really didn’t need it so it was easy enough for her to basically self-wean. I think we kept a bottle of regular milk before naptime and bedtime until closer to 18-19 months. Like yours, my kid never expressed a preference for breast over bottle or vice versa so it was all relatively easy.

  4. octagon says:


    I am one of three and we are each 4 years apart. Not very close growing up, really close now. One of the great advantages was that we weren’t in high school at the same time, so it was easier to exist as an individual person, less as X’s little sister.

  5. octagon says:

    Potty training help please!

    Kid (22 M) is day-trained and has recently started waking up in the middle of the night asking to go to the toilet. Those trips have had very little success – half the time he’s already gone in his diaper, or wakes up and feels an urge but then nothing happens. I want to encourage listening to his body but I am exhausted from 2 or 3 visits to the bathroom each night. He’s still happily in a crib so he needs help getting up (and I’m not sure I would want him wandering around in the middle of the night even after we move to a bed).

    Someone tell me this gets easier soon? It’s been about a week so far and I feel like a zombie. It’s as bad as when he was a tiny newborn but I didn’t have to go to work then!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Ohh, this is the fun age when night time potty training turns into an opportunity to manipulate mom and dad! Kiddo used to sit on the potty for an hour just to delay bedtime, and then wake up repeatedly at night claiming to need to use the toilet (she never had success).

      My only suggestion is to not do what I did – I bought into it, and then got super frustrated, and potty time turned into a big power struggle, which led to constipation, which led to…sadness. If I had to do it again, I probably would just say, “Kiddo, we go in our diapers at night. You can use your diaper.” And that’s the only thing I would say. No getting out of the crib, kiddo can howl in his crib if he wants. I don’t know that many kids are ready for night time training at 22 months.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Oh! And the good news is that it’s not permanent. It was a couple brutal months with kiddo, but it passed and is now just a bad memory (most nights).

    • Butter says:

      Piggybacking off of this, and I know this varies widely, but when did you all start potty training? We’re rounding the corner on the second birthday and I’ve been putting off even thinking about it, but spose I should start to do so.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        We started at 2.5 – my daughter was very comfortable in a diaper and showed no signs of wanting to potty train but school said she was ready and pushed for it. It took her ~3 weeks to get to the point of no accidents for #1. #2 is still a work in progress (increasing success in the toilet, but she’ll also still poop in her diaper at nap time or overnight).

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Is your kiddo showing any signs of interest or readiness? Like, hiding to go #2 in a diaper, wanting to sit on the potty, dry diapers for a long time, etc. I know there are “methods” to “make” kids potty train earlier, but if I had to do it again, I would have waited until kiddo showed more signs that she was ready for day training. We had several months of nasty little baggies from daycare with soiled clothes that I think we could have avoided if we had waited six months….

        Kiddo was just shy of 2 when daycare decided to include her in the group that was all potty training.

      • octagon says:

        Our daycare started around 18M when they noticed some of the signs. I would have probably been content to wait another year, honestly.

      • avocado says:

        We trained our kid at 2 years 11 months with a combination of bribery and a bootcamp method we sort of invented. Her interest, her physical readiness, and day care’s support never coincided, so we had to wait for a holiday break to tackle it at home. Because she was very ready physically at that point and was highly motivated by the reward, training went quickly and we had very few accidents. Before that point, we would always put her on the potty when she asked even if we weren’t actively trying to train her.

        We did not bother with night training until she started keeping her pull-up dry all night and then going in it after she woke up because she didn’t want to get out of her cozy bed, some time between age 4 and age 4.5. The only reason I really cared about night training at that age was for camping. I was always afraid that bears would smell the pull-ups in the tent. On the other hand, an accident in the tent would have been worse.

      • Apparently, we started this week. MIL babysat Sunday night, and Kiddo asked to go to the potty and went #1 and #2 for the first time. He was very proud. Since then, Kiddo has been asking to go to the potty and is having some success getting things into the toilet but isn’t keeping diapers dry. DH talked to daycare this morning, and apparently he asked to use the potty on Monday, and was trying to take his diaper off yesterday. For now, our approach is going to be to offer to let him use the potty at regular times and see what happens, but not to push it.

