Washable Wednesday: Iced Floral Tab Sleeve Blouse

I noticed that Loft has a ton of beautiful patterns right now, including several designs with a very art deco feel. A lot of their stuff is easy to wear because it’s machine washable — and it’s affordable, too. I like the wide neckline here and I think it would work well in a variety of outfits. The top is available in regular and petite sizes in XXS-XXL and is $59 full price at Loft. Iced Floral Tab Sleeve Blouse

Here’s a plus-size option from Sejour at Nordstrom.

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.



  1. CPA Lady says:

    Doe any of y’all have one of those “piddle pad” things for your car-seat that you’d recommend? It’s for a Graco My Ride 65, if that matters.

    • Anxiety says:

      Curious to hear what people say. We bought one when our son was born. Right now we only use it coming home from the pool when he’s wearing his soaking wet swimsuit

    • Kelly C. says:

      I just bought a bunch of disposable dental bibs from Amazon.

    • We have used and liked the one recommended by Lucie’s List in her potty training series, I think from Summer Infant. The tip was to wash it FIRST before using, and I do think that improved its absorption.

  2. Need toddler sleep help. My 2 year old currently sleeps from between 8 and 9 to 8 am with a nap from around 1:30 to 3:30 or 4. We actually start the bedtime (lights out lying down) around 7:30 or 7:45 but then she wont fall asleep for an hour.

    The other issue is she makes us lie withhet when she falls asleep. This is taking over our evenings and its hard to say Ill disconnect snd go home for dinner and bedtime (Im in biglaw) when that means offline for three hours. I’d like to move bed earlier – has anyone had success with this? My gut is that she is more of a night person…

    • What if you let her go to sleep later so instead of just lying down with her she can play while you prep dinner, etc., and then hopefully she goes to sleep quicker, you enjoy dinner and either unplug or do work without having to spend an hour in a toddler bed? Or does it take an hour regardless of when you start?

    • is that nap at daycare? It seems like it starts and ends too late. Can you push the nap earlier? Maybe 12:30-2:30? Or wake her up from it? I don’t know what you should do about the lying with her part–one idea would be to lie down outside of her room in the hallway, and then every night move a little further away until you’re not doing it anymore? My full caveat is that we finally made peace with the fact that our son (now 4.5) has a natural bedtime of about 8:30/8:45. It doesn’t matter what time we start and end bedtime, this is when he falls asleep. But we are out of there by 7:45/8pm and the rest is on him. Good luck!

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree. Our two year old naps 12-1:30 at daycare and 12:30 – 2:30 at home. If he sleeps later than 3pm he is impossible to get to sleep before 8:30.

        I don’t think it’s realistic to get dinner/bedtime done in less than 2.5/3 hours. You just need to budget that time into your schedule. Can you rotate who lies down with her? That way you can get back to work faster every second night.

        • CPA Lady says:

          “I don’t think it’s realistic to get dinner/bedtime done in less than 2.5/3 hours.”

          Yeah, it’s really hard. I think the stars have to align perfectly to be able to get your kid, get through dinner and bedtime, and be logged back on in a couple of hours. I am able to do that, but it requires some trade offs and a stupidly short commute. Here is how it goes for me:

          4:45 – leave office early enough to not hit a lot of traffic
          4:55 – arrive at daycare, talk to teacher, get kid loaded into car
          5:15 – arrive home
          5: 30 – eat dinner
          6:00 – dinner over, play time
          6:45 – bedtime starts (husband does this, so theoretically if I needed to log back in, I could do so exactly 2 hours after leaving my office)
          7:00 or 7:15 – child in bed, lights off.

          Things to note– Commute is crucial. I work 2 miles from the daycare, and the daycare is 3.5 miles from our house. We don’t eat complicated food or anything that takes longer than 10-15 minutes to make unless my husband gets home early to cook or its a weekend. We buy a lot of overpriced pre-packaged foods like pre-made salad and other things from the grocery store deli. Bath time is never part of the bedtime routine. Early to bed comes with early to rise, so CPA toddler typically wakes up at 6 a.m. This gives me plenty of time to take a shower with her in the morning a few times a week. Agree that a nap that ends at 4 pm is super late. She typically doesn’t nap later than 2:30 or 2:45.

          Good luck. It’s hard. I had the hardest time logging back on after she went to bed, which is partly why I have a much better job now. :)

          • Anon in NYC says:

            In terms of dinner, I always feel sort of guilty about this, but I make a lot of my daughter’s food for the week on Sunday night and then just reheat it when we’re home, so it takes 5 minutes to put together once we’re home. I rarely make her anything from scratch when we get home from daycare. If I need to make her more food mid-week I’ll do it after she’s gone to bed for the evening.

          • Navy Attorney says:

            To “Anon in NYC”, why guilty? This is genius!!!

          • Anon in NYC says:

            Navy Attorney: I’m sure it’s a comparison to my mom (who was a SAHM and then worked part-time for years), but my mom cooked dinner from scratch most nights, and it was always something different. Whereas my daughter eats the same rotation of food, with maybe some leftovers from our meal the night before.

            But really, it’s just not feasible to spend 30 minutes cooking when we get home at 6:30 and bedtime is at 7:30!

    • Legally Brunette says:

      The sleep consultant that we use said that children need a minimum of 4-5 hours of awake time between their last nap and bedtime, otherwise they won’t be tired for bedtime. So if she wakes up from her nap at 4 pm, it makes sense why she’s not tired until 9 pm. I echo the comments of others to put her down for an earlier nap. I assume she’s at home with a nanny? I’ve never seen a daycare put kids down for a nap so late. I think an earlier nap time, even if it means waking her up, will solve these issues. Good luck!

