Washable Workwear Wednesday: Drapey Cap Sleeve Top in Polka Dot

I’m really liking this top from J.Crew. I like the bold, graphic print that is slightly interrupted by the bib quality of the front. I think having a print such as this one is a great way to make wearing a suit more playful, and the high neck with the cutout and the cap sleeves are both perfect under a blazer. I happen to like the way they styled it online with the tortoiseshell earrings but probably wouldn’t be brave enough to wear it like that myself. The top comes in regular (XXS–3X), petite (XXS–L), and tall (XS–XL) sizes and is $65. Drapey Cap Sleeve Top in Polka Dot

A plus-size option (which is also machine washable) is at Bloomingdale’s.

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. Ladies – I have a black tie wedding to attend in 2 1/2 weeks, am 15 weeks pregnant (will be 17 weeks at the wedding), am definitely showing, and don’t have a dress. August really snuck up on me! I had hoped to do rent the runway but am getting very overwhelmed sifting through the dress they say work for second trimester – I’m finding it very hard to find pictures or reviews from women who were pregnant and wore them. Any suggestions for a rent the runway dress, or dress I can buy from somewhere else, that would work? I’d like to keep the cost $125 or under, because I’ll likely never wear this again. I think I’m currently a size 10, and am 40 and not in great shape, so need something flattering and age appropriate. I’m happy to wear a strapless bra, but would like some straps on the dress because I’ll feel more comfortable. Any suggestions are MUCH appreciated!

  2. DC Energy Attorney says:

    Paging April / Kat: is there a reason (there may very well be!) why the “week in the life” posts are so infrequent? I personally find them to be some of the most interesting posts!

  3. My 2.5 year old has been a little mean lately. Not across the board but, for instance, she started freaking out when her grandpa wanted to sit next to her while she was eating breakfast and feed her. This resulted in her yelling at him not to sit next to her and then yelling “no, don’t sit there either” when he tried to sit somewhere else (3 chairs were unacceptable!). Finally she said he “could” sit on the couch. He was very sweet about it but I think this only makes her behavior worse and we’d like to keep her from turning into a little dictator.

    Before this, she decided she didn’t like my mom and spent a few visits telling her that. She declines to say goodbye to grandparents sometimes and withholds hugs, she told Mr. AIMS that she didn’t like how he read stories so she only wanted Mama to read to her, etc. She’s also been rude to people in our elevator or in the store and will say things like “I don’t want this person talking to me” in their presence. She’s generally a sweet kid and I get that she is just exploring boundaries and what is appropriate and we want her to feel comfortable expressing herself, particularly as far as not forcing her to ever hug anyone she doesn’t want to or to do anything uncomfortable. But we also don’t want a rude kid and I’m struggling to explain to her what is okay and what isn’t and why. Any help or books you can point me to would be appreciated.

    • My kid went through a similar phase around that time. When she says something like that, I try not to make a big deal about it because then she’ll keep repeating it and probably get louder. Sometimes I just ignore it, and sometimes I say that it’s OK to think whatever you want but talking about someone’s appearance or saying you don’t like them may hurt their feelings, so please keep it to yourself or share with mom and dad later. At 2, kids are starting to develop empathy and understand that other people have feelings, but in my experience it doesn’t really change their behavior until 4ish.

      • lawsuited says:

        +1 I think making different rules for family members and for strangers makes sense. She should feel allowed to express her feelings and preferences to her family members, but do it in a kind way. So, she can’t shout and Grandpa because that can hurt his feelings, but she can ask him to please sit in a different seat because she’d like to sit alone. With strangers, saying exactly what you think when you think it can be dangerous, so maybe the rule for that is to whisper it in your ear if it can’t wait or wait until you’re in the car/at home to tell you. I totally agree that giving our hugs and kisses is totally up to her, and holding hands is sometimes required with family members but will never be required with strangers.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      For strangers, I just apologize to them directly (a simple, “I’m sorry, she’s 2”), and then tell kiddo in a matter of fact manner that such a comment was rude and could hurt someone’s feelings and that she should be more polite. I don’t make a big deal out of it. Often she would respond with something like, “But I don’t want them to sit near me/talk to me” and I’d respond that it was fine, and that she could move herself or use her words and tell them that she needs some space.

      For mommy preferences, 8 out of 10 times, I make kiddo deal. She had/has a strong mommy preference, and too bad, kiddo, it’s daddy’s turn to do bedtime or read books to you on the couch.

      For grandparents, I again focus on rudeness. She doesn’t have to sit next to Grandpa, but she can’t tell him that he can’t sit in any seat. She can’t be unkind to Grandma.

    • Butter says:

      Kiddo is going through this exact same phase right now (also 2.5), and we do indeed refer to him as the tiny dictator. At home we largely acquiesce (if it’s safe to do so) or let him tantrum it out if we can’t, but if around grandparents or other people, then we tell him that it’s not nice and can hurt people’s feelings, and generally carry on/ignore it and he usually let’s it ride.

