Maternity Monday: Isabella Oliver Maternity Blazer

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I think I wore almost all of my regular blazers until I was about 38 or 39 weeks pregnant. But everybody gains weight differently during their pregnancies, and if on the off chance you really want to buy a maternity blazer, this one from Isabella Oliver (at Macy’s) looks gorgeous. If you want something more traditional, there’s one on sale at Isabella Oliver, but it’s almost sold out. (May the odds be ever in your favor!) The pictured blazer comes in sizes 1–5 (Isabella Oliver’s maternity sizes). Isabella Oliver Maternity Blazer

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


  1. New York with a toddler says:

    Immediate threadjack: can anyone suggest a good place to stay in Manhattan with a toddler? We’ll be there for 5 nights with our 15 month old in late May. No particular location requirements except that I’ve never been to New York before so would like to do some sightseeing (in between playground visits!). I’m hoping for a suite with a separate bedroom so there’s a grown up space once my daughter’s asleep. Thanks in advance for any recs!

    • Mama Llama says:

      No specific recommendations, but for a separate bedroom, you will probably be better off looking for an Airbnb rather than a hotel, unless you have a very big budget.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Great time to be in NYC! The weather is usually beautiful and not too hot.

      What is your budget for a place? As for a location, I think you can’t go wrong with the UWS or UES with a kid. There are a ton of playgrounds and close proximity to Central Park.

    • Anonymous says:

      We went last summer and stayed at the Excelsior Hotel. Liked it and would go back. It has sort of a suite option (not huge, but with a little bit of separation). There is a playground right at the corner (Diana Ross playground in Central Park). There is also a book store with a childrens’ room right by there (Book Culture). Caveat that we were there for a conference for my husband, so that’s why we stayed in that particular hotel (and a portion of the hotel cost was covered as a work expense for him).

    • Anonymous says:

      I really liked the Courtyard Marriott Central Park (1717 Broadway). Centrally located– close to Central Park for taking our toddler to the playground, as well as midtown tourist attractions. They have a huge lounge area (like a whole floor) on one of their lower floors which was great for my almost-walking kiddo to crawl around and burn some energy when the weather wasn’t great one day of our trip. And the 99 cent pizza next door is actually really good :)

    • I haven’t stayed there in years, but the Hotel Wales had a suite option if I recall. Pretty walkable to the museums and Central Park.

    • NYCer says:

      The Lucerne on the UWS. Or anywhere on the UWS in general to be honest. Lots of playgrounds and kid friendly restaurants, close to Central Park, and easy access to subways. Plus you have the Natural History Museum and the Children’s Museum right there.

  2. Big sister outfits says:

    Any suggestions for “sister” outfits? I’ll have a 2 and 4.5 y/o when the new one comes at the end of May.

    They already have “big” and “little” shirts for when the 2 y/o was born. Anything cute for the older ones, even if there’s no matching one for baby? They are PUMPED for this baby. Like, older daughter is ready to wake up in the middle of the night to feed her (so she says…).

    • shortperson says:

      that is so cute. tea collection has patterns that match between baby and girl clothes. we do a lot of dresses for big sister with coordinating (but not identical) rompers for baby. none of them say sister of course, not sure if that’s a requirement.

    • Hanna Anderson?

    • Lilly Pulitzer has baby, girl, and mom outfits, if you’re into bright patterns. The baby stuff is little shift dresses only, but the bigger girl stuff comes in leggings and shorts as well as the adult sized things.

  3. Long Sleeved Tees says:

    Any suggestions for some relaxed or looser fitting long sleeved tees? Something I’d be able to half tuck. Thanks!

    • I’ve had good luck at Gap and Loft this past winter, but I don’t see what I bought… inventory is switching to spring and summer. Banana Factory might be a good too.

    • anonanon says:

      I want to buy all the one size shirts at Amour Vert.

  4. rosie says:

    I was gifted a maternity blazer from MM and I wear it post-partum. A blazer with a little more fabric to it that is meant to look good open is not a bad thing, especially if bf-ing so needing something a little larger up top.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m 3 weeks postpartum and suddenly feeling the urge to pee all the time. It doesn’t feel great when I do although it feels more like my bladder is spasming than like a burning sensation. My pee is cloudy (but I’m still having discharge so it could be that). The internet suggests these are UTI symptoms but friends who have had them (I never have) have told me the pain would be a lot worse. I’ve had these symptoms for maybe 4 or 5 days and it doesn’t seem to be getting any worse which suggests to me it’s not a bacterial infection. Are these also symptoms that could be triggered by delivery? I’ve read a lot about postpartum incontinence but I’m not leaking as far as I can tell, just feeling like I have to go all the time.

    • I had my first UTI last week. I didn’t have a lot of pain other than the crampy feeling you get when you’ve been holding it for a while. Long story short, I didn’t respond well to the initial antibiotics and it was a lot worse than it should have been. Coming from that perspective – just go in and get tested. If you don’t and it is a UTI, it’ll just keep getting worse if it is untreated. You don’t want to deal with that and a newborn.

    • Please get this looked at! Not everyone who has a UTI will be in a lot of pain and that doesn’t mean it is not an infection that needs to get looked at. Speaking as someone who ignored a UTI because it “didn’t seem that bad” and then had it turn into a kidney infection, get it looked at now :)

      • Anon in NYC says:

        +1. I have had 1 UTI in my life, and it was incredibly painful. Like having a million papercuts. But I drank a ton of cranberry juice and water and the pain eased… until I spiked a 104 fever and was thisclose to having it turn into a kidney infection!

        Not saying you have a UTI, but definitely call your OB.