      • Boston Legal Eagle says:

        Thanks for asking this question! It’s been on my mind lately as I just started that Oh Crap book. My son is almost 21 months and the book makes it sound like around the 2nd birthday is a good time to start. I don’t want to miss the perfect window of opportunity as the book says, but it’s also hard to know what signs I should be looking for (caveat, I haven’t finished the book, maybe it explains it). For now, what I’ve mainly noticed is that my son’s diapers are dry after most naps on the weekends.

        I think we’ll tentatively start on a long weekend after his birthday. I feel like summer might be easier as there are fewer layers to pull off, and that timing would work out with his age. I want to check in with daycare to see what their plan is too.

        • Anonymous says:

          We didn’t start until my son was 3, and it worked much better when we tried again at 3.5. (Poop accidents are no joke). He night trained on his own at 4.5 and now goes all night. I know Oh Crap works well for many, but it is not the only option and starting later than they recommend doesn’t necessarily cause problems.

          • Edna Mazur says:

            Yup. My oldest was never that interested and we waited until three to push it. Had a tough week or two but he was physically ready. Literally two #1 accidents and no #2 accidents since we finished the training couple of weeks.

            I’m a fan of waiting. For some reason changing a diaper is way less gross to me than cleaning poop out of underwear.

          • Us too. Read the Oh Crap book but just couldn’t bring myself to dedicate a weekend to it, so we kind of never got around to it. Around 2.5 kiddo started going on the potty every night but still wore diapers or pull-ups. A bit later (maybe when he was 2y9mo?) daycare started taking him to the potty too. By 3 he was regularly keeping his pull-up dry all day so one day we just switched to underwear. We had just a couple accidents but that was it – much less of a “thing” than I imagined.

          • ETA – we haven’t night-trained yet.

      • We started around 2 years and 9 months. I’m glad we waited that long – there was no doubt that our daughter was ready, and I think because of that, it was a really quick process. Preschool started taking her every 30 minutes, and she was doing really well with that for about two weeks (staying dry). So that was a good sign to me that she was ready. I took a Friday off, and we stayed at home where she wore a shirt with underwear. I followed the 30 minute routine that preschool had established, and I added a sticker chart (jelly bean after every 4 stickers for peeing, and a small gift for pooping). The first day was ROUGH. Taking her every 30 minutes was surprisingly exhausting. She also had no qualms about peeing in her underwear, right in front of me, without any indication that she needed to go. She thought it was hilarious (she kept yelling, with glee, “I have pee on my knees”). As the day went on, the accidents stopped. And by Saturday afternoon, I was comfortable taking her out to lunch and to a playground with a bathroom. The rest is history! We kept the chart for about 2 weeks and slowly phased it out and stopped once the bag of gifts and jelly beans ran out. I’d say we kept to the every-30-minute schedule for about a week. Then we started lengthening it to 45 min. and then an hour. After another week or so, I trusted her to tell us when she needed to go. She stayed in a pull-up for naps and nighttime for another month or so, and we haven’t had any accidents (fingers crossed!). I credit our success to preschool laying a good foundation (they did the initial hard work!) and waiting until she truly seemed ready. Good luck!

      • we didn’t start until 3years 3months, and it was so easy that this is our plan again for second kid. He was pee trained with very few accidents within a few days. #2 took a bit longer, maybe a month before he was accident free (although he only had 3-4 accidents during that month)? And those accidents were no joke, it made me glad we waited. I would much rather deal with a diaper than #2 accidents.

        There was a lot of pressure to start earlier (books, grandparents, etc) but I felt pretty strongly that the older he was, the easier it would be, and also that he would let us know when he was ready. He was afraid of the potty for so long, so we waited until that subsided, then gave it a try.

    • 1) I agree above that I’d be very surprised if a 22 mo is ready for nighttime training. I would stick to diapers, honestly, until closer to 2.5 or until a full week waking up dry.

      2) Nighttime pees are No Fun. We don’t turn the lights on, so we get them out of bed in the dark, walk quietly into the bathroom, sit there in the dark, in the quiet, with no facial expressions, until they’re done. If they try to talk, we just keep repeating “Shhh, it’s night time. We pee and go right back to bed. No talking.” If they’re unsuccessful, we say “good try! back to bed. i love you.” If they’re successful, we say “good try! back to bed. i love you.” (The same both times.) The key is to make it as boring and uneventful as possible. Celebrations can happen in the daytime. For the record, we treat nighttime accidents the same way, in the dark with no talking and no facial reactions, and we say “It’s night time. Lay there while I switch the sheets and we’ll go right back to bed. No talking.” Pretty sure my kids think we turn into zombies at nighttime, but whatever.