    • Kiddo started this phase around the same age, and he’s still in it to some degree.

      We often try to drill down to what Kiddo really wants and then coach him on how to say that thing. So, if he’s saying he doesn’t want grandpa to sit next to him, he might really mean that he needs space, or he wants daddy to stop what he’s doing and sit next to him, or he wants to sit in grandpa’s chair because that’s where he sat last night, or he wants to sit at the place setting with the blue napkin. Most likely, it’s not about grandpa at all, and some of the “rudeness” is curbed once they have the words to ask for what they really want. Also, once we understand the reason Kiddo wants something the way he wants it, we can decide whether whether there’s an easier way to solve the problem, or whether to acquiesce or explain why we can’t or let him tantrum it out.

      With strangers, it’s harder, and I take the approach of apologizing directly and then coaching Kiddo on a polite way to say what he wants to say.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Not at all helpful, but when kiddo was about 2.5, we were in an elevator with a neighbor and my kiddo looked at me and loudly declared, “I don’t like her face.” The neighbor cracked up laughing and we’ve joked about it ever since. People understand that little kids are blunt.

  4. I’m pregnant! And not telling anyone yet, aside from my husband and kid (who’s not 2, so she’s not quite getting it). I want to tell everyone now – worst secret keeper ever. Also, already signed up for a midwife, because in my area they are in high demand. Did anyone tell people earlier for their second? I’m bursting with excitement.

    • LadyNFS says:


    • lawsuited says:

      Congratulations! I told earlier with #2. I was not up for putting in the energy required to conceal my pregnancy, so I told family and friends soon after I found out (I was already 8 weeks).

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Congrats! I told earlier with my second. Told my parents and in-laws around 8 weeks and told work around 11 weeks (for the first baby, we waited a few more weeks before telling to get out of the 1st trimester). I feel like I started showing a lot earlier and I felt less anxiety about something going wrong, especially after seeing the heartbeat.

      Your not quite 2 year old may not get it yet, but she will soon I bet! My just over 2 year old knows that “baby brother” is in my belly, which is so cute.

    • Anon in NYC says:


    • Don’t rely on your kid not getting it if you’re trying to keep it quiet. We told my just-2 year old that there was a baby in Mommy’s tummy and that she was going to be a big sister. We didn’t mention it again for WEEKS because we didn’t want her to say anything about it. The night before we were going to announce (at my husband’s dissertation defense, so both families would be there) we were sitting down to dinner and it was quiet, and she casually said “there’s a baby in Mommy’s tummy.” Narc.

    • I’m of the “tell people if you want to tell” school. Because most likely the people you want to tell are the people who will be supportive if you have a miscarriage. Having had two miscarriages, it was really comforting to be able to tell people when I lost the babies and not feel like I had to deal with it on my own. I told some people very early and I told some people as late as 20 weeks. I like having secrets, but I also like having someone to share them with.

  5. Help! My n!pples! says:

    Baby is 6 days old, milk has been in since day 3. Hospital lactation consultant said his latch was “great,” but it’s still SO SO painful. The first few minutes are excruciating especially. No visible cracks, bleeding, etc. What’s my next move here? Wait to see if things improve? Try to find an LC? (If so does anyone have recs for MD suburbs of DC? I know about the Breastfeeding Center on K St but that would be a bit of a trek for me and my sore c section incision.)

    • Anonymous says:

      You should try to find a professional if you can, but in the meantime, hang in there! Are you slathering on lanolin? That really helped. I was in extreme pain starting at day 3 or so when nursing my first, and was going to quit BFing. I read that most clears up by two weeks, so I promised myself I’d hang on until then. Everything got MUCH better around days 7-10, without any outside intervention.
      Postpartum doulas might be able to help you, or check for a group at a local hospital.

      • +1 to Lanolin and it taking 2 weeks. I asked a nurse in the hospital for a n*pple guard because I assumed it wasn’t actually supposed to hurt that badly and she basically told me to suck it up (in nicer words). I hated her with the fire of 1000 burning suns at that point, but she was right. It was better within 3 days, and was fine by 2 weeks.

    • LadyNFS says:

      Not a LC, but have been nursing for a year. I recall it took about 4 weeks (!) for nursing to not be painful and for my n–s to “toughen” up. I’m not suggesting that you continue to suffer through the pain because I’m not an expert, obviously, but wanted to provide some context. I found that just airing out nonstop and using Earth Mama Angel Baby n–le Butter and soothies that I kept in the fridge helped. It doesn’t hurt to have another set of eyes, of course, and YMMV. Good luck!

      • +1 to the n*pple butter. It’s amazing. It took me a couple of weeks with baby no. 1 to get comfortable and about a week with baby no. 2.