    • anne-on says:

      I rarely (if ever) get pain with UTIs, it is usually just a feeling of extreme urgency. Definitely get tests – for this I really like our local urgent care center which takes co-pays and is muuuuch faster than getting an appt. with my ob/gyn.

    • I was incredibly thirsty and peed ALL THE TIME (like 1-3 times an hour) and it was always an extreme, urgent need to pee, for about 6 months post partum. I assume it was related to nursing, as it got better around the 6 month mark and went away after I weaned at a year. My sister said the same thing happened to her, which is why I shrugged it off.

    • I had a UTI about 2 weeks pp. I only mentioned it when I had to go to my OB for something else (I had had UTIs before and it didn’t seem like my usual symptoms, plus I had no idea how things were supposed to feel so soon after delivery…turns out I was right to ask them to test). So I would definitely suggest getting it looked at. I don’t know if you had an epidural, but if you did & had a cath (yes to both for me), I think that would put you at a higher risk for UTIs, just logically speaking.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Another +1 for “talk to your doctor”. Not a medical professional, but if you are still taking pain meds I wonder if that would mask some of the pain typically associated with a UTI.

      If you wind up on antibiotics, take a probiotic and/or yogurt along with the antibiotics, because you don’t want to be back at the doctor with a horrible case of thrush and/or yeast infection in a week.

    • Anonymous says:

      That sounds exactly like a UTI. Stop suffering and call the doctor.

  6. Preschooler Coming Into Parents' Bedroom at Night says:

    (Warning: sleep issues ahead). My 4.5 year old has been sleeping in his own bedroom since he was 4 months old. In the past month, he’s developed a habit of waking up at 2 am and coming into our bed. He is a restless sleeper and him being in our bed means I lose 3+ hours of sleep, so I would really like him to go back to staying in his own bed. Please share any strategies you have used in similar situations! I took him back to his own bedroom and tucked him back in 8 times last night and he didn’t stay there until I lay down and fell asleep next to him.

    • I have zero experience on this. I’ve read and heard that the strategy that kiddo can come into your room but has to sleep on the floor is effective. Not sure what age people start enforcing it.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        This is what my parents did. It worked.

        • Same. We keep a camping mattress and sleeping bag under our bed. Kiddo knows that if he wants to come in, he just slides them both out and can sleep right there next to me. I don’t even wake up anymore when he does it.

          • my parents did this with my sister. she was allowed to come in and there was a sleeping bag on the floor next to their bed, but she was not allowed to wake them. she did it for a few weeks and then stopped.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Kiddo’s dad has this policy – he keeps a sleeping bag on the floor of his bedroom, and kiddo can sleep there but can’t wake him up. Unfortunately, kiddo apparently sleeps in the sleeping bag every night she’s at his house, starting at about 11 pm. I’ve thought about doing the same, but it doesn’t seem that helpful to have kiddo on my floor versus both of us sleeping soundly on beds in her room….

    • Jeffiner says:

      We occasionally let our 3 year old sleep on the floor in our room, but only if she’s sick or had a bad nightmare. She’s far too restless to share the bed with us. She’s the type of kid that if we keep being consistent in bedtime rules, she’ll accept it in a couple of weeks. So we keep taking her back to bed multiple times a night, and then one night its only a few times, and then only once, and finally she stays. Until the next sleep issue pops up.

    • Unfortunately, I think this is your answer: you stay in the room until he falls asleep. We’re going through this too, but yesterday my LO finally showed interest in a new toy that I can bribe him with. No shame.

      • Jeffiner says:

        Yes, bedtime toys! Despite me trying to put her to bed between 7 and 8 pm, my daughter will stay awake until 10 or 11. I let her have a nightlight and puzzles, play-doh, coloring books, etc. She doesn’t have to sleep, but she has to stay in her room and let me sleep.

    • This is prime age for a sticker chart! We started with a small goal: 3 days through the night, sticker after each night and small prize after 3 nights. We also went and shopped for the prize before we started. Then, we stretched it to 7 nights, 14 nights, etc. We ties the prize to her “big girl bedroom” and let her get a new sheet set, pillow, etc. It was stuff she needed anyway, so I saw it as a win-win.

    • Anonymous says:

      My oldest is only 2, but would an OK to Wake Clock be helpful here? My toddler has really started to internalize the “Red means stay in bed”.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Whatever strategy you pick, make sure you and your partner are on the same page and both willing to put in the work. My kids learned very early on that if they came and tried to get in bed with me I would take them back to bed, but that if they went to Daddy’s side he’d just open his arms and let them snuggle in without him really waking up, and then say “when did Kiddo come to our bed last night” in the morning? I’ll admit I took the easy way out and just went and slept on the couch or in Kiddo’s bed when the bed got too crowded and I just wasn’t in the mood to spend the next several hours dealing with it – or sometimes carried Kiddo back to his own bed when he was dead asleep but trying to sleep diagonally.

      Sorry that isn’t very helpful, but we never hit a long term pattern, thank goodness, so I got away with taking the cowards way out.

    • Anonynous says:

      My toddler did this for most of the fall (not every night, maybe one in three). At one point I just started going and sleeping on the couch or her floor bed.

      About a month ago I ran her around until she was EXHAUSTED (unfortunately so was I) and she slept all night in her room. And then I pointed out how she woke up in “a good mood” when she slept all night in her room. And that fixed it.

      She gets up in the morning and shouts “I woke up in a GOOD MOOD.” Unfortunately since Daylight Savings Time that announcement has moved from 6:30 a to 6.

  7. Infirm grandparents says:

    [sorry if this posted twice]

    A question for the group, simply out of curiosity. If the grandparents are too physically infirm to adequately care for your kiddos, especially alone, how did you tell them so? My question is not whether to leave kiddos with them, but rather, if you KNOW that’s never going to happen, did you burst their bubbles, indulge the fantasy (“yeah! when they’re older!”), or just deflect/distract?