    • I’m finding the comments about naptime being late interesting – just as a counterpoint, our daycare’s naptime for 1s and 2s is 1-3:30pm, and my two year-old usually doesn’t fall asleep until 1:30 or 1:40 and sleeps until 3:30. His bedtime is 7:30pm – so I guess we’re getting that 4 hour minimum another commenter mentioned. On the weekends we’re lucky if he sleeps more than 1-1.5 hours, but on the rare occasion he sleeps until 3:30 or 4, it’s never been a problem to put him to bed at 7:30pm. Anyway, I guess all this to say that the naptime doesn’t seem late to me, but kids have their own schedules so if it’s not working for you, it’s worth considering a change.

      • Sarabeth says:

        Yeah, my kid is an exception to this – she’ll take a nap from 3-5 pm on weekends, and then happily fall asleep again around 8. She will not nap any earlier, though.

    • Anonymous says:

      When my son was that age, he was okay if my husband or I just sat outside his room so that he knew we were there, which resulted in me working for like an hour on my laptop sitting in the hallway (while like 9 months pregnant, it’s a pretty funny image looking back). This is obviously not the long-term answer, but maybe better in the short run than lying in bed with her for an hour…

    • Navy Attorney says:

      With the first child we had the same problem, and our solution was to sit in the hallway with the hall light on. Taking turns means you can plan your evening – one plans to work on something in the hallway (work, read, write Christmas cards, etc.), and the other cleans up the kitchen. That might cut down on the dinner/bath time. Or, one cleans the kitchen while the other gives the bath. If you can move naptime, it’s worth a shot. It’ll probably take 2-3 days to see the effects.

    • Cdn anon says:

      I agree with earlier nap/capping nap. My kiddo is only 18 months, but we have to wake her by 3:00 p.m. or else bedtime gets too late (I like betime around 7:00). She naps 12:30 – 3 at the very most.

    • This is where the Sleep Lady Shuffle can come in handy. The basic idea is that you gradually move further away at set intervals. So tonight lay down with her and tell her that tomorrow night you will sit on the edge of the bed. Do that for three nights and then move to the floor. Repeat until you are outside the door and then away. I’m sure that I am missing pieces of the plan. I downloaded the kindle of the book and read the part I needed in an hour or two. Maybe worth a shot.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. If you really want, a sleep trainer will help you implement this or something similar.

    • Maybe I am a terrible mother, but we put my two year old down between 7 and 730, but he doesn’t fall asleep for maybe an hour and seems happy to just hang out in his crib with his Twilight Turtle. My 4 year old wants me to stay in bed with him for forever, but I stay for 2 minutes and then I leave and he complains, but that’s the deal. At this age, I think they like to test us to see what they can get, but you don’t have to give it if not a safety etc. thing.

      • Momata says:

        Same. My 3yo always asks us to stay; we explain that it’s time to sleep, nobody’s coming back, and we’ll see her in the morning. She gets out of bed and yells under her door for us to come back most nights. On a bad night it will last for five minutes. Then she gives up and goes to sleep. Getting to this point might be a rough transition, but I think you can get there.

  3. This is actually very pretty. Love the neckline – I find it to be very flattering.

    Car seat question: Baby AIMS has outgrown her infant car seat, what car seat should we get next? Considerations: small car and we’d like to keep her rear facing as long as possible. Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      Clek Fllo (Foonf is huge). It’s narrow like a Diono (17 inches) but has a short rearfacing distance so the front passenger can actually sit in the front seat. Rearfaces to 50lbs.

      • Anonymous says:

        In my experience, Foonf vs. Fllo depends on your specific car. Foonf is better in mine, though most people I know who tried both said Fllo worked better in their cars.

    • We also have small cars (Hyundai Elantra and Honda Fit) and went with the Britax Advocate Clicktight for her main carseat. It’s kind of a beast so if you want to fit three people in your backseat, don’t get it. It’s great for front-back space, though. Multiple recline options and it rearfaces until 40 pounds/49 inches. The model right below is the Boulevard, which is also supposed to be very good and take up a little less room.

      Since she only spends 5 minutes a day in my car, we got the Cosco Scenera Next for $45. It’s a great second seat.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        We also have the Britax Advocate. It’s large and heavy, but fits in our Honda Civic. But if it’s in the middle seat it can be squished to fit two people on either side of it. The Boulevard is supposed to be slightly narrower.

      • Kelly C. says:

        I had major problems with the straps on my Britax Advocate Clicktight. Britax customer service was horrible. I cannot recommend this seat and I have my own personal boycott against Britax.

        If anyone cares, the straps were incredibly uneven (like, one strap would be super tight and the other side would be super loose). The straps could be fixed by uninstalling the seat, messing around with the headrest, and then reinstalling. Customer service seemed to think that I should just do that every day and one of the agents didn’t seem to think it was a big deal that the straps were that uneven. NOPE.

    • We had the same parameters choosing a convertible and have both the Nuna Rava (after having and loving the Nuna Pipa as our infant seat) and the Graco Extend2Fit in a Golf and a Mazda3 respectively. They both are good rear-facing until 55 lbs and fit well in our small cars. The Nuna is lovely and super easy to install and adjust, but tbh I’m not sure it’s worth the price premium over the Graco. I went with it because of our good experience with the Pipa, but the Graco seems to be just as good for my husband.