    • Cannot recommend a lactation consultant enough! I know everyone drums into your head how important the latch is, but, SERIOUSLY. LC saved my BFing. Can you call the one on K St. and ask for a rec of someone closer or if they do home visits?

      I also got a compound made at the local pharmacy that was prescribed by the midwife and it helped tremendously during the period where I had a lot of pain.

      • Also, if it wasn’t clear, the compound was a topical treatment. It had ibuprofen in it (and whatever else) so you had to wipe it off before feeding, but WOW did that help when nothing else did.

        It’s highly, highly unlikely you take this, but if you are a migraine sufferer and take triptans, beware the effect on your breastfeeding! Something with how it expands the blood vessels, I guess, but when I took it once in the early stages of breastfeeding it felt like I was passing broken glass and I have absolutely never in my life had anything more painful. And that includes my non-epidural childbirth with back labor and a “sunny side up” child.

    • anne-on says:

      So, I feel like this really gets lost/minimized in the ‘breast is best’ literature. You are going to have someone sucking your n*pples (which are a sensitive body part!) for at least 20-30 minutes multiple (for me 10-12) times a day. Guess what, OF COURSE that is going to range from outright painful to uncomfortable at first. My lactation consultant told me to give it 7 days for them to ‘toughen up’ and to use the medella silicone breast pads (kept in the fridge) to help with pain/tenderness, and not to be afraid to use a shield if it helped at first.
      Once I got past that first week everything was fine but man I really really wish someone had told it to me straight when I was pregnant. Oh – and as we move into fall, be prepared for your n*pples to be really sensitive to cold weather.

    • lawsuited says:

      BFing was excruciating for me for the first 3 weeks. I had bruising and blood blisters all over my areolas and cracked nipples. I saw multiple LCs and was told that LO had a strong latch, and he gained a lb each week, so was assured it was all working the way it should. I slathered on the Lanolin and the problem resolved itself once my nipples toughened up. Use Lanolin if you’re not already, try nipple shields, and definitely see an LC or recruit a helper in order to visit the BF centre if confirmation will make you feel more at ease.

    • I was in this exact situation and one session with a LC solved everything and allowed me to bf for a year. Third on the LC!

    • Spirograph says:

      Holy Cross hospital in Silver Spring (and Gaithersburg, I assume, but no experience) has LCs on staff that visit the maternity ward. It might be worth calling up to see if their contract allows house calls, or if you can drop in. Your OB may also have some local recs.

      Meanwhile, use lanolin. For me BF was really uncomfortable for the first week or so, but definitely got better. I thought of it as needing to develop callouses on my n1pples. Which, of course they’re not actual callouses, but the point is, you need time to adjust to any repetitive stress to a body part that isn’t used to it.

      (also, congrats on your new baby!)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I personally would hire a lactation consultant to come to your house and really watch baby latch on. I did not find the hospital lactation consultants helpful at all – encouraging, yes, but actually helpful, no. But then again, I had a really rough start to nursing (cracking, bleeding, etc.). I am not a crier in general but I broke down in tears from the pain on day 3 and freaked my husband out.

      The LC I hired made me practice latching like 20 times while she watched and my pain instantly went from like a 9/10 to a 4/10 — and TBH, the residual pain was just because I was in such rough shape. If you do start experiencing some cracking, lanolin is your friend here. I personally really liked the Lasinoh brand as opposed to the thinner, more “natural” brands. I also used nursing pads inside my bra to protect my nipples while they were healing.

    • Please see another LC, preferably an IBCLC, and have them actually look in the baby’s mouth along with your latch. My daughter latched great but had a severe tongue tie, so she was unable to move milk unless she put in a LOT of work. Once we got her tie revised, breastfeeding got some much easier! We didn’t find the tie until an IBCLC actually looked at her tongue – others just looked at her latch and thought it was ok.

    • Try the Medela SoftShells, the are like protectors that suction on to you to keep clothes from rubbing against you in between feedings and allow you to heal a bit. I would buy them for every new mom I know, but it’s kind of an awkward gift. Also, at about 4 days-old the LC told me I had “trauma” and to have my doctor call out triple n****le cream. It was pricey but helped so much, so maybe see about that.

    • I would definitely find an IBCLC. Make sure they know how painful it is to nurse and have them look super closely for tongue and lip tie. My pediatrician is an IBCLC and only diagnosed my 2nd baby with tongue and lip tie because I pushed it. After getting through the initial nipple discomfort, it never hurt when I nursed my oldest, so I knew something wasn’t right with #2.

    • Yeah, everywhere I read it said, “breastfeeding should not hurt”, which is great, but when I talked to actual moms after the fact, the truth is that at the beginning, it does hurt. Even if you are doing everything right! It just hurts at the beginning because your body is adjusting as another said. Definitely get an LC to come visit but ask for recommendations from your friends because I tried like, 4 different LCs and the quality varies. And be suspicious if they diagnose a tongue tie right away. I think they are really over diagnosed. One LC recommended surgery and when we asked our pediatrician to evaluate, she was like, nope.