    In my case, FIL lives nearby. He is not a safe caregiver for so many reasons, including his physical limitations. Yet he seems to think he’s going to be spending weekends alone with toddler and baby in the near future. Always nagging us to leave kiddos with him alone. No. It will never, ever happen. So far I’ve been deflecting and indulging, but wonder if a firm bubble-bursting convo is in order.

    Same goes for my mom, who lives a flight away. She is always asking to fly up and stay with the kiddos while we take a trip alone. If it weren’t’ for the fact that she’s in pain when she lifts anything more than 5 lbs, has trouble walking, sitting, standing, MOVING in general, then fine. But how on earth does she expect to care for a toddler and baby ALONE in a city she knows nothing about?

    For what it’s worth, dad and MIL are similarly physically limited but are realistic about what they can and can’t do. The fact that FIL and mom harbor these fantasies despite their physical realities is sad but also infuriating, but like I said, I’m not sure if I should just entertain their fantasies or bring everyone back down to reality.

    • anne-on says:

      What does your partner say/do? Do they back you up privately? If so, I think it is behoves both of you to have a firm conversation with your OWN parents to the tune of – we aren’t comfortable leaving you alone with the children but we love spending time with you and are happy to have you visit/play with them/etc.
      We also are not comfortable leaving grandchildren with grandparents for anything more than a quick overnight for a combo of health/addiction reasons and we expect more of these (super fun!) conversations on both sides in the future especially since cousins are regularly allowed to stay over for long visits.

    • planning says:

      I’m planning to tell my parents that DH and I agreed not to leave kiddo alone with anyone over the age of 70. I’m going to say that I was really concerned about my MIL’s bad back acting up and this was the compromise DH agreed to. Really, the issue is my father who doesn’t always realize how limited his mobility is. I’m blaming this on DH but expect my parents will see this as evidence of filial loyalty, a good thing. (Not sure how this is going to work in practice, since kiddo won’t arrive for another 2 months.)

    • Following. Similar issue with my mom, although she isn’t always asking. She knows she has physical limitations, but mentioned to my brother she was sad we’d never asked her to babysit. I thought it was obvious???

    • So for us we’ve sort of entertained the fantasies (kept saying, oh when she’s older) until we couldn’t. My mom begged to watch DD after in laws watching her several times overnight and we agreed on the condition that another adult be there at all times. Of course, went to drop off DD and no second adult was present. So we (mostly my husband because I was very emotional and angry) made her text another adult family member who lived nearby to come over before we left. During the 24 hours my mom realized she couldn’t do this alone and even had a fall while we were gone, so it became clear that this wasn’t an option without having a second adult available at all time (which isn’t an option for everyone). So what has worked for us is putting that condition on it. If that isn’t met, then we’ve made it clear it’s not an option.

      • CPA Lady says:

        Yeah, this is my compromise. Two sort of competent adults = 1 competent adult.

        My mom is in her early 70s. She’s still pretty with it, but she’s not very strong. And my kid is tall and heavy.

        She watched my kid for a week so my husband and I could go on our first no-kid vacation last year. She brought my aunt (who is in her mid 70s). I felt okay with it because there were two of them. They weren’t super active with my kid, but she still went to daycare during the day and they did low key stuff at home in the evening. I’m not sure I would have felt comfortable with my mom being there alone with her, but that’s probably me being an insane control freak more than anything.

    • mascot says:

      If you can control the situation be continuing to deflect, I think that may be the kindest way. Have they spent any time with the kids where they might realize the extent of their limitations, i.e. watched them for an hour while you ran an errand? That might be enough to gently move them off this goal.

      • KateMiddletown says:

        Yep – keep kicking the can down the road and say, when they’re older that sounds like such a fun thing – a weekend w/ you! As time passes their limitations will likely not improve, probably get worse, so I’d avoid the conflict and let time handle if for you.

      • mascot says:

        Also, my MIL wasn’t really able to watch my child as a toddler because he was just too physically demanding. Now he’s old enough shower alone, dress himself, fix a meal, call for help if needed, etc, we are much more comfortable with balancing her somewhat limited mobility with being able to care safely for him.

    • Shortly after my son was born my mom experienced a sudden medical issue that caused both physical and cognitive limitations. When I was pregnant, I had planned on relying on her regularly for child care, including multiple overnights, but I quickly realized she was not capable of caring for him for long periods. She is fine for 1-3 hours, as long as she doesn’t need to administer medicine or put my son to bed. Thankfully, she lives close, so my husband and I find reasons to bring my son over for an hour or two during the day or before bed while we run an errand or go to dinner. We will occasionally leave him with her longer if my dad or sister are there to help. It helps her to feel involved and like she is helping us, without putting my son’s safety at risk. I think on some level she knows she couldn’t handle him overnight, but we never had a full on discussion about it. We just deflect and/or don’t bring it up. Could you set up times for them to spend an hour with your kids while you ran to the store/out to dinner, possibly with another trusted relative in the house? Or even have them act more as a “mother’s helper” and have them hang out with the kids while you get a project done nearby, if you aren’t comfortable leaving them alone with the kids at all.

      • This. I think it sounds awesome that they want to be so involved so I’d try to find ways for it to happen! It will be so great for them and your kids.

        We have my parents watch kids but then have our nanny come all day to help too. Not sure if you have a nanny or babysitter you trust, but they feel like they are doing the supervising, but there’s really someone else there making everything happen. Could you do something like that?