    • I think at that age I was taking my daughter to the potty around 9pm and then again at 1am or 2am. I only kept up the middle of the night thing for a couple of weeks, but I still take her to the potty before I go to bed (she is almost 4). However, she also had a little potty in her room and was in a toddler bed so she could go whenever she needed to without waking anyone up. She had a monkey lock on the door so she couldn’t go wandering but could still see out and call to us in an emergency.

      It shouldn’t be a power struggle, so I think you have a few options. You can set up a schedule and tell him he needs to hold it until you come to get him (combine with a diaper if needed), you can move him to a bed and set up a little potty in his room so that he can go when he needs to without leaving his room (you may still need to take him to the potty on a schedule, at least at first), or you can postpone nighttime training until you are both ready for it. You can’t be at his beck and call all night at this age.

      • mascot says:

        Yeah, the “dream pee” was really helpful for us to prevent middle of the night wakings. Ours was usually around 10-11pm. He was already in a regular bed by that point which helped once he could handle going on his own.

    • Momata says:

      So, I”m wondering if I’ve been doing this all wrong. My daughter just turned 4 and is still in pullups during naps and at night. She pees before she goes to bed, but never wakes up dry. She doesn’t wear a pullup during nap at school but still asks for one at home. This bothers me not. at. all, particularly since she is a nighttime wanderer and we have to monkey lock her in her room (after giving her one chance not to require this, which she always blows within thirty seconds of being put to bed). If I were to put a potty in her room I guarantee you messes would be made (this used to happen with her poopy diapers). I was just thinking eventually she’d either wake up dry, or would stop wandering and we could trust her with the responsibility of access to the rest of the house at night. Am I supposed to be getting her up to pee repeatedly through the night?

      • I don’t know the answers, but I’ll admit I was surprised too. My plan was to put him in pull-ups at night until he wakes up dry in the morning. Putting a potty in his room would result in frequent messes–he already takes his diaper off and pees on the floor, multiple times, within half an hour of multiple trips to the potty before bed. And I have no interest in waking him up in the middle of the night to pee. Of course, if he woke up and told me he needed to pee, I’d take him to the potty, but I’m not setting a 1 am alarm for myself to go wake up a peacefully sleeping toddler.

      • I didn’t take my oldest out nighttime diapers until he was 6. Eventually, she’ll wake up dry. It just happens at different ages for different kids.

        • out *of*. Also, my middle son was dry at three and a half, and my daughter stayed dry starting around two and a half (although she was not day trained at that point) – just depends on the kiddo.

      • Sabba says:

        I think this is totally something that varies by kid and family and you just do whatever works best. I remember not being night trained until a later age and it was embarrassing to me, so I tried earlier with my daughter because I heard it might be easier by age 3 (anecdotally). But I will also fully admit that I had a child with the right temperament to do nighttime training early, we had already switched to a toddler bed from climbing issues, my child did not make messes with her potty, and we had childcare that was supportive of early potty training, etc. Things would be very different without any of these factors. I don’t think it is unusual at all for a 4yo to need a pullup at night. Do what works for you and ask the pediatrician if you have concerns–there is a really broad range of “normal” on when children are nighttime trained.

    • I don’t know when it ends, alas. It does seem to get easier – DS only goes once a night at most, and usually wakes up dry – this started right when we day-trained.

      To piggyback somewhat off this discussion: at what point do you trust that they’re properly night-trained? Kiddo is 2.5, and wakes up dry every morning except on rare occasions (eg. Thanksgiving when he fell asleep in the car on the way home from seeing family and transferred right to bed). Expecting #2 later this summer and would like to have only one kiddo in diapers at a time!

  6. NewMomAnon says:

    Kiddo has started having a really hard time with transitions – it happened sporadically when she was a toddler, but she’s almost 4 and I’m puzzled. Like, when her dad and I do hand offs, she will now fall apart sobbing about how she doesn’t want to leave whoever is leaving (it appears to happen when either parent is leaving), and will curl up in a tight ball on the floor so we can’t pick her up or hold her. When we left my parents’ house over the holidays, she did the same thing and brought my dad to tears. She’s always fine a few minutes later, and we don’t have any problem at daycare drop off. Nothing has changed with the hand offs; the holidays were a disruption obviously, but otherwise everything is stable. Has anyone experienced this? Trying to figure out how to help her through it.