      • We’re likely to get the Graco Extend2Fit. Price is a small, but contributing factor as we need 3 car seats.

        • Anonymous says:

          @CLMom, unless all thee cars are the same make and model, it might make sense to get three different car seats!

    • Spirograph says:

      We had good luck with Diono Radian + angle adjuster. Theyre convertible all the way to booster seat. Narrow, have high weight limit and the angle adjuster lets them fit decently in small cars. I had it in a civic coupe for a while and though the passenger seat needed to be all the way forward and wasn’t comfortable for anyone longer than a quick trip, it did fit!

    • Kelly C. says:

      For me, the biggest thing is to have safe install. Unfortunately, the way a carseat installs depends on the seat and the car. I suggest googling your car and the seats you are interested in and see what people have to say. We have a Clek Foonf. I’m not in love with it–it is difficult to install safely, but I can do it. It does the job and I feel that it is safe.

    • Katarina says:

      I like the Chicco Nextfit, and it is very easy to install. It is also highly adjustable (recline and height).

    • We have. Peg perego and RF’d u til about 2.5 with our 99%tile daughter. She could have RF’d longer, physically, but we turned her around. Of note- She couldn’t get in and out herself while the carseat was backwards but could when we turned her around.

  4. dc anon says:


  5. My first ultrasound (7.5w) is today, and I know there’s no reason to be nervous but I am! I think as a result of the infertility every benchmark we hit I just start getting nervous for the next one, assuming something will eventually go wrong. Does anyone have any suggestions for warding off this negative thinking?

    To make matters worse, I’m always nervous telling my boss when I have an appointment (he doesn’t know I’m pregnant or have been doing fertility treatments, so I’ve just had a few mysterious appointments). He’s always a little nosy – “Oh is everything OK? Hope it’s nothing serious!”

    Yeah, me too. Ugh.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Good luck! Unfortunately, I never came up with a way to completely calm the nerves, the best I could do was not borrow trouble thinking about what-ifs or far in the future things – I let myself admit “I’m nervous about [upcoming test] but that’s ok to be nervous and it will probably be fine”. But I don’t let myself start worrying about 3-4 tests down the road.

      A little bit of worry and butterflies in the stomach is pretty typical of everyone I think, even if there isn’t a history like yours. Has it reached the point where it interferes with your ability to thing about other things or send you into a complete panic or anxious state? Or is it just low-level anxiety that it might help you to think about the fact that everyone’s a little nervous about that kind of thing?

      Re: the boss – could you just give him a quick “Not dying, just some medical stuff I need to get taken care of. I’ll let you know if you need to worry” with a smile? Just something to let him know you aren’t going to come back from your appointment and tell him you have cancer or something similarly serious.

    • No great advice, just a lot of commiseration. I had exactly the same feelings when I went through it. In fact, the weekend before the 7 wk u/s, I woke my husband up in the middle of the night sure that something was wrong because I thought my b00bs were less sore than they had been…. I think pregnancy can be crazy-making under the best of circumstances, and at least for me I felt like I was carrying around a whole extra set of feelings about going back into treatments after thinking I was done. For me, I would get really really nervous before an appointment, then feel better for 12-24 hours, and then the nerves would build again until the next visit. I hope that doesn’t happen for you; I only say it because I don’t think initially I was expecting those cycles of anxiety. And I also struggled a bit with being “graduated” from my RE but not yet under the care of an OB (that may differ in your practice).

      Anyway, thinking good thoughts for you today!

      • The slightly less sore boobs was me yesterday!! So glad I’m not the only one whose brain went there.

    • I’ll echo the above that it’s normal and you’ve just got to get through it. I know that I would gradually build up nerves like mad before each appointment, then be relieved for a few days, then start building them up again every time. It’s a little easier when you can feel the baby move, but even then, I was pretty much “Is s/he still moving? Wait, have I felt it lately?” on a constant basis. But everything was absolutely fine!

      Good luck to you!

    • Anonymous says:

      No advice as I was always nervous before ultrasounds, but I think its very common. I think telling my husband I was nervous helped. Since the baby wasn’t growing inside of him it was easier for him to say “well — there’s nothing you can do that will change things”, which while frustrating, is very true. More than likely everything will be fine and good luck! Once I got past the 20-week ultrasound and could feel the baby every day I felt much less anxious.

    • Wishing you the absolute best today! We went through infertility and ART to have our first. I remember with crystal clarity the feeling you are describing and being so nervous day of the first ultrasound after we finally conceived (and I had had betas checked several times). I spent much of that day perusing LOL cats (wow does that date the pregnancy!), and just trying to keep a positive spirit. I know this may be grim, but I also told myself that to the best of my knowledge, my little dude was doing ok and that I would enjoy being pregnant for right that moment. That same little dude is almost six. I held onto that same thought when they couldn’t find a heartbeat with the doppler with my second pregnancy. She was just wedged way down deep and doing fine. She is now three.

    • Thank you guys so much! Wow, I feel so relieved to know this is normal.

      I had the ultrasound and it went great! They found a heartbeat :) Overall I’ve been pretty happy/not anxious since I got my first three betas, all increasing, but just the last two days I started to worry.

      The bad news is I have a giant cyst so I’m STILL banned from LGPs (is that still a thing on here?haha) and exercise. My OB does a phone intake at 8 weeks (so like, Monday) and then the nurse sees you at 10, so I really don’t have that long to go in between RE and OB. I’m pretty happy to be done with daily appointments at this stage, tho!