      • +1 to mother’s helper situation! Probably the best way for them to get time with kiddos and see how unrealistic solo care for them would be.

        I’m lucky that with my MIL (who couldn’t watch kiddo alone) never goes anywhere without FIL (who is very capable), so they tag team. MIL can hold the baby if she’s already sitting down, so she can get a little time with him and feels like she’s helping.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I let the grandparents figure it out themselves with shorter stints alone – kiddo was a terror as a toddler, and my dad and in-laws quickly realized they didn’t feel comfortable doing it alone after a couple 1-3 hour babysitting stints (that usually included putting kiddo down for bedtime or a nap!). Now she’s getting older, and I trust her to be somewhat self-sufficient, so it’s easier to leave her alone.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Wow…writing fail. By “alone,” I mean “alone with solo grandparent.” She’s 4…

    • I agree with the posters above who said to deflect or play along. I think it would be heartbreaking to these folks to hear that they’ll never have this time with their grandchildren. I also think you shouldn’t be so quick to say “never”. Obviously I don’t know their limitations, but as your children age and require less hands on care, it might become more of an option. I’d deflect now and do everything you can to support their relationships with their grandchildren in other ways as suggested above.

    • Infirm grandparents says:

      Thanks all for the thoughtful responses. I’ll probably stick with the deflection / indulging the fantasy thing for as long as I can. I’m hesitant to point out the physical issues bc then I worry they’ll start hiding physical deterioration from us.

      With local FIL, we do mascot & Em’s approach by having FIL come over to keep kiddos occupied while we try to get a project done. (In reality, this is not much “help” to me because I’m surreptitiously babysitting him the whole time, but it’s worth it for the grandpa-kiddo bond and for him feeling like we need his assistance.) With mom it’s tougher because of the distance, but I try to visit as often as possible (both ways) and left her with kiddo for long periods of time before her physical limitations really flared up.

      Husband is on my side for all of this. He doesn’t fully see the risks in the same way I do, but he trusts my judgment as to any safety issues, so thankfully that’s not at play.

      My parents and in-laws are like poster children for why it’s important to take care of your health while you still can!

    • Meg Murry says:

      Depending on their limitations, would they be able to spend some one on one time with one kid while one of you is there but getting something else done? For instance, my dad never left my sister or I completely alone at my Grandmother’s house once she started to get frail, but he would leave us in the house with her to play a board game while he was out trimming her hedges or mowing her lawn (tasks he also did not want her to do), etc.

      I think it’s kinder to play along and delay (“maybe once he’s potty trained”, “maybe once he’s a little calmer and self reliant”) and just look for opportunities to let them spend time together *without* leaving the kids alone with them. Especially since it sounds like you don’t ever plan to leave the kids alone with either your parents or your in-laws, so you don’t have to worry about playing “fair” with both sides.

    • It doesn’t sound like it would work in OP’s case, but we’ve left Kiddo with my MIL for a weekend and arranged for a sitter and younger relative to help during the days. For us, it’s not that MIL is physically or cognitively unable to care for a child alone (and she babysits for a few hours), but that it’s exhausting and not that fun to solo parent a toddler for a whole weekend, and MIL has a lot on her plate taking care of her husband. (He’s not an invalid, but he’s a creative type, and he likes to be waited on.)

      • I have done this. My parents (especially my father) are pretty good with my kids in relatively limited doses, but I’ve learned to be cognizant about giving them breaks, so my nanny comes over, or I organize activities/playdates to get one or more kids out of their hair.

        We did have a hard and fast rule that FIL was not allowed to drive the kids. He was an OK driver, but we felt that having babies in the car added unpredictability to an already somewhat tenuous situation (he was 76 when DS1 was born). (He has since stopped driving, finally). I don’t exactly remember how that was communicated, but it was clear and firm and we reminded him several times. Luckily, he never goes anywhere without MIL (who is much younger), so there was always an alternative. He also didn’t watch the kids alone, but that was his choice.

    • Anonynous says:

      Is there a chance either your mom or FIL would improve with physical therapy? Because I’ve found it’s really hard to get older relatives to properly take care of themselves and I’d use the promise of eventually caring for the kids to get them to put in the hours at PT.

      Like, “Mom, the baby already weighs 20 lbs. And you’ll have to lift her onto the bed to change her. If you put in the hours at PT and are lifting 30 lbs, then we’ll set a date!”

      They may never get there, but they may get healthier. And you’re not the bad guy.

  8. Dear friends lost their dog unexpectedly over the weekend. They also have two young kids, one who is old enough to know that the dog is no longer there. We would like to send them something. Has anyone ever gone through this and received a thoughtful gift?

    • If the dog was a rescue, donate to a local shelter (or if you know of one that is close to their heart) in the dog’s memory. Send them a card. This is kind of you.

    • Anonymous says:

      A card is probably enough – we got one from my aunt and uncle, who are big animal lovers, and it meant so very much just to have the loss acknowledged. In addition to donating to a shelter, if there is a place they liked to walk the dog that has a way to donate – e.g., a park conservancy – or name a tree or bench or something in the dog’s honor, that could be nice.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. Our friends acknowledged our pet’s death with a card, and it was very much appreciated. Also, our vet uses a (I don’t know a nice way to say this) body disposal service that plants a tree in the pet’s honor and sends a sweet condolences letter about it. I’m not going to go looking for the tree, but it’s a nice thought.