    • Anonymous says:

      post- holiday adjustment? One of my three year old twins is having a hard time with the same thing this week. I had him at the doctor to check his ears. No infection but he’s still not 100% over the cold he had so it’s probably lingering sickness plus missing holiday time of lots of yummy treats, sleeping late and extra tv. Also describes how I feel this week.

    • Do you talk about what will happen ahead of time? My daughter is younger but I’ve found that letting her know what will happen helps a lot.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        We do, and have for a long time – the hand offs come with some lead up (getting shoes on, getting into the car, getting out of the car, etc). It seems like that just triggers bigger, earlier resistance now (although I’m not going to stop doing it; trust is a huge deal in our house).

    • anonnymommy7 says:

      My almost-4-year-old daughter with divorced parents is developing the same thing. We never see each other at hand-offs (one of us drops DD off at school in the morning and the other will pick her up that night, whenever my ex has visitation), but she has begun getting very upset about the transition between the two houses. Happy to chat more over e m a i l if that would be helpful for you – my handle at the mail of google.

  7. Have we discussed kitchen sponges or their alternatives before? Has anyone figured this out? I like the way a sponge cleans (we use the two-sided with the scrubby side) but they just gross me out after a short time. I hate throwing them away every few weeks and while I do microwave them, I don’t know that they are really clean.

    What do you use? Is there some secret alternative out there that I haven’t discovered?

    I’m going to cross-post on the main board for more input.

    • Stop microwaving them. It’s apparently way terrible.

      I like the Scotch Brite Dobie sponge – I feel like it stay “nice” longer. Also: I will demote dish sponges to bathroom/other cleaning sponges once they start to show wear, which feels less wasteful and let’s the sponge have a longer lifespan.

    • Marilla says:

      I buy mine from the dollar store (it’s like 10-12 sponges for a dollar) and throw them out weekly.

    • I have tried a million things. The silicone sponges are rubbish and don’t scrub anything. A washcloth gets disgusting so quickly and we have to wash them so often it seems just as wasteful. So I’ve stuck with the heavy duty scrub sponges. I use them for almost 2 weeks, then run them through the dishwasher. Use it for about another week, then toss. A pack of 6 will last me just over 4 months. It’s wasteful, sure, but so is the washing machine cycles for washcloths or having to run the dishwasher on a heavier cycle to get rid of more of the food (or run the hot water longer if I’m hand washing).

      • We’ve made so many advances and yet we can’t come up with anything better than a sponge…

    • Cornellian says:

      Cut them in half and use half at a time. Helps with the environmental impact and cost, and makes it easier for me throw away.

    • Sponge says:

      I can’t stand sponges. I only wash dishes with a brush, my favourite is the one from Ikea. I have a ton stock-piled and when we rent a vacation house, take one with me. (Yes, I know this sounds crazy). They last a long time.


    • NewMomAnon says:

      I keep a big stack of washcloths in the kitchen that we use as napkins and for clean up; a wash cloth is used for one thing (cleaning up dinner, cleaning up a spill, napkin for one meal) and then goes in our dirty wash cloth bin and is washed with the rest of our towels. For stuff that needs scrubbing, I have a bottle brush and a regular dish brush. I use a sponge only when I’m embarking on a big, dirty clean up project (a Bar Keeper’s Friend marathon, for instance), and I throw it away at the end.

      • We do something like this, too. Are your washcloths terry cloth or something else? Do you find a certain color to be best? We have a million multi-colored terry cloth washcloths that I pick up from HomeGoods. They are workhorses, but I find that they fade/stain pretty easily and I wonder if there is some other better option out there.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I wait for Target to sell their “back to school” stuff, and buy packs of 6 washcloths for $3 in whatever colors they have. I am partial to gray because who knows if it has faded? It’s just…a lighter shade of gray.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I use blue and white striped handiwipes– it’s like a fabric paper towel. I run it through the washing machine about once a week. Each one lasts about six months. The only thing I use a sponge for is when I need to scrub some baked on food off of something– even then after the scrubbing is over, I wash the item with the handiwipe. It has the perfect consistency– it’s thin enough that you can rinse it really well and food doesnt get stuck in it like it would in a terrycloth rag.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I hate sponges.
      We use an oxo brush for dishes that can dispense dish soap and replace the brush head every so often (we like that it has a stand too so it’s conveniently right by the sink).
      In terms of counter tops etc. I’m straight up wasteful and use clorox wipes or paper towels with spray cleaner. I know it’s horrible for the environment, but I could never get a routine for storing/washing dirty washcloths down. They gross me out :(

      • Anonanonanon says:

        I do, on the other hand, LOVE mr clean magic erasers, which I guess are a king of sponge. Love to use those for walls, doors, door frames, cabinets, light switches, etc.