      • Katala says:

        Yay!!! Congrats!!

      • quail says:

        Great news on the ultrasound. Congrats!

      • OCAssociate says:


      • Such great news!!!! One thing that I found really helpful from when I started with the OB until I could feel kicking (which for me was early, 16.5 wks), was to have extra heartbeat appointments scheduled, where I’d pop in for a quick check with the NP. When you are only going once a month, it can feel like a really long time between appointments, especially when you’re used to much more frequent poking and prodding earlier in the process! I wouldn’t have known that heartbeat appointments were a thing for uneventful pregnancies (which mine was), but my OB just offered them to me at our first visit–she was incredibly understanding of the challenges of infertility (and was going through it herself at the time), and so was definitely alert to the anxieties I was having. If you think they’d be helpful to you, I’d definitely ask! I was kind of worried I’d be seen as a high-maintenance patient by taking her up on the offer, but no one seemed to bat an eye. Oh, and the other thing I did was always have them do the heartbeat check first thing in regular appointments (before I felt kicking) so that I could get that stress out of the way and actually be able to focus on the rest of the visit!

        Congrats again! Seeing that heartbeat for the first time after going through ART is a pretty awesome moment.

  6. Drowning says:

    Ladies, I feel completely overwhelmed and I need help. My 14 month old still does not reliably sleep through the night (and yes, we’ve sleep trained more than once), so I’m exhausted all the time. And although he is adorable and wonderful, waking hours are a challenge too. He never sits still, always needs attention, is frequently whiny and tantrum-y, meals are usually a challenge, and he has no words yet so communication is an issue. I’m also getting pummeled at work and am just trying to keep my head above water during this busy time. And to top it all off, we’re about to start TTC again (which is emotionally fraught due to a recent miscarriage).

    I feel like I’m drowning. My husband is an active co-parent in every respect, so it’s not that he needs to pick up more slack. I don’t know what’s wrong with me and why it seems like other people handle all of this better than I do. Is this normal for working mothers of young children? Is there any light at the end of the tunnel, and if so, how long is the tunnel? I know throwing a second kid into the mix will make things that much more difficult, but what’s the alternative if you know you want more kids?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry you’re have a hard time. 14 months is a hard age – they want so badly to communicate but they don’t have the words yet. Never sitting still and wanting attention are pretty common. There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just hard being a working mom with small kids.

      One alternative if you want more kids is to give more time in between pregnancies. Among the higher achieving of my mommy friends – it seems common to have 3-4 years between kids (so started TTC around when the first baby was two years old). This is a big change from when I was a kid and it seemed like 1-2 years was the more common age gap. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed it might make sense to put off TTC for 6 months. Once kids are around 3-4 they can better understand that they have to wait a moment or they can play on their own more easily and don’t need to be quite as closely supervised.

      • Anonymous says:

        Adding that you and DH should take turns getting up with the baby. If that means you need to go sleep in the guest room on your ‘off’ night with ear plugs a couple times a week – it might be worth it to deal with the sleep deprivation right now. I can’t truly be ‘off’ if I can hear the baby monitor so if it’s not my turn to get up with the baby, sometimes I’ll decamp to the guest room to get a solid 8 hours.

        it’s also the start of cold and flu season so if he’s been particularly difficult lately, maybe try advil at bedtime to take the edge off an oncoming cold.

    • Anonymous says:

      A few thoughts:

      Maybe hire a sleep consultant? Sleeping through the night is a wonderful thing and fixes a lot. If you think your exhaustion is a result of more than this, see a doctor — thyroid issues, depression, or lots of things I don’t know about because I’m not a doctor could be the culprit. I’m always more or less exhausted but, and I think exhaustion is sort of a long-term state for working moms of young children, but I think there’s a difference between feeling tired and like your life is a state of (usually) controlled chaos (which is me, most of the time) vs. feeling overwhelmed and/or depressed (which is me, part of the time, but I usually don’t stay like that for more than a few days). If you’re feeling the latter most of the time, I think you should talk to your doctor. As for not sitting still, whininess, no words, difficulty with meals — yes, those are all go with the territory, and your kid will eventually (sort of) grow out of them. Also, maybe take a break from TTC? It sounds like a bit much. Have you discussed how you feel with your husband? When I feel like I’m starting to lose control, my husband usually helps problem-solve, and is at the very least a good person to vent to.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 to hiring a sleep consultant. Best $200 I ever spent (and done via phone/Skype so location doesn’t have to be a barrier). Perhaps you’ve hired 1o, but without more details I feel like I should throw this out there. There’s a wide range of what people mean when they say they “tried sleep training”.

        I have two kids, they are 2 years apart and I am happy with that spacing. It’s also the spacing I wanted to try for all along, and while I knew there were no guarantees (I’ve had losses and I’m sorry about yours), I totally understand sticking with TTC. Then again, there’s nothing wrong with re-assessing if you decide that’s what works for you.

        You’re probably not doing anything wrong. Others around you probably feel like they’re drowning too. You just aren’t seeing it because you’re drowning too, or they’re hiding it well.

        I found pregnancy, nursing and babies. And tiring. I totally get the drowning feeling. At some point my husband started sleeping in the guest room with the monitors on a regular basis to make sure I got better sleep. I haven’t reciprocated and we’re fine with that. I’ve gone through plenty (pregnancy, nursing) that he hasn’t and so I stopped feeling guilty about balancing out this particular part of parenting.