    • shortperson says:

      i hear good things about the book “ill always love you” but i havent read it myself

  9. I am in need of advice regarding an awkward situation at work: My colleague Jane applied for but was not chosen as the new boss of our office. Jane is resentful and angry. New boss is not quite up to speed but is trying to get there. Jane and I are close, and Jane has confided that she does not have much confidence in our new boss (and I share that sentiment to an extent), that she feels embarrassed for being passed over and judged harshly by our new boss. New boss has come to me and questioned Jane’s judgment, asked for my take on Jane and her work and relayed negative critiques about Jane. In other words, I am stuck in the middle, and I don’t want to be. I am concerned about being burned by this situation, and I need advice about how to extricate myself from the middle. Any thoughts?

    • You’re right to be cautious. Don’t say anything negative that can get back to either one. And don’t trust either party to keep your comments confidential. Only make supportive and positive comments about everyone. You don’t want to be burned, and it will reflect well on you to everyone involved if you stay diplomatic and positive. If it becomes too much to handle, go above New Boss or to HR and ask for help. Don’t take the bait on this one to either party at all.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I would be a step more proactive – actively tell both new boss and Jane that you are in a tough situation, that you don’t want to be in the middle of this, and that you would appreciate them working together on these issues instead of involving you. Volunteer to involve HR if they need help getting you out the middle. That sounds like a major personnel privacy fail that your new boss would include you in performance issues involving Jane.

  10. Magic postpartum work outfits? says:

    The reality that I will not be back to my pre-pregnancy size before heading back to work from maternity leave is setting in. I’m still hopeful that my old clothes will fit me again one day, but I realize I need to buy a few new outfits. I think what I’m looking for may be impossible to find, but does anyone have suggestions for clothes, particularly pants or skirts, that will still look good as I (hopefully) shrink back a size or so? I’m thinking maybe ponte is my friend here? I don’t want to buy a whole new wardrobe, but I’ll need a few go-tos for a few months at least. (Yes, I realize I may never get back to the same size as before, but I did after previous pregnancies (just more quickly!), so I want to be conservative with buying new stuff!)

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      What about wrap dresses? They’re forgiving as sizes change and, if you’re choosing to pump, they’re pretty friendly for that too.

    • So with pumping I found separates easier (not sure if that applies). I had a slightly different problem (down extra weight, but shaped differently so nothing fit and nursing size changes), but am waiting it out to see if things settle a little more before buying a new wardrobe and or getting pregnant again. For the interim, I picked up 2-3 pairs of pants from express on sale in the right size and 2-3 new tops. I found some of my first trimester but not maternity tops still fit well enough so the new tops were less critical. And I added in 2 new wrap dresses. Basically my wardrobe variety is just a lot smaller now (but not unlike my limited maternity wardrobe, so it’s not as big of an adjustment). Still wistfully looking at the closet full of clothes I miss and thinking about how limited the time will be that I get to wear them if we go ahead and try for number 2 3 months after I hopefully finish nursing at a year (given that I (and the rest of the women in my family) get pregnant at the drop of a hat).

      • Also you just did something amazing and you’re going back to work. You deserve to feel amazing in clothes so I am definitely pro buying a few things that fit really well for the next few months at whatever size that happens to be.

        • 2 Cents says:

          +1 I’ve had a lifelong battle with my weight. But one thing I have learned (after years of therapy) is no matter what my size or shape, I deserve to feel comfortable in my clothes — they are not to be used as “punishment.” So if that means picking up a pair of pants or two at the thrift store or getting a new top I feel good in, that helps my overall mentality for whatever my goal (to lose weight, to come to terms with my body, etc.)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Lands End ponte sheath dresses worked for me in this scenario. Usually you can find a coupon code, the material is thick, and they’re stretchy. For pumping, I would just unzip and pull the top down.

    • If you have a more casual office, swing dresses have been my friend in this very quest. Specifically, swing T shirt dress from NY&Co after a recommendation here in all the colors, dressed up with scarves, vests and jewelry. It’s my postpartum uniform.

    • AwayEmily says:

      This may not work depending on the formality of your office, but fitted black stretchy pants (ponte or something else relatively forgiving) with longer untucked tunic-ish blouses (like the Loft utility shirt, or the ones from Uniqlo) is a cute look, and good for pumping since you can unbutton.

      In terms of where to buy the pants — Loft usually has a big selection (more online than in stores, so might be worth ordering and returning). J. Crew has some that people like. Old Navy’s “pixie pants” are a cheaper J Crew dupe and mine have worn reasonably well.

    • Not sure how formal your office is. I bought a few Lands End ponte dresses and a couple of inexpensive (Halogen) suits. I also spent a day with a good friend at an outlet mall. I bought new underwear and bras. I also bought new shells from the Ann Taylor and Brooks Brothers outlets.

      I mentioned this last week, but I spent time setting up my closet so that it contained only items that fit. I washed or dry cleaned everything. And I had all my shoes repaired or polished. It felt good to go back to work with my wardrobe set up.

    • shortperson says:

      i just bought inexpensive clothes that fit. im in the process of getting them all together for donating to a working womens wardrobe charity now that ive lost the weight.

    • Anonymous says:

      Boden Ravello tops!

    • Anonymous says:

      Caveat that my advice may be figure-specific (I am regularly a pear, post partum was hourglassy-pear-ish).

      Stick with skirts and dresses. Pants (especially formal pants) start to look funny when they don’t fit anymore, and they are very hard to tailor. Even if you can afford to replace them as you lose weight, I found the stress of figuring out what size I was going to be, and finding time to go shopping, was just not fun and added to my stress. So skirts – easier to tailor when you go down a size and also just mask weight differently. Dresses same, though I had a hard time pumping in dresses.

  11. For those of you who have been through BigLaw mergers, how do staff layoffs typically go down? I’m specifically interested in Marketing Departments. I’ve heard of firms taking everyone from the smaller firm, with the expectation that some won’t like the new firm and leave voluntarily. Is there a common practice, timing-wise, for reducing staff? Six months after the merger? I’m concerned about my own job security, obviously, and would love to hear antecdotes.