    • I use the oxo dish brush with the replaceable heads. I do not actually put dish soap in them because those leak and get grody quickly – I just squirt the soap on whatever I am washing from the dawn bottle. I like that I can pop the heads off to put them in the dishwasher, they don’t get as smelly as sponges and keep my hands out of the water. Plus replacement heads are easy to get and I only replace every 6 mo or so.

    • Knope says:

      I put them in the dishwasher every few days.

  8. Lady NFS says:

    I have a 5.5 month old baby girl and have been back at work for about 2.5 months. I have a nanny that I found through word of mouth from another family whose child was starting school and no longer needed the nanny. Nanny came with glowing references, and I actually interviewed 8 nannies in the process of hiring (which was so hard! How do you really “know” who is taking care of your child??). Anyway, I have cameras around my home (which nanny knows about, as they are not hidden and they are actually in her contract). Nanny is loving and appropriate with my DD, on time, reliable, etc. But lately I’ve noticed when I check in via camera during the day, there is a LOT of phone time going on lately. She’s not ignoring my daughter, but she’s not engaging with her as much as I’d like, either. Example: baby is playing on her play mat, nanny is on the floor with her, but talking on her phone. Nanny is changing diaper, talking on her phone. Baby is in her baby bjorn bouncing around, nanny is sitting on the floor, facing her, and she’s on her phone. (She is using headphones). This is really bothering me. I recognize that my daughter is very young, but this doesn’t sit well with me. Am I overreacting? Do I say something? Find another nanny? Input appreciated!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Caveat to below: I don’t have a nanny because the idea of having to “manage” someone at work AND at home is miserable to me.

      I would say something rather than find another nanny, I think she deserves a chance to correct her performance. I also wouldn’t ban phone time altogether. Lord knows if I was home alone with a baby all day every day I’d need to talk to an adult on the phone once in a while.

      I’d start by pointing out the behaviour and saying you understand the desire for the phone time, but that you’d like to see it reduced since it’s interfering with her ability to directly interact with the baby. The ability to provide direct one-on-one interaction is presumably one of the reasons you chose a nanny over daycare. Then, if it’s not reduced enough, maybe set a more concrete guideline, such as “we’d like to not see you on electronics for more than ____ a day while baby is awake”. Then if it’s still a problem or she doesn’t like those conditions you can find someone else.

    • I don’t think you’re off-base; this would bother me, too. Caring for a baby is really isolating (from my short experiences during maternity leave), so I think it’s natural and appropriate for her to need some time to socialize during the day. Think of this as something she needs to do her job better. How can you accommodate it? Maybe she can join a nanny playgroup or have a standing thing at the library? Personal phone calls should be limited to breaks (baby’s nap time), just like any other job, but she should seek out some adult interaction during her day if that will make her better at her job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you talked to the nanny about your phone time expectations? Don’t let her go without trying to at least address this.

      I don’t know if I agree that phone time should only be on breaks; I think there is some advantage to having your child not be used to having a caregiver’s full and undivided attention whenever it is awake, because that is not a standard that can easily be maintained as they get older. But I totally understand why you are concerned. I think in hindsight my baby would have been happy to be left alone more, and I worried too much about engaging him when he was tiny. Babies tend to let you know when the want attention, and if she is responding to your daughter when she is upset, she’s probably meeting her needs.

    • POSITA says:

      This sort of think really is the hard part of having a nanny. I always struggled with both being the “boss” when the employee was basically a member of the family and caring for my baby. It was so hard.

      That said, personal phone usage was an item in our contract — it was to be limited to baby naps. I’d probably set up a 3 month check in where you sit down with the nanny to discuss expectations from both sides. You can bring up phone usage and alternatives. Because I’m a softie, I’d probably end the meeting by giving the nanny a small bonus for her hard work, either money or a gift card (perhaps $20 to Starbucks?). Our nanny responded VERY positively to small but frequent gifts. She wanted to feel valued.