    • I hear you. My 19 month old, who is pretty much as active as yours, has literally never slept through the night, and I’m using the word literally, literally. (Last night he tossed and turned from 1am-2am and was wide awake 2-3 – apparently he needed to p*op. Plus two other wakeups. And that’s an average night for us.) And I want at least one more kid and I’m not getting any younger. And I started a new and delightful but occasionally intense job this year and would like to stay there for the long haul. Other people are not handling this better! We are all paddling furiously to stay afloat. And drinking a lot of coffee.

      But – since it is a long tunnel, you have to play a long game. Is your workload seasonal? Can you tough it out for a few more days/ weeks? What are you doing each weekend to recharge – can you find a spa with evening appointments so that husband handles bedtime Saturday night and you go get a massage? In the long run, how much does it matter to your family that kids are 3 years apart instead of 2? (We’re holding off TTC till late next year; perhaps next child will be a great sleeper and a grumpy diva instead of the sh*t sleeper and sunshine child I currently have.)

      • FTMinFL says:

        +1 to “Other people are not handling this better! We are all paddling furiously to stay afloat. And drinking a lot of coffee.”

        I have no great advice, but know that you are not alone.

      • Spirograph says:

        +1 to this too.

        Everyone’s experience is different, but I’m here to reassure you, OP, that adding a kid (or two) did NOT add too much more crazy to my life. I have three under 4; after the first one I’d already organized my life to include daycare, backup care options, functioning on suboptimal quantity of sleep,kid-friendly activities and “quality time,” nursing/pumping, and diapers/frequent bathroom breaks, so adding more children hasn’t a big change. Our plan is to power through the young years as quickly as possible so that the “tunnel” is short. I’d hate to go back to infant and toddler logistics after having graduated out of it for a period off time!

        Hugs, though, none of that means that it’s easy. Just that the amount that it can get “worse” (assuming everyone’s general good health and situational stability) is minimal.

    • I’m far from an expert, but I suspect that your child is cranky/whiny in part because he’s not getting a good enough rest. I probably am a broken record on this, but have you considered a sleep consultant? I highly recommend Dr. Erin Evers of Baby Sleep Science (all consults done over the phone). Was very skeptical she could help us remotely but she’s very clinical in her technique and has been able to resolve a number of our sleep issues. She specializes in hard cases.


    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I wasn’t handling it better than you. I was miserable for a long time, and that was with a son who slept through the night and no other kids.

      • mascot says:

        Same here. It’s a hard phase, plain and simple.

        • Thirded. Unfortunately when someone asks how you’re doing it’s not really socially acceptable to tell the truth, especially with small kids. I’ve made a concerted effort to be more honest with people lately regarding the struggles of two working parents and babies/toddlers.

          • NewMomAnon says:

            My standard phrase when someone asks how I’m doing is “I’m getting by” or if I’m feeling really honest, “Flying by the seat of my pants.” If someone wants to know more, I share a few nuggets.

          • Anon for this says:


            I feel like the wheels are about to come off — and that’s just with one kid who’s a good sleeper who wakes up butt-early.

            And yea, the only people who even kind of have a clue are my good mommy friends and friends with older kids, and even then, no real idea. I have no idea how to warn my good friends with young babies without sounding like a complete Debbie Downer.

      • This. I can barely keep it together with a child under 1. I get marginally better with a child under 2. Those first two years are SO HARD and even more so when there are two working parents in the equation. I just muddle through and hope one day science can learn something from my all-caffeine no-sleep period.

        My first child, I lied about it to everyone. “Oh she’s so great! It’s so fun to watch her grow!” This time I’m trying to be more honest and say “I’m not a good human being until they’re over the age of 2 so check back in with me in X months.” And then I’m off to prevent another child/animal from killing itself.

    • I have no idea how to solve the sleep problem (Have you read Weissbluth?) but I wonder if your sweet son might be a little easier to deal with once the sleep issues improve.

      If he’s not verbal yet, one thing that may help with the tantrums is a bit of sign language. It made a world of difference for my daughter to be able to communicate simple things like more, milk, and hurt.

      I also second the idea of waiting a bit longer between kids if it may work for you. I also felt like I urgently needed to start working on a second child, but the longer I wait, the easier it gets and the better I feel about eventually going for it. No one benefits if you are not doing well, so be sure to take care of yourself as best you can!

      • Great point on sign language, this can be hugely helpful particularly when kids gets frustrated because they can’t communicate verbally. Learn a few basic signs (milk, eat, hungry, tired, bath, sleep, play) and every time you say the word, sign it as well. You’ll have to do it many times but one day, he will start using the signs. It should help. Good luck.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      At around 15-16 months my daughter had the worst sleep of her life (and she’s a pretty good sleeper). It was a combination of illness, an early 18-month sleep regression, travel that included a time zone change, and her 1 year molars. It lasted about 1.5 months and involved multiple wakeups a night. Perhaps the worst part about it for me was that it was inconsistent. She’d have 3 wakeups on a Sunday, none on Monday, 3 wakeups on Tuesday, and so on. For us, it was just time and it eventually did stop.

      Have you considered whether your son is a “high needs” or “spirited” child? Maybe read some of the reviews for this book and see if it is applicable. https://www.amazon.com/Raising-Your-Spirited-Child-Third/dp/0062403060/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Oh, and I also agree about switching off nights with your husband. One night would be my husband’s night to try to triage the issue and the next would be mine.