      • I second the recommendation to get a second opinion on tongue tie. The hospital by us has a BFing group and the LC there pretty much diagnosed every nursing problem as tongue tie and recommended getting snipped. Neither my ped nor the second LC (who was also just better in general) thought this was necessary.

        I suffered from cracks, bleeding and blisters from very early on so even when the latch was fixed by day 4 or so the residual injuries made nursing excruciating and took a long time to heal (4-6 weeks). Newman’s ointment worked okay, so did the silicone pads (lanolin was too thick so hurt to apply) but the pain was still noticeable even then. The only thing that actually helped was subsituting a few feedings with pumpings instead, to give me a bit of a break.

        More systemically I think we need better research on what works to ease what turn out to be very common problems, especially since the advice is often conflicting (let your nipples completely dry! put silicone pads on them to prevent them from drying out!) and not very scientific (just leave some expressed milk on your nips because its a magical healing elixir!) Instead, the advice that even comes from professional LCs ends up being a variant of “hang in there momma, you’re doing what’s best for your baby!” IN what other medical context would this type of cheerleading replace an effort to find evidence-based solutions? Sorry to grumble, this is an issue that makes me particularly grumpy!

        • NoVaMom says:

          Just curious – are you in NoVa? The hospital BF group with the over-diagnosing LC obsessed with tongue ties is very very familiar to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      I used medela lanolin every single time I nursed – lots of it. Johnson’s pads so it didn’t stain my shirts/bras.

      Discomfort at the beginning is normal, but pain is a sign that something is wrong like lip or tongue tie or latch or position. In the first month I had to use one hand to hold baby’s head in the right position and another to hold my b00b in the right position.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 for the Medela lanolin. Other lanolins were too sticky or too hard to apply, but the Medela one didn’t make things hurt more.

    • Try a nipple shield! I found nursing very painful and that made it a lot easier. Lactation consultants are generally very judgy about them but my kiddos pediatrician encouraged me to try one and it worked really well for us. I doubt I would have stuck with breastfeeding if not for that. Shes 6 months and I’m still using it and we’ve had absolutely no weight gain issues (she’s well above average). But I also know lots of people who used them in the early days and weaned from them.

      • blueridge29 says:

        Nipple shields were a huge help for me too. The lactation consultants were judgy, but my pediatrician was fine. I used them for about a month and then weaned them off. I also alternated feeding only on one side when the baby was really little to give my nipples a break. That may be an option, but you have to be careful you don’t get any blocked ducts. Good luck!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don’t have cracking or bruising, it’s possible that it’s the letdown itself that is painful. That was the case for me– letdown was just excruciating, to the point I thought I had thrush or something. We had plenty of other issues so stopped after a month, but I did keep pumping for a while and the letdown did get less painful with time.

    • Call the K street location and ask for a LC who will do house visits. Many (most?) do, for an additional fee. It’s so worth it.

      If you post where exactly you are in MD, I can ask friends for recs. Also, if you are part of a parent neighborhood list serve (or Next Door), I would ask for local LC recs there as well. Finally, if you go to DC Urban Moms and search under “lactation consultant” and “Maryland” you’re bound to get some suggestions.

      This is very hard, good luck.

      • Help! says:

        Thanks for this. I’m in Silver Spring.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hi, neighbor! I think there are few of us in Silver Spring here, we should have a meet-up sometime when your baby is more than 6 days old!

      • rosie says:

        Late in the day, but I liked Laura at Bfeeding center on K St, she will do house visits.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Keep your nipples dry so they heal when you’re not feeding – Medela has some shells you can order on prime. I had an inverted nipple (cool, I know) so I used those silicone nipple cover things for a few days while we got the hang of things, which ended up helping a LOT with the pain too.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I found that, in addition to lanolin, leaving them er… out in the open really helped. I just wore a robe so i could tie it over them if needed. Then there wasn’t fabric rubbing on them, they could air-dry, etc. It made a world of difference for me in the early days.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. One of the lawyers I work with told me that she spent the first two weeks walking around topless with a robe. I was like ‘What?!’ but it was honestly one of the most practical pieces of BF advice I got.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. People here have given you a lot of advice, but I haven’t seen this – address it quickly. Like, call someone within the next hour. Painful nursing in the first few weeks is almost an emergency, because your body is working hard to heal and kiddo is desperate for calories. It’s a delicate balance, and the medical professionals in my area address it rapidly. See if there is a drop-in LC clinic at your local hospital; call your OB or pediatrician’s office to see if they have an LC on staff, or if they will send someone out on a house call. And don’t hesitate to give baby a bottle (of formula or pumped milk, either are great!) to give yourself time to heal and baby some calories. It’s OK to treat your own discomfort as a priority right now.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      Call your OB and see if they can proscribe tripple nipple ointment. Made a HUGE difference for me.