      As positive things to bring up, I really like the idea to suggest playdates or meet ups. Playdates are so so good for both the kid and the nanny, especially when the weather is lousy and it’s hard to get out of the house. I might also make sure that there is music available for the nanny. We just set up an Echo–no screen required–and our au pair loves putting on music in the background (sometimes kid music; sometime her favorite band; it’s all good).

      • Lady NFS says:

        Thank you for the responses! I like the idea of doing a 3 month check in. We have a contract and were clear with expectations as to phone time. So, I think a reminder is in order, together with an assessment as to the “positives” because there are certainly more of those. Hard to remember that she is an employee! I have given free reign when it comes to classes, open play, play groups, etc. and as a result DD has an “activity” (music class, story time, sign language, library, etc.) 3-4 days a week, plus whatever nanny wants to arrange on her own as far as walks and play dates. I appreciate the comment re: DD not having nanny’s undivided attention – something to keep in mind. Thank you for validating my gut feelings and for giving me additional things to think about, ladies!

  9. Mama Llama says:

    I am, perhaps unreasonably, very disturbed to learn that there is a brand of nursing tops called “Udderly Hot Mama.”



  10. Q about infant sleeping area says:

    I know a crib mattress has to be firm and it’s ok to put a fitted sheet on top of it, but what about putting a waterproof pad in between the mattress and the crib sheet (the pad is fitted and wraps around the bottom of the mattress like a fitted sheet)? I’ve seen some conflicting advice online – some people say you MUST have a waterproof pad that can be thrown in the wash because there will be leaks and mattresses are hard to clean, but other people say the pad makes the sleep surface too soft and a firm mattress and cotton sheet are the only things that should be in the crib. I asked at our baby prep class and the nurse kind of said “well, you can do whatever you’re comfortable with” which wasn’t really an answer.
    I’m wondering about this for both a regular crib mattress and a Pack n Play, which we’re using as a bassinet for the first ~6 months.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I’ve always had a waterproof mattress pad in between the sheet and the mattress. I think our mattress is actually pretty waterproof itself (it’s sort of plastic-y), but I appreciate that I can remove the sheet + mattress pad for any accidents or vomit (like earlier this week), and I don’t also have to wipe down the mattress.

    • I had four layers on my mattress. A fitted waterproof sheet cover thing, a fitted sheet, another fitted waterproof sheet, and another fitted sheet. It did not make the mattress too soft – the waterproof covers were almost as thin as a sheet and I wouldn’t have even thought of a softness concern. It did make nights WAY easier for accident/vomit cleanup – take the top 2 layers off, lay baby back down, done. (Double-accident-nights were rare, and at that point I was a zombie regardless and likely staying home anyway due to sickness rules at daycare.)

    • Marilla says:

      I have never heard of that concern! We use the Ikea waterproof pad (really just a thicker sheet) under the fitted sheet. You for sure want something protecting the mattress.

    • mascot says:

      Our crib mattress had some sort of vinyl covering on it so I guess it was waterproof. We used a fitted water proof mattress cover, a thin flat water proof sheet and then the fitted crib sheet. Made middle of the night bed strips so much easier. I don’t think it added too much softness since it was all thin, but it did add a little warmth. The crib sheet directly over the mattress felt too cold and slippery.

    • We used a waterproof mattress pad, but my son didn’t even sleep in his crib until 6 months (RnP until 3 1/2 months, then bassinet until 6 1/2 months). The waterproof pad is really the thickness of a sheet and I didn’t notice that it made a difference in the softness of the sleep surface.

    • Like others have said, our crib mattress is vinyl and would likely wipe clean, but I also put a thin waterproof pad down under the crib sheet. Unless LO is sick and requires more frequent bedding changes, they both get washed weekly. I really don’t think it contributes much to the squishiness of the mattress. I was very concerned about SIDs as our LO has about 7/10 risk factors, but this never even crossed my mind. I guess I wouldn’t put an extra fluffy padded one down like you see for full size mattresses. I like the idea of a double layer posted above!

    • rosie says:

      We have a fitted, thin waterproof cover on our crib mattress and pnp mattress. I just make sure nothing gets bunched up under the sheet. My baby slept in the Baby Bjorn bassinet until she outgrew it, and one thing I liked about it was that the mattress itself was wipable so you just needed to put on a sheet. Plus my baby slept better in that than in the pnp.