  12. Travel says:

    DH and I are taking our four month old to Miami next week. I am trying so hard not to travel with the carseat, but it seems inevitable. I found a company that will rent us a carseat and will bring everything to the hotel, which seems perfect. Except I have no way to get baby from airport to hotel. Hotel shuttle does not have carseats, Miami Uber does not have carseats, and I can’t think of any other way around it. Am I missing something? Please help me not have to lug this thing across the country….

    • Mama Llama says:

      Public transit?

    • TBH, I always brought one (or two or three). At that age, I would have brought the carrier and the stroller frame, which I would have wanted anyway. When they got older, we had a Cosco Scenera, which is super lightweight and (at least back then) got great safety reviews (it’s also cheap, probably less than the cost of renting one). We just checked it (you could gate check if you want) – airlines will check the carseat for free. I always preferred having my own carseat.

    • Probably not what you want to hear, but we just did a cross-country flight with car seat and it wasn’t that bad. I picked up the Cosco Scenera Next one for less than $50 and ordered a back-pack style case for it (which I think cost almost as much as the car seat). The thing weighs something like 7 pounds so it was great. We checked it curbside and it was a breeze. With the backpack option, I could see gate checking it too, but we just gate checked the stroller. And for me it was more comfortable knowing the history of the carseat (and knowing how to install and uninstall it in multiple cars because it was one with which I was familiar).

      • Zohzo car seat travel bag is the case we ordered (which my dad thought was AMAZING). Apparently they didn’t make such things when I was a kid and he was lugging my car seat through the airport.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Did you buy baby a seat? Do you have a travel system? Because if so, it’s really not a terrible thing to lug. The only time you’re carrying the seat, rather than pushing the stroller, is from the jetbridge to the seat on the plane.

        • My 7 month old was a lap baby, so no seat needed for the plane. And I didn’t bother with the travel system we have because she’s nearly outgrown it (so not only is she uncomfortable, but the thing is a pain to carry her in at 25+ pounds plus the heavy seat) and because she loves being able to sit up in her “big girl” stroller. If I had to do it over again, I would do it the same way (at least for a lap baby).

          Also – I wore the baby in my Lillebaby carrier through security and also while boarding. Best decision ever to have both hands free, but I am glad we had the stroller for the long march through the terminal at Dulles.

        • Travel says:

          We have the Chicco Keyfit carseat and Liteway stroller. I thought I would have to check the carseat itself rather than bring it on board because baby does not have her own seat (traveling as a lap child). And in that case, if I have to check the car seat, I’d just as soon check it from the beginning and wear her in a wrap through the airport. But maybe I’m thinking of this wrong? (Maybe I should have bought her a ticket?)

          • I was also uncomfortable checking our every day car seat. Unlikely to get lost or ruined as a gate check, but I definitely wanted to have a dedicated travel seat that would get all the baggage handling rough-housing rather than our keyfit. I may also be extra paranoid, first kid, etc.

            I hear that if there is an extra seat they will let you bring the car seat on the plane even for a lap baby, but I have only been on full flights in the last few years.

            Consider whether a wrap will be supportive enough for you wearing her. I have a chunky monkey, so from about 3 months on I preferred a more structured carrier.

            Also, 100% team lap baby. My child would have screamed bloody murder if I had strapped her down into a seat on the plane, but she was a perfect angel when I held her for the 5!!! hours cross-country.

          • Rainbow Hair says:

            I didn’t always buy baby a seat, but almost always she got a seat. I made sure to check in at the gate and ask nicely if there was a way we could be moved to sit next to an empty seat, and it pretty much always happened. The occasions when it didn’t, we had a bag and dropped the car seat off at the jet bridge.

          • Rainbow Hair says:

            I didn’t always buy baby a seat, but almost always she got a seat. I made sure to check in at the gate and ask nicely if there was a way we could be moved to sit next to an empty seat, and it pretty much always happened. The occasions when it didn’t, we had a bag ready for it and dropped the car seat off at the jet bridge with the stroller.

    • At that age we flew with car seat and stroller frame so it wasn’t an issue and I liked having it not just for the car but for naps while we went out and about.
      But another option may be renting a car. A friend always rented a car with car seat when traveling with her kids.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 – with an infant seat it is really not bad. I did it with a convertible too (alone with a 3 year old!). Gate check, gate check, gate check.

    • Sabba says:

      It may not be ideal, but in this scenario it sounds like DH could go to hotel, get the carseat, and come back to get you.

      If you are planning to travel a bit, it can be worth the investment to get a travel carseat. We bought a Combi Coccoro and it lasted about a dozen trips over 3 years. Very happy with it. It is lightweight and easy to carry with a long strap. We always bought a plane seat for the baby/toddler, and just took the carseat on the plane and then in the rental car or taxi. I practiced install a few times at home until I was very fast at the seatbelt install. I may be paranoid, but I liked having a carseat that I was comfortable installing and that I *knew* had never been in an accident or recalled or whatnot.

    • Adding to the chorus of its not that bad to bring along the infant carseat (though renting a pack-n-play, etc. is totally the way to go). At that age we brought our twins’ double snap-n-go through the airport, gate-checked the stroller and one seat, and brought the other on board. Baby-wearing is definitely the easiest way to get through security, so we just piled our carryons in the car seats and stroller.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      At four months old, the stroller/baby bucket combo, and bringing the car seat base, is a good strategy. I flew alone with kiddo several times when she was between 1-3, and I brought along a Cosco Scenara. I used a strap that straps the seat to your suitcase so kiddo can ride in it like a (clumsy, unreliable) stroller. I gate checked the seat because I live recklessly, and because kiddo would have been a horrible mess if I’d forced her into a car seat on the plane. It wasn’t that bad, and I was able to practice installing the seat at home instead of fumbling around for the first time installing it in a rental car parking lot.