    • anon for this says:

      Give yourself permission to be one and done if that is what you happen to want deep down. You are not required to do all of the things you thought you would do. I’m trying to live by my own advice on something similar at the moment.

    • Admittedly my kids are 18 months apart, but my first was a good sleeper. So I feel guilty recommending this but I would hold off on TTC until you have gotten some rest. I found being pregnant with a toddler (especially first and third trimesters) to be so so hard. Newborn and a toddler is actually easier for me! Of course I also get sick and feel exhausted while pregnant, but just wondering if you want to add that to the mix. That was also my worst performance period at work.

      • This may be unpopular but STOP TTC!
        Wait until baby is more manageable. It is only going to get worse if you add pregnancy and newborns to this mix.
        I’d recommend age 3 as a good time to think about baby #2 because a 3yo is much more manageable (out of terrible twos, eating and sleeping fairly independently, potty trained or close).

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Right there with you, Drowning. This is my busiest two week stretch of the year, my kiddo is dealing with ear infection after ear infection, sleep is awful, bills are piling up (I have the money to pay them, but no time to sit down and do it), and everyone wants to Do All The Holiday Things.

      Which is just to say – do what you can, lower your expectations of yourself, and don’t bother comparing to anyone who seems to be doing this perfectly.

      Three concrete suggestions: (1) Take your kiddo to the pediatrician to check for molars and ear infections. (2) Are either you or your husband doing anything that can be easily outsourced so that you could shoulder some other things (for instance, laundry and cleaning are pretty easy to outsource; night waking with kiddo, holiday shopping, doctor appointments, car maintenance, bill paying are not so easy to outsource). (3) Can kiddo go stay with friends or relatives for a weekend to give you a full night of sleep and a few days off?

      • +1.

        And my guess is that if you look at people who are doing it “perfectly,” they too are drowning.

    • Two Cents says:

      As an immediate short-term solution, what about hiring a night nurse? Son doesn’t need to feed in the night but still having someone else there to soothe him would allow you a deserved night’s rest. Barring that, also definitely agree on switching off with your husband. And on the days when you’re off-duty, go to bed EARLY — like 9 pm, so you can “catch up” on your sleep. It’s so hard, good luck.

    • layered bob says:

      Re: sleep. My 16-month old has never slept more than 3 hours at a stretch and nurses 6 times between when I get home from work (biglaw) and when I leave in the morning. When I was stressed out about this and saw it as something to “fix,” I was tired and anxious. When I accepted (around 9 months) that this is just the way it is, and the way it will be for the foreseeable future, I became less stressed and anxious about the whole thing and started sleeping better and feeling more rested.

      Re: whining. Have you read anything by Janet Lansbury? She has completely changed our parenting perspective. We slow waaaaaay down with caregiving and really give the baby our complete attention with diaper changes etc. That means we (i.e. the nanny and my husband) do her meals sitting down one-on-one, just focusing on her. Making sure she has our complete unhurried attention during bath/diaper/dressing/meals etc. means she can handle it better when she *doesn’t* have our complete attention.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 to Janet Lansbury. 10 minutes of focused time beats 30 minutes of distracted parenting with our 5 year old. Every single time.

      • Navy Attorney says:

        I wrote and deleted a reply that echoed your final paragraph. One of us focuses on the kids, and the other does the housework. Result is happier baby, and more housework gets done because there are less interruptions. With kid 2 I too said “the heck with it” and reduced my expectations on certain things like cleaning, so I could focus on what’s important.

    • Tired Mommy says:

      Is it possible he has sleep apnea? My son had massive ear infections (tubes at 6 months), snored like a freight train, would periodically wake up and cry out at night, and was whiny and cranky in the mornings like you describe. We did a sleep study at 2 1/2 and confirmed he had obstructive sleep apnea. After surgery to remove tonsils and adenoids he sleeps silently and is in a much better mood in the mornings.

    • I feel like 14-15 months was the hardest age I’ve experienced so far (Kiddo is 19 months now). There’s so much frustration in not being able to communicate. One thing that REALLY helped my kid was a few words of sign language. I was somewhat against it, but his teachers taught the kids in the class “please,” “more,” “all done,” and “eat.” It made such a HUGE difference. Signing “please” is the difference between a holding a book he wants us to read and hitting us in the face with it. Signing “all done” is the difference between sitting somewhat calmly in the high chair and throwing food on the floor. Signing “more” and “eat” often avoids tantrums that seem to be for no reason. Even when we can’t immediately help him, the communication seems to improve things. For instance, the other day, in the grocery store, Kiddo started signing “all done” to get down. We couldn’t go home immediately, but I acknowledged him with something like, “Oh, you’re all done and want to go home now. We just need to finish up and pay,” and I sped things up. We made it out of the store without a meltdown.

    • Anonymous says:

      For the waking hours with your son, have you looked into Janet Landsbury? She’s not for everyone (myself included). But even if she’s not for you, using some of her basic tenants to inform your interactions might be helpful.

    • Drowning says:

      Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. To answer a few questions, my husband and I do try to trade off on nights, but unfortunately I tend to wake up every time anyway even if it’s not my turn, and then I cannot get back to sleep when I can hear my son awake or crying. I might seriously need to consider sleeping downstairs with ear plugs on occasion. And a sleep consultant. We’ve bounced that idea around before but haven’t pulled the trigger. It might be time.