    • Help! My n1pples! says:

      Thank you all so much for your responses! It truly does help to hear other people’s experiences, especially after reading so much La Leche League “breastfeeding should feel natural and pleasurable!” literature. I reached out to an LC practice in hopes of getting a house call tomorrow. Maybe they will just tell me to wait it out, but it sounds like it’s worth trying.

    • anonymous says:

      I know I’m super late to the game on this but Metropolitan Br*astfeeding is amazing! Please, please call them. They do housecalls (like… I called them on my way home from the hospital & there was someone there in 30 minutes- she happened to be in the area but still).

      They are excellent- my son has a complicated tongue & lip tie & we finally had it resolved after a month but this was after multiple providers told me things were ok.

      There’s also a wonderful ENT named Dr. Pham up in Rockville that you should reach out to- she’ll watch your baby nurse and then diagnose based on that. She’s had 3 kids of her own and knows what to look for.

      BF should not be painful!

      • Help! says:

        Thank you! They are actually the ones that I contacted. They have some mixed reviews on Yelp, so I’m glad to hear your perspective.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just in case anyone is still reading, I LOVE Dr. Pham- she is so compassionate and amazing. If you are dealing with lip/tongue ties, she is definitely the one to see.

    • Patty Mayonnaise says:

      Hi there – I highly recommend the Breastfeeding Center for DC. The LCs can arrange to do a home visit and I highly recommend this – it was so helpful for me to have someone see what my actual setup was like and help me with the particular couch/nursing pillow/etc that I have. Congratulations and hope it gets easier soon!

    • Shady Grove Adventist has a breastfeeding support group that meets every Wednesday. Run by nurses. I hear it’s amazing. Anyone can go, even if you didn’t deliver there.

    • Also to chime in, your experience sounds a lot like mine (I used to swear like a sailor every time DD latched and here we are at 1 year and still BFing despite my best efforts to wean her this month). She had a tongue and a lip tie and once we got them fixed (lasered) it was like night and day in the nursing and I no longer felt like someone was razoring me every time she latched. Fortunately they were diagnosed by the hospital LC, the hospital pediatrician, our pediatrician, my LC and the pediatric dentist we saw, so I at least had a reason to attach to why it felt so terrible, which helped me mentally.

      +1 to the in-home lactation consultant. We used Nancy at Northern Virginia Lactation Consultants for home visits (fellow c-section mama here) and she was fabulous – not sure if they cover the MD suburbs too.

      Also, don’t be afraid to pump and offer a bottle for a feeding or two instead if you feel like you just can’t take it another minute. The pump was gentler on my sore abused self than the tongue and lip tied latch were. I think we ended up introducing her first bottle at about 3 weeks (around the time that I couldn’t take it any more and I was fully off of my c-section meds (which also helped numb the nursing pain, thank goodness).

  6. Tfor22 says:

    I bought a dress I love when I was in England for our milestone family vacation a few weeks ago. I’ve worn it twice since I got home, and now I am wondering if I should get it in green also. The downside is how similar they are. What do you all think? It looks like they ship to the US.


  7. Walnut says:

    Feel free to disregard this anecdote if it’s not the angle you’re going for.

    Breastfeeding my 2nd was excruciatingly painful. Her latch was fine, but she was an intense nurser. Sores and blood everywhere. After 10 days, I hung it up. I would sit in the chair crying through nursing sessions. Then there was the slathering on of every cream I could get my hands on and I would dread the minutes until she’d want to nurse again.

    I switched over to combo feeding with formula and pumped milk and everyone was happier as a result. I only say this to let you know that you have options. Totally fine if your heart is set on breastfeeding and all the best to you. But if you’re thinking “Is this worth it?” then it might not be. And I give you permission to feed your baby using other methods.

    • lawsuited says:

      +1 I started to cry whenever my baby started to cry to signal he was hungry because I knew how much the BFing session would hurt and also knew that I was going to do it anyway because of all the “[email protected] is best” BS I was getting from every side. Even though the pain stopped after a few weeks, the feeling continued the whole time I was BFing. I think it was the main cause of my PPD and anxiety. Returning to work at 3 months which prompted my decision to wean at 4 months ended up saving me. Once I was no longer BFing, it was like a fog lifted and I could finally see my baby smiling at me and enjoy him.

      • Yep, exactly this with the fog lifting and enjoying baby. Lots of great advice above on how to continue BF if that’s what you want. I’m so thankful that there were women (including some on this board) who voiced their experiences and support for backing off the BF, so in case you end up considering that, know that you’re not alone and there are many of us for whom that was the right call.