    • Adding to the chorus that bringing it is not bad. After reading here, I debated getting the Cosco Scenera, but DH was against buying another THING. So I bought the red gate-check bag, and reinforced the seams with duct tape (Read that somewhere on line). However, also on advice from here and as mentioned above, I have had good luck getting baby a seat even when he’s a lap infant. When I have gate checked the car seat, I have had no issues whatsoever. Ditto the stroller frame.

      I did not bring the base. After learning how to install without the base, I felt comfortable just using the seatbelt.

      Know your kid, but mine at four months was waaaay happier being snuggled up in his car seat. He slept an entire cross country trip in his seat at that age.

      Re: renting other baby items, I also looked into that, but every hotel I’ve stayed at has provided us a pack n play. Might want to call ahead and check on that, you might not actually need to ‘rent’ it.

  13. Potty training says:

    Looking for potty training tips. Did 3 day potty training method with my daughter last weekend. She did okay and on firsts day back at daycare (last Tuesday) she went the whole morning with no accidents but then had 3 or 4 accidents in the afternoon. Since then she’s had a lot 3-5 accidents a day at daycare. This weekend she was accident free Saturday and had two accidents Sunday. Today daycare called around 12 and said she’s already had 3 accidents and her shoes and back up shoes are wet so she’s shoeless. I feel like this is not going well and i feel bad if she is just peeing herself all day at daycare. Should we keep going? She is on the young side but showed a lot of interest and I think she gets it but doesn’t have the hang of asking to go every time yet. Any tips?

  14. avocado says:

    For Long Sleeve Tees—the Light Jersey Scoopneck by Splendid is loose but not sloppy and is half-tuckable.

  15. Naming Question says:

    Just found out we’re having a girl last week (4.5 months in). Spent last week on a babymoon and DH and I brainstormed baby names. We found one we both really like (a little quirky but still a traditional name) and nothing else came close (obviously were still going to think about it). Found out today that a former friend of mine had a baby yesterday and named her the same name. We still have a lot of friends in common. Would that deter you from choosing the name?

    • Nope. No one will care. I promise.

    • Anonynous says:

      On the one hand, no one will care. On the other hand, that probably means the name is on a popularity upswing.

      I mean, it’s fine to be one of the billion Jennifers in the world, but just don’t be shocked when there’s three Antoinettes (or whatever) in your little ones day care class.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ideas for short term hacks/ways to reframe my thinking? 3 year old is in a very challenging phase (aggression, moodiness, etc). I am almost 5 mo pregnant and utterly exhausted. I must handle mornings by myself and have a challenging month or two if work coming up, starting today. I am using up all my physical and emotional energy by 7:45 am . (And need to get out the door earlier for the next month to boot.). Our backup care providers (family) are not available for the next few weeks and I don’t think we have time to hire a mother’s helper, nor honestly the funds. Any ideas to make mornings easier, either routine hacks or just reset my thinking? Hard to do when wrestling a nearly 40 lb hunk of screaming child at 6:45 am.

    • Eggo waffles in the car are the best thing to happen to my morning. I don’t nag about eating breakfast anymore. If my son asks for food, great, but if not, I’ll shove a waffle or a yogurt pouch at him while driving him to pre-K. Also, the first one to the car gets to pick the Spotify playlist.

    • What’s the exact point of conflict? Getting dressed, breakfast, getting out the door, etc? Here are a few ideas:
      – Put your 3-year-old to bed with school clothes on.
      – Have everything in the morning–breakfast, packed lunch, stuff for school–ready to go.
      – Put your 3-year-old to bed earlier to minimize crankiness.
      – A poster with pictures of the morning routine + sticker chart for 3-yo doing things for herself.

      • Meg Murry says:

        +1 to all this.
        Other things we’ve done that worked:
        -Hauled half asleep kid to car in PJs, changed into daytime clothes once we got daycare
        -Did entire morning routine in the living room in front of PBS Kids (get cranky kid out of bed, plunk in front of TV, plop food in front of kid. 15 minutes later bring daytime clothes to kid and dress them while they continue to watch show. Do not re-enter kids bedroom or play area at all during morning routine).
        -Bribed with screen time once they finished key morning requirement (clothes, breakfast, etc)
        -Set an alarm on Google Home/Alexa for “time to put on shoes and coat” – because then it’s not arguing with Mom, Alexa is the one that says time to go, and it’s easier for you to sneak that alarm a few minutes earlier each day.
        -Eat my breakfast in the car or get drive thru breakfast or eat oatmeal at my desk once I got to work instead of eating at home. Keep protein shakes in my desk for when I am running late.

    • What specific challenges are you dealing with?
      I make it a point not to care about moodiness when I have to get stuff done. I don’t know if that’s feasible for you but your kid won’t be moody forever so just ignore it to the extent it’s possible.

      • Anonymous says:

        No one point of contention — totally unpredictable. Today huge fit on the way out the door because he decided he wanted to wear different pants (10 min after getting dressed). Using the toilet is I guess a common point of contention so I’ve given up and he can pee at school- but extra fussy if needs to pee (I have learned you can’t force someone to pee though). Already do breakfast at school and just milk at home , which is non-negotiable. I try to get him to eat a bite in the car to help the mood at drop off, but since the routine is to eat at school he’ll often refuse. It’s more the random melt downs about God knows what. We get home at 5:45 and already start bedtime by 7 (have to eat, and he needs a little bit of unstructured play time to wind down enough to sleep).