    • We used the bassinet, which had a vinyl pad, when Kiddo was a newborn and didn’t have a fitted sheet for it. He started sleeping in his crib around 4 months, and then we used a waterproof cover between the mattress and the fitted sheet. The mattress is waterproof too, but it’s just easier to pull of the sheet and mattress cover and then put another sheet down. (A double-accident night has been rare enough that I don’t feel the need for a second mattress cover–if there’s another accident, I’ll just wipe down the mattress. I’d feel differently, I’m sure, if it were a common occurrence.) I’ve never thought of the mattress cover making things more dangerous–if you’re concerned about it, you could compromise and start using the mattress cover around 6 months, when Baby is stronger and presumably able to adjust his or her own position. That’s around the point we gave Baby his lovey. We didn’t really have many in-crib accidents until our son started solid foods around 6 months.

  11. Anonymous says:

    For those who make their baby’s food at home, what kind of blender do you use? We’re starting out with mashed and pureed whole foods. I had been mashing food with a fork but last night I got out my Oster blender for some frozen fruit and realized it is *terrible*. I’ve read all the amazing stuff about Vitamix but struggling with the price tag. Is there anything in between that has worked well for others?

    • Anonymous says:

      We found a Vitamix through Craigslist…maybe try that? Also, I know Costco was selling them recently, but I didn’t check to see what the price was.

    • rosie says:

      Someone got us the beaba (steamer + blender) which works fine and is probably slightly more convenient than just steaming and using my regular blender, but not something I would buy myself. I use a ninja blender for my own smoothies and find it works well.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        We used the beaba, which was nice for small portions and/or trying new foods. I didn’t want to waste my time steaming and pureeing a ton of carrots if she hated them. But, that’s a nice to have that I’m not sure is worth the money, if you really want a new blender. I’ve heard Blend Tec is a good alternative to Vitamix.

    • Momata says:

      I used a food processor. I would be surprised if a regular old blender were up to the task.

      • +1. I had a mini food processor and just cooked food till it was very soft and then gave it a spin. It was super easy (easier than cooking for her now) and it let me always have fresh food on hand.

      • Food processor too, but I made mine in large batches and froze it, so I used a big one.

        • +1. That’s what I did. I used a lot of jars and pouches before Kiddo turned 1. But a few times, I steamed vegetables in batches until they were soft and then used the food processor to puree. I froze them in silicone ice trays, then put the cubes in ziplock bags.

    • Moms Solo says:

      I used the Vitamix, and it works great, but it was easier to avoid waste when I pureed in my small food processor. Not sure of the brand, but it’s nothing fancy.

    • Anonymous says:

      We just used a Magic Bullet (not the Baby Bullet). It had a small footprint and I knew we’d be making purees for only 6 months or so.

    • We did the mashed whole foods as well, and used the Nuk Mash and Serve Bowl until around 10-11 months. Our philosophy was that baby would eat what we ate – and if it was too difficult to hand-mash with this thing, then it was likely too difficult for her to eat. My kids hated most purees, so I didn’t find it worthwhile to invest in any sort of expensive puree equipment. So maybe see if your kid will tolerate more complex purees before you invest in something.

      Randomly, around 12 months, they both started tolerating those Stage 2 Ella’s Kitchen and Plum pouches (purees with chunks, including foods like broccoli and quinoa, which are harder to mash) when we were in a pinch. It was much more cost effective to buy maybe 12-15 of those for each kid vs a fancy blender that we wouldn’t have used otherwise.

    • I LOVE my Vitamix. That being said, I wouldn’t buy one just to make baby food (I did use it to make baby food once and he hated it. Now we buy pouches which he loves, lol). +1 to checking Craigslist. Mine was a refurb from the Vitamix web site, DH bought it for an annivesary but it was still ~$300

    • biglawanon says:

      We used a simple Cuisinart immersion blender. it worked surprisingly well. I see the same kind we have on Amazon for like 35 bucks.

    • CPA Lady says:

      My kid only ate baby food for about 4 months. Just to give you some perspective so you dont run out and buy a $700 blender that you stop using next month. (Unless you want it for other things, in which case, go for it!)

  12. Anonymous says:

    I used an immersion blender. An old fashioned food mill might be even better though, esp. for younger babies, as it strains as well as purees.

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