      As for TTC, I know waiting is probably smart. But we wanted two kids close together in age, even closer than is possible now (see, recent miscarriage), so it’s hard to wrap my mind around waiting longer. But I will give it some more thought because of course nobody is helped – not me, husband, current kid, or future kid – if I’m depressed and miserable all the time.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have the same sleep problem when it’s not my turn. Download a white noise app. And get ear plugs. Do both of these things TODAY. Very low effort, huge improvement in quality of life.

        And, yes, pull the trigger on the sleep consultant. You’ve said you’re drowning. Having someone reach out and help when you’re drowning makes all the difference.

        My kids are 2 years apart. One day I realized I hadn’t slept through the night since early on in my pregnancy with my first kids. FOUR years straight of bad sleep (zero exaggeration here). From that day forward, me getting good sleep became a priority for both me and my husband. That’s when I started with extra white noise and ear plugs. Should have done it much earlier.

      • Another R says:

        Sleep coach recommendation: http://sleepyheadsolutions.com/ (Not connected to her in any way, other than as a former client.)

      • Sarabeth says:

        My kids are 3.3 years apart and it is wonderful. They play beautifully together, my older child takes good care of her brother, they are far enough apart to avoid a lot of the sibling rivalry that plagued my relationship with my sister (we are 21 months apart.) The heart wants what it wants and I don’t mean to talk you out of your plan, but I was grateful for the additional space between the children and I’m still grateful for it now that they’re older.

  7. Agree that this is a hard age, particularly for the non-verbal. My son definitely had a sleep regression around 14-15 months (I remember this vividly as we were on vacation and he would wake up at 5 am and pop up in his pack and play and yell UP! BYE BYE! UP! BYE BYE!). Kids also often start moving to 1 nap around then, and that transition can just be hard no matter how well you manage it.

    I also agree that you should consider whether you might be depressed, and think about postponing TTC until you feel stronger.

    • oops, this was for Drowning above.

      • I’m sorry that I just laughed out loud at this, but our five month old has been waking up in his pack and play at 5:00 a.m. a few nights this past week and just loudly talking to himself and shrieking and squealing, which are his new sounds.

        • lsw, we also had a 4 month sleep regression which featured my son loudly talking to himself for up to an hour from approximately 3-4 am! Glad you can laugh through the sleep deprivation – hopefully your child will not repeat this in 10 months.

          • I hope not too! It is simultaneously very cute and very annoying (because we’re so exhausted).

        • I laughed too! Recent wakeups have involved kiddo’s entire vocabulary, mumbled while half awake: “dada! mama. milk? outside? outside? a b cs?” (the last is his word for his favourite Sesame Street alphabet song Youtube clip)

  8. Preschool Update: I met with the director of the preschool this morning. She was gracious and understanding. She agreed completely that delivering the message re: speech issues should have been done in a private meeting and not in the middle of drop-off with tons of other parents around. She said that it was a good opportunity for the program to go over how those messages are delivered. I also spoke with her about my son’s diagnosis. She was supportive and lovely.

    The awkward teacher (“Susan”) continues to be… awkward. I truly appreciated all of your comments that Susan is like an annoying coworker. I am treating her as such and minimizing my interactions with her. I’m also working on a standard response to suggestions that we treat my son’s Crohn’s with X supplement or whatever. I think I would be less punchy about it if I weren’t still so raw from the diagnosis and the process to get there. All in all, the meeting was a good opportunity to check-in; I’m glad I said something.

  9. Anxiety says:

    Looking for suggestions of non-meds ways to help with anxiety. My husband’s anxiety is leading to health problems (he has a chronic illness that is worse with stress). We have a 1 year old and he is constantly paranoid about something happening to him (recent example: he heard an ambulance at work the other day and immediately started worrying that our son could be hurt and in the ambulance). He also has irrational fears about getting cancer, etc. It’s a control thing.

    Any coping mechanisms? Does therapy really work or not really? So far my list of random ideas includes therapy, acupuncture, meditation, church. He’s already on meds but is going to talk to his doc about increasing his dosage.

    • Anonymous says:

      regular exercise and CBT style therapy so he develops the tools to deal with the anxious thoughts. Would it be helpful for him to join a support group for his chronic illness?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      FWIW, this sounds like pretty bad anxiety/OCD/whatever, and it doesn’t sound like he’s properly medicated. He should consider getting into a psychiatrist who might have other medication suggestions. Those waitlists can be long, so suggest making the calls ASAP.

      Yes, therapy does work, but it’s not an overnight thing and he has to be willing to participate in good faith. This sounds like borderline OCD? Make sure he finds a therapist who is willing to do CBT, and try to find a therapist covered by your insurance because therapy expenses can add up fast.

      Meditation/yoga are amazing, but they don’t make the scary thoughts go away. It almost makes a safe space in which you have to deal with those scary thoughts in a controlled way (breathing, poses, etc), so he needs to be prepared that it won’t be an escape from the bad thoughts. Other ideas: Hard cardio, journaling, sunlight, good sleep, and proper nutrition (including a Vitamin D supplement in the winter) help my anxiety.

      No idea on church, but I never found organized religion to be particularly calming – maybe it was the churches that I belonged to, but the ideal behaviors they presented as “requirements” were always such a stretch that I found myself constantly guilty.

      • Anxiety says:

        He had OCD briefly when he was a kid so that rings some bells (i have very little knowledge of ocd so it didnt even occur to me)

    • Coach Laura says:

      My go-tos for anxiety self-help (not replacing doctor/therapists) are 250g magnesium supplement at bedtime along w 5000 IUs of Vitamin D and 1mg of melatonin. This alone has really helped. A cup of mint or other tea is a good relaxer too.