        • Maybe more difficult or more trouble than worth with a boy, but my mom ‘forced’ me to pee by either turning on the faucet or going ‘psss psss psss’ if we were somewhere where faucet wasn’t an option like a public stall. Might be worth trying?

          I just ignore random meltdowns. But my ability to be comfortable with irrational screaming is admittedly high.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Just want to give sympathetic hugs. This morning was brutal and I’m not pregnant. It’s amazing how someone small can be such a huge hold-up, and so so draining. I got to work and just stared at my computer like, “how is the day only just beginning?!” … Ha, sorry, none of this is advice, but boy am I here with you.

    • Mornings can be tough with three year olds. I have one, and she is a handful. Here’s a thought: my kids are both insanely irritable in the morning until they’ve eaten something. Would he eat a super quick bite to eat (like a dried apricot or even, I’m serious, a piece of dark chocolate or a squeeze pouch or a spoonful of peanut butter) right after he wakes up? Food completely changes my kids’ moods in the morning. They both wake up super hangry. I’ve given up on the peeing at home, too. For clothes, I let my kids pick their own clothes and that usually overrides the fit-throwing. I do not care what they wear as long as it’s vaguely seasonally appropriate. We have a ton of fights over shoes, so I often short-circuit that by letting my kid put her shoes on in the car. Sometimes I put on relaxing or energetic music to help move them along – e.g. I’ll say, “I bet you can’t get your shoes on before this song ends.” And, if all else fails, I bribe my three year old with a youtube video on the way to school if she will get moving. Good luck and hugs!

  17. Another travel question. Do airlines require a car seat for toddlers (over 2) who have their own seat? Do they all allow the CARES harness instead of a car seat? Does anyone know about Southwest in particular? If the CARES harness is allowed, does anyone want to share their thoughts and experience on it?

    We’ll be traveling with our almost-3-year-old to visit my parents in a couple of weeks. They have a car seat and will pick us up from the airport, so we won’t need a car seat once we arrive. It would be great not to have to take a car seat with us at all. I don’t mind purchasing the CARES harness, but I want to make sure it’ll be accepted. I’ve looked on Southwest’s website, but it’s not very clear for toddlers over 2. I’ve asked DH to call the airline, but he probably won’t until it’s too late to order the CARES harness, and I don’t want to.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Airlines do not require you to have a carseat or a CARES harness. I have flown several times with kiddo without either. I don’t know whether they would have problems with the CARES harness – I assume they wouldn’t but based on no particular data.

    • Blueberries says:

      When I flew with a 3.5 year old on Southwest last year, they didn’t require a car seat/harness. I haven’t heard of an airline requiring a car seat/harness for a 2 or 3 year old, but am with you on confirming current rules if you’re concerned as airlines have rules that don’t always make sense.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      I’ve used the CARES harness several times between 2-3, but I don’t think I ever used it on Southwest. I don’t think I ever used a seat after 2. I don’t see why SW wouldn’t let you use it. I had it with me the last time we flew them, but it was such a s**ts**w just boarding (not due to the fault of my 3 year old!), that it slipped my mind until half-way through the flight.

      I had a flight attendant give me push back once, she said it couldn’t be used during take-off and landing, but I handed her the insert and she spoke to someone else with authority then said it was okay.

      Honestly, my kid hates the CARES harness and can wiggle out of it, so after she hit 3ish I stopped using it.
      Plus if she’s wearing it, she won’t nap. Part me thinks I should try again because 1) it’s safer and 2) the dang thing was expensive, but part of me is just over being paranoid about every last thing.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        I never used a car seat on a plane after two, that is.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        When people say the CARES harness is “safer,” what do they mean exactly? For extreme turbulence? Because if a plane crashes, a mere harness or car seat likely won’t make a difference, right?

        • Pigpen's Mama says:

          Yep — turbulence — so your kid won’t slip through the seat belt when turbulence is really bad.

          I imagine it’s also useful to just hold your kid in place to prevent them from trying to get up, but I think it annoyed my child more than anything.

        • yeah, I feel like people who don’t realize how bad turbulence can be have never been on a flight with real turbulence. I have been on one or two flights where had you not been strapped in, you would have flown up and hit the ceiling (and I heard the flight attendants swapping war stories about times they’d seen that happen in similar turbulence). I could definitely see a small child being hurt in that kind of situation if they weren’t strapped down well or held tightly.

          • Anonymous says:

            Agreed. I often not always need a carseat at my destination, so I use the CARES Harness.

        • Jeffiner says:

          I read somewhere that most crashes happen during takeoff/landing, not the horrific “plane falling out of the sky” things we imagine. In that case the impact would be similar to a car crash, I think.

          I do have a CARES harness, but I’ve actually never used it. I honestly prefer to take the carseat on the plane, which is what we do for our 3 year old.

    • Thanks everyone! We’ll probably just leave the carseat at home AND skip the CARES harness. Woohoo!

  18. Shorten the morning routine as much as you can. Pick out clothing the night before for kiddo and pack up the daycare bag. In the morning, let kiddo sleep as long as possible. Eat breakfast in the car, or at daycare. If you must eat at home, set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer beeps, kiddo is done. Keep kiddo’s shoes in the car and put them on when you arrive at daycare.

    And, I feel like it bears repeating during this very challenging stage, but pick your battles. Three-year-olds are a total handful (I have one myself), but do not engage in the whining and arguing back and forth. Do not try to reason with a mad toddler; that’s not the time for teaching and learning. I like the suggestion of a sticker chart for the morning routine. I still use one with my elementary-aged kid who easily loses track of time, and it helps a lot.

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