    • Mrs. Jones says:


    • +infinity. I think I lasted maybe a week with my first and we just couldn’t figure it out. Didn’t even try to BF with my second child. Both are very healthy and happy. And despite all the anxiety I have about all the ways I am screwing up at parenting, I never looked back on my decision to formula feed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another option: I exclusively pumped for the first 2-3 weeks, so baby and I could get the hang of this whole baby-on-the-outside thing, and then started trying nursing once she was more efficient and knew what she was doing. It helped and was not nearly as painful. But if you want to formula feed, DO IT, just throwing out ideas.

    • +1. We are expecting #2 soon and while the plan is to wait and see if BFing goes more smoothly this time, if I end up with anything resembling the experience with #1 – cracked, bleeding nipples, crying in anticipation of having to nurse, and still traumatized by all of this once the pain finally subsided – them I’m done and that’s fine. It wasn’t worth the physical pain and psychological distress, which is something I didn’t figure out until we weaned at 8 months.

    • Help! says:

      Thank you for this. While I’m still hoping to get past this and BF, my motto for this baby (as opposed to the first) is “Don’t be a hero,” and I definitely would not BF at all costs.

  8. KateMiddletown says:

    We’re moving my daughter’s bedroom to make the larger bedroom the nursery, so we are trying to make her bedroom as comfy as possible. Unfortunately for her this involves switching to the twin bed from the queen she’s been sleeping in. We’re going to get an egg crate or pillow top, and I’ve offered to buy her whatever sheets and blankets she wants to make her feel better about the switch.

    Where is the best place to get kids’ sheets? She’s specifically requested an “arrow” pattern for the sheets and a fuzzy blanket as a cover. Target is our go-to for sheets, but the kids arrow print looks itchy and cheap. (She’s 8 or I would make her do this research for me!)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I don’t have personal experience with either of these brands of sheets, but check out Fox Arrow Print Sheet Set on Wayfair (reviews say they’re soft), and the Orange arrow sheets from Crate and Barrel.

    • PBK or Serena and Lily have been our choices for sheets. They wash well and don’t pill

    • Anonymous says:

      I would get the itchy and cheap looking sheets with the pattern she wants. When I was a kid the pattern or colour of my sheets/shirt/hat, etc. mattered way more than what is was made of.

      • KateMiddletown says:

        True that. My husband is a super sensitive redhead so he can’t understand how people would sleep on anything but flannel/tencel/tshirt sheets. She will probably want something new in a few years anyway so it’s not worth investing too much $!

        • For anecdata, we have two sets of the cheap Pillowfort polyester sheets. I really did not want to buy them as they seem like they would be hot, but they wash very well and my son really likes them. I’m getting ready to buy them for my daughter’s new big girl bed.

          • KateMiddletown says:

            That’s great to know – this is the brand I was looking @ purchasing!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why? The baby doesn’t need a larger room.

      • KateMiddletown says:

        Crib + bed + chair + location + our preference. Plus, why does it matter when I’m asking for a sheets recommendation? kthxbye.

        • Questioning the underlying assumptions is sort of a standard part of getting advice. Just look at today’s main s!te – a poster asked about upgrades from Ikea furniture and half the comments are saying that’s not necessary to look for better than Ikea options.

          It’s a fair question to ask why you need a larger room for a nursery, since you used that as the basis for asking your question. Most people don’t put both a crib and a bed in a nursery, and many people don’t even use the nursery until baby is 6 months or whenever. Anonymous was fine asking the question.

  9. One other tip that worked wonders for me: if you can, sit in the sun for about 10 minutes with your chest out. The LCs told me to do this and I thought it was nuts but it helped with pain/healing SO much!

  10. 39 Weeks says:

    Anyone have tips for surviving the last days before maternity leave? I really want to work up until the end to save my leave for the baby, but I’m tired and cranky and unmotivated. Getting billable hours in just seems ughh at this point.

    • By that time I viewed my job as just showing up to answer questions and tackle any existing projects, definitely nothing new, and keeping my departure memo up to date. Be firm about not taking on anything new – your taking on something new benefits no one at this stage, but not everyone grasps that right away and they may try to pawn things off on you still. Unless it’s truly a one-off short thing, just say no, because you could be out on leave in a few hours. I wouldn’t worry about billables at this point unless you’re in a group where a few hours one way or the other will make or break your bonus. People are probably just happy to still have you around to help on matters you’re familiar with. Come in late, leave early if you need to. And if you really want to peace out now, perfectly acceptable (ymmv – I preferred being in the office because waiting at home for baby made me stir crazy). You’re almost there!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am also 39 weeks and almost posted this today. Commiseration!!!

    • lawsuited says:

      I worked up to my due date with my first baby totally focused on getting in those billables and ensuring a smooth transition, only to find out that no one ever bothered to read my transition memos and my firm wouldn’t prorate my target/bonus so my billables for the part year before my mat leave were worthless. If I were you, I would make tomorrow my last day and then spend some time getting a mani/pedi, getting a haircut, stocking up on groceries, washing all the towels and sheets in my house, and putting my feet up.