    • anon for this says:

      I spent the last year really focusing on this.
      1) Stay on top of meds and doctors/therapist appointments. If you end up not having an appointment for a month, or missing getting a renewal on meds, this will just add to anxiety.
      2) Schedule self-care, especially exercise. This is huge for me personally. I started running at lunch and it helped immensely; I also do yoga once a week. I put these in my schedule as non-negotiable.
      3) App to track your mood. This helped me when I was very anxious, but I ended up not needing it for more than a few months. I used Pacifica, which allows you to record things like time spent outside, caffeine consumption, and sleep. Seeing how these affected my mood was very helpful, and now I don’t feel like I need the app to stay on track.
      4) Track ‘good things that happened’. Since it sounds like your husband’s anxiety seems to be a very pessimistic brand, writing down fun or happy things from each week can help the glass seem more half-full.
      5) Finally, once I started feeling better, I took a good look at what I really still needed in my schedule – I ditched the app, since I think I learned what I needed to, and have scaled back meds and therapist. For me I get the most ‘bang for the buck’ out of regular sleep, exercise, and time with friends. You have a limited amount of time in a week and it’s not feasible to go to therapist, acupuncture, massage, cook healthy dinners, and sleep 8 hours (and work and chores and kids and everything else!). At first, maybe, but when I got to the point that my anxiety was more controlled and I started feeling stressed by my “self-care” commitments, I scaled back.

  10. First time expecting mother looking for suggestions on a diaper bag/purse. Did you end up using a shoulder bag, backpack, etc? Did you share with your husband or each have your own? Several friends went the large fancy purse route, which if I do that, will try to make it a holiday gift from someone, but I don’t really need a new purse right now, so am hoping those with experience can tell me what ended up working best for them!

    • ChiLaw says:

      We share a bike messenger type bag. It’s made “for dads” because I guess it’s not a fancy purse? What I like the best about it is that it works as a cross-body bag, which makes schlepping a kid in one arm and whatever else in the other possible.

      • Katala says:

        Same – I have a nice skip hop purse/tote type diaper bag but I couldn’t keep up with keeping both stocked. So that one has size 2 diapers in it even though kiddo wears 5’s. Maybe for the next one! The messenger “diaper dude” bag is pretty good and works for us, although I don’t think it has enough space for 2 kids and I find the pockets lacking/not the right size.

        • Katala says:

          Oh, and I have a diaper clutch that usually hangs out in the stroller. Good for diapering purposes and fits in other bags.

    • Sonny says:

      We have a black skip hop backpack that we share. I am not organized enough to make sure that multiple bags have the right stuff in them! My baby also has regular overnights at my in laws, and the backpack had everything baby needs.

      I like having a backpack because I can be hands free out in public.

    • quail says:

      We shared and still share a backpack for this purpose- just a regular ol’ backpack (though the diaper-specific ones do have some nifty features and look like regular backpacks.) I am not big on purses in general and found it quite easy to carry the backpack and the kid in a carrier. But I admit that I am not stylish – I carry a (different) backpack for work as I often walk part of my commute and it has really helped my back pain.

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t like sharing because my husband and I wanted different things in the bag, and because we had different approaches to keeping it stocked. If you want a fancy purse, get one. If not, any old bag will do.

      Backpacks are easier when out and about, or if you have more than one kid.

    • I just purchased this diaper bag as an early Christmas present to myself. It’s so much better than the Skip Hop messenger bag I got for baby #1 (purchased because DH insisted on something neutral). Pros: it’s made of easy to clean, light weight nylon; it zips up (absolutely essential in my experience); dark color doesn’t show stains; deep outside pockets for bottles; separate insulated snack pack; many interior pockets, including a zippered ones for mom’s keys and wallet. Can’t recommend it enough! (Also I think Giggle is having a 40% off sale right now).


  11. ChiLaw says:

    What’s your procedure for a sick kid at night?

    Ours was barfing last night and so we brought her into bed with us (on a bunch of towels that we rotated out as she was sick) but that doesn’t seem ideal. I feel like hell this morning. Baby wants us close, but surely there’s a better, less contagious solution.

    She’s almost two and still sleeps in a crib.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      We haven’t had to deal with middle of the night vomit yet, but for regular illnesses we just either lay in the glider with her or if that becomes too painful we’ll try the couch. Our bed is a last resort, just because we try to take turns as to sleep deprivation. For the glider, I usually like to bring in a comforter and drape it over us. My LO wants physical closeness as well when she’s sick.

    • anne-on says:

      Really I feel like that’s about the only thing you can do with a really sick kiddo who wants to cuddle with mommy/daddy. Do you have a spare bed or fold out couch? My son always wanted mommy, so I’d send my husband to the spare room with the understanding that he’s then be ‘on’ during the day so I could nap. it also helped to have one healthy person in the house to handle fetching meds/water/etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would have done spare bed or, in the absence of that, pulled the crib mattress out of the crib and had baby and a parent sleep on that. Not ideal but more comfortable than sitting all night. And probably has a great mattress pad on it so it would survive vomit.

    • Generally when my son is really sick and refuses to go back to bed alone, I sit in his room and rock him until he falls soundly asleep and then transfer him to his crib/bed. We’ve never gotten into the habit of sleeping with him for various reasons (and more by accident rather than planning), so that has just never been my first thought of what to do.

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