  11. Any moms who had gestational diabetes on? Specifically, my issue is weight gain in the context of GD. I have been relatively thin my whole life (put on a little weight as I progressed through my 30s) and started out pregnancy 5’5″ and about 118 lbs, so on the thin side of normal. I’m now 23 weeks and change and have gained about three pounds in total. Baby is doing fine (measuring three days ahead based on my last u/s two weeks ago) but OB says I need to start gaining a pound a week (with a target total weight gain of 15 lbs). I know the main reason I have GD is most likely family history (both parents have diabetes as do a number of extended relatives) as well as age (40). I’m pescatarian and trying to eat all the recommended foods (i eat a ton of cheese and nuts, and an avocado a day) but I obviously can’t put on weight the easiest way – carbs. Would love any tips and also reassurance from moms who didn’t gain a lot of weight during pregnancy but baby turned out fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Has your OB referred you to a dietician? It sounds like baby is doing fine but definitely follow your OB’s advice and gain the necessary weight. Given the GD situation, that will likely require a specific eating plan. It’s not just the baby but also the placenta and fluid as well. If you plan to nurse, the dietician’s advice on how to eat will likely be useful then as well.

      • Anonymous says:

        A couple of easy foods to add right away – Liberte yoghurt has a mediteranee line that’s 10%MF. Switch to full fat milk for cereals etc. Eat frequently. Breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, evening snack. Low sugar protein shakes are another good option for a quick calorie boost. use olive oil or butter on your veggies.

      • thanks, yes, i’ve been seeing a dietitian and also an endocrinologist (weekly). I check blood sugar 4x/day and my numbers are in target range for now, though my endo thinks I will need to go on insulin in due course (which I’m fine with, just want baby to be healthy). A1C came back at 5.7 so in the prediabetic range but nothing to be worried about according to her. she also thinks that insulin may allow me to eat more so I may just go on it sooner rather than later.

    • Check out the blog iowa girl eats. She is petite and got gd during her 3rd pregnancy. She has some tips.

    • Unsweetened whipping cream and berries (if your carbs allows it). I also used whipping cream in place of cream in tea.

      I had relatively low weight gain problem during pregnancy. First trimester I lost five pounds from nausea and vomitting. At 28 weeks I’d gained about five pounds. By the time I had my daughter I was about 15 pounds above my pre-preggo weight. Most of that was gained in the third tri. My daughter was nearly 9 pounds and super healthy.

    • I didn’t have GD but failed my initial tests both times so looked into this somewhat. I also didn’t gain a lot of weight either time but had big healthy babies. With my 1st I lost about 5 lbs after I first got pregnant so my net gain at around 20 weeks was similar to yours.

      Anyway, I recall finding a blog about this so maybe google around. The writer went through what she ate.
      I agree that a nutritionist may help. My doctor routinely refers everyone with GD for counseling with one. Can you have nuts? Full fat yogurt (Liberte is a bit high in sugar, I think, but Siggi’s has a full fat line that is low in sugar; obviously plain is also an option)? Avocados? Cheese?

    • Anonymous says:

      Eat a steak. You need to eat meet and gain weight. Be pescatarian when you aren’t struggling to gain a safe amount of weight in pregnancy. Have bacon and eggs and avocado for breakfast.

      • i’ve thought about adding meat back in but even salmon is making me nauseous and want to vomit. I haven’t eaten meat in almost 25 years so I doubt I can stomach it now during pregnancy, when my appetite is as bad as it is.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          FWIW, I am an omnivore and couldn’t stomach the idea of eating most meat during pregnancy but fish/shellfish was fine. I found that specific types of meat were okay – for me, it was ground meat (like burgers or meatballs), bacon, and ham.

          So if something like roasted salmon isn’t working for you, try salmon burgers or perhaps dumplings with a shrimp filling. Or tuna sandwiches, etc.

    • I was also slim to begin with and only gained about 15 pounds total. Baby was not only perfectly healthy but very big. – almost 9 lbs. My OB was SHOCKED. She was sure I would have a 6 lb-er. I actually lost weight in the third tri (against doctors orders) because I just didn’t have an appetite. I’d try to just eat small snacks constantly even if you don’t feel hungry.

      • thank you! this really reassures me for some reason even though I know I might not be so lucky haha. I myself was a 9 lb baby and my OB said that tendency is often genetic so i’m hoping my baby gets it too.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Do you eat eggs? I ate a lot of them after my nausea lifted. And if you are willing to deviate from your usual diet, try chicken or turkey – I kept cubed grilled chicken and turkey in my fridge and would munch on them while pregnant so I got protein instead of carbs. Both are fairly bland and don’t smell like much, so it was easy to stomach them. And hugs. Pregnancy is hard.

      • thank you! yes i eat eggs and have been eating 2 eggs for at least one meal a day (either breakfast or dinner). my cholesterol is probably through the roof at this point lol. I would give meat a try if not for my low appetite and even the thought of meat making me nauseous. i appreciate the hugs, i did not expect this to be my problem during pregnancy since everything I would read would caution against too much weight gain, not address too little.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Eggs have good cholesterol and if you can keep them down, eat as many as you can! Somewhere on the internets there is a recipe for egg cups…you basically mix up eggs, veggies, cheese and pour them into muffin tins. Then you can freeze them and heat when you’re ready.

        • Lana Del Raygun says:

          Two eggs is only 140 calories! You’re not going to gain a lot of wait if that’s a meal (unless you mean as part of the meal). If that’s all you can get down at a time, can you eat lots of smaller meals? (The egg muffin cups are a great idea for that.) Don’t stress about the cholesterol (unless your dietician tells you to ofc) — they’re “good cholesterol,” especially if you eat the whole egg.

        • NYCer says:

          Two eggs a day is not going to make your cholesterol go through the roof!

    • Patty Mayonnaise says:

      I didn’t have GD, but only gained about 17 lbs and had a very healthy 6lb11oz baby at 42 weeks. I asked my doctor about the low gain (despite not really limiting what I was eating at all) as weeks went on, but she told me that as long as the baby’s measurements looked good, there was nothing to worry about. So, just wanted to offer some reassurance. It’s tough because there are so many things to worry about in pregnancy, but sounds like you’re doing all the right things. Hang in there!

    • I did not have GD, only gained 18 pounds, and delivered an 8 lb 6 ox healthy happy baby girl at 38w 2d via c-section. I puked my entire pregnancy, am a picky eater to start with (no seafood among many other things) and developed a yeast intolerance on top of that so while I could eat pasta and tortillas, no bread, pizza, doughnuts, etc. I also couldn’t stomach most meat. Make sure you’re getting in your protein. I was drinking close to a gallon of milk a day as it was one of the few things I could reliably keep down, and I ate lots of cheese, black beans and if I ate meat at all it was usually shredded (like pulled pork). Hang in there!

  12. Edna Mazur says:

    We are looking at taking our first airplane trip as a family. Kids will be 5, 3.5 and a 20 months. I have a few questions. Midwest to Florida if it matters.

    1. Would you bring a car seat on the plane for your 3.5 year old? How about a booster for the 5 year old?
    2. I will regret not buying a seat for the 20 month old won’t I? I am such a car seat/seat belt stickler that the safety aspect bugs me. But he is going to be super wiggly right? I imagine if he is strapped in there will be less fussing as he knows moving around won’t be an option, right?

    • Anonymous says:

      5 and 3.5 I wouldn’t bring anything on the plane. 20 months depends on whether you’re traveling with a partner and the seating arrangement on the plane.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Agreed. We traveled just before my daughter turned 3 and gate checked the car seat. We did use the CARES harness, which was good because she otherwise would have slipped out from underneath the lap belt.

    • Spirograph says:

      I flew with a 22 month old very recently. He had a seat, but not a car seat. I wished he’d either had a car seat OR been listed a lap infant. He would not sit still and/or quietly in his seat for takeoff or landing, and the flight attendants gave us grief about holding him because he had a seat, even though he was younger than 2. Maybe they didn’t believe us, he’s a big kid.

      My other traveling companions were 3.5 and 5, we didn’t bring anything on the plane for them, and no regrets there. We bought a booster seat at Target right after leaving the rental car lot, and rented 2 car seats for the younger kids. The rental car seats were not great quality, but serviceable. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring your own car seat and booster seat for use in the car once you land, but I recommend checking them for the flight. Getting through the airport is hard enough with 3 kids those ages, avoid adding elective stuff to carry through to the gate!

    • CPA Lady says:

      I brought a very lightweight carseat (Cosco Scenera) on the plane for my 3.5 year old and have every flight we’ve done since she was old enough to have her own seat. She usually falls asleep in it and doesn’t typically try to escape it, since she gets the concept that we’re traveling.

    • Anonymous says:

      I recently travelled with my 16 month old and wished I’d had a seat for him. On the outbound flight there was an extra seat next to us so we moved around and let him sit between us using the tray for his activities and it worked out really well. On the return flight we didn’t get so lucky and is was hell.

  13. I have the pillowfort sheets on the daybed in baby’s room and they are swishy and annoying. Super cute but the bed will not stay made.

  14. Edna Mazur says:

    Thanks all. My husband is flying with us and very much in favor of not spending the money. I think I am but could be swayed. Glad to hear the general consensus is that the older kids don’t necessarily need car/booster seats on-board. I can’t imagine lugging more than one car seat through the airport…

    • Anonymous says:

      If it’s a 3-3 configuration, then would it be

      Window kid kid parent lap baby aisle parent? If so, make him hold the baby.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have never brought a car seat on the plane. Baby was a lap child until 2 despite giant size for cost reasons, then cares harness in the seat. Helped mostly for keeping him pinned in place.

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