Maternity Monday: Cowl Neck Short Sleeve Maternity Dress

PattyBoutik is a brand we’ve featured before because it’s always very highly reviewed on Amazon (this one has 4.4 stars with 400+ reviews) and it’s always really affordable. This dress comes in five colors in S–XL and looks like a great basic style if you’re looking for something to dress down or dress up for work. PattyBoutik Mama Cowl Neck Short Sleeve Maternity Dress

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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. Leatty says:

    If you planned to have more than one child, did you keep your first’s clothes in case they were the same gender? We have a 5 month old girl who has more clothes than any baby should (thanks to her grandmothers). We plan to have 1-2 more, so I’d hate to donate/sell them and buy new clothes if we have another girl. On the other hand, I don’t want to save a bunch of clothes we may never need when another kid could use them.

    • Cornellian says:

      With the caveat that I happily put my son in frilly pink newborn hand-me-downs, I think it makes sense to keep a few items from each size range. Anything that was looking ratty by the time he outgrows it goes to textile recycling, then about 50% to friends or the homeless shelter nearby, and about 4 items per size range get saved. He’s 11 months this week, and everything we kept fits in a grocery bag so far.

      Trust that if you’re happy with your kids in hand-me-downs, there will be PLENTY of them available in a few years when it’s relevant again.

    • I kept them and I wasn’t even sure I wanted a 2d. But I utilize a grandma’s basement for storage.

    • Anon CPA says:

      We kept everything, and just had our third girl. So it worked out! But now I desperately need to part with most of these clothes as the youngest outgrows them, and it’s kind of overwhelming. In fact, I’ve shoved everything so far back into the bin it came out of. *hangs head in shame* We’re really pretty sure three is our limit, and plenty of these clothes have spit up stains and the like on them, and yet… I can’t quite bring myself to get rid of them!

    • EB0220 says:

      Definitely worth keeping. My advice is to keep only items that are in good condition and that you liked the first time around. I saved everything from my first and ended up discard/donating a good number of items that had stains or I just didn’t like for whatever reason (scratchy, fit strangely, etc.). I have 2 girls 2.5 years apart and younger kiddo probably wears 50% hand me downs, which is 50% less clothing I have to buy!

      • AwayEmily says:

        I did the something similar. First was a girl, and I immediately gave away anything that I didn’t *love* and only kept the really great stuff, of which about half was non-gendered. I’m now pregnant with my second (a boy), but i’m still saving the “good” girl clothes until a very close friend or family member has a girl. I can’t quite countenance the idea of giving those adorable Hanna Andersson dresses to a stranger!

        • Anonymous says:

          I have two girls, 20 months apart, so different-ish seasons at first. Also, the second grew giant quickly, so while the seasons didn’t match (I had 3-mo fleece winter “coat” bunting thing while it was 90 degrees when my second wore that size) at first, it helped to have a lot handy when you have a 6 month old needing 12-18 mo clothes. You never know.

      • +1 this is what we are doing too. We are on the fence about number 2, but I am keeping everything that is in good condition. As a bonus, my sister had my nephew 5 months after my son was born (her first boy), so I gave her all of my son’s clothes to wear, so they are being used even if I don’t have a second. We both have plenty of storage, so storing them for a couple years isn’t really a burden.

        • AwayEmily says:

          Yes! and there is something really heartwarming about seeing photos of another little baby in your kid’s old clothes. Or at least, whenever my nephew wears my daughter’s old onesies, I tear up.

          • EB0220 says:

            Definitely! We’re done now so when I go to donate the sizes they’ve both outgrown, I pass a few special pieces to my sister (who also has 2 girls, both younger than mine). I LOVE seeing my nieces in my girls’ hand-me-downs.

      • +1 This is what I am doing the second time. After my first I kept everything. I had a second boy and was annoyed that I had kept things I didn’t like the first time (news flash, I didn’t like them the second time either). We plan on having at least one more, so this time I am culling through everything and trying to only save what is in good condition and what I love.

      • Walnut says:

        I kept everything that wasn’t stained and now my daughter wears pretty much all of my son’s clothes. Dinosaur footie sleepers are adorable regardless of gender.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Keep if you have the storage. I’ve found that by the time I get rid of anything that is stained, stretched, worn out, etc. there’s not that much left.

    • Anonymous says:

      Save anything in great condition. You’ll be surprised how much you can reuse even with opposite gender kids – my youngest loves wearing his older sister’s pjs because she’s the coolest thing ever to him. I also tend to splurge more on gender neutral or ‘boy’ stuff for my oldest because I know I can pass it down.

    • I’m still on the fence as to whether or not we’ll have a 2nd, but I’m keeping everything just in case. If we have a second boy, I plan to do what EB0220 suggests – keep the good stuff and get rid of everything else. If we decide for sure not to have another child, I figure I can donate everything then.

    • We kept everything but we also had grandma-storage available. If we didn’t, I think we would have gotten rid of most of it – my mother has bought 98% of my daughter’s clothes and we have a large plastic tub (or two) with each size. I’m pregnant now and a: I suspect that it’s a boy and b: even if it’s a girl, the seasons are going to off so we might not even get to reuse that much of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Keep what you’re sentimentally attached to, but you could see if one of your friends wants to use the clothes in the interim. We are having boy #2, but it’s been 3 years and the clothes went to my good friend who had a kiddo ~1 year after I did. A year apart is pretty good spacing for not needing any of the clothes at the same time.

  2. Anonanonanon says:

    Sigh. So many bodycon maternity dresses out there right now. It’s tough since my @$$ always grows as much as my belly. I stick to wrap or faux-wrap dresses.

    “Maternity Leave” question (I use air quotes because my leave will not actually be maternity leave, it will be short-term disability and unpaid FMLA, so I refuse to pretend like I get maternity leave)
    For mamas who worked up until birth: do you regret it? If I go out before birth (which would require a doctor to put me on STD before then) my FMLA runs concurrently, so I lose post-baby time. I’ve confirmed that this is the case with HR. However, the idea of working until my water breaks seems miserable too. I’m going to ask to telework the last week or two of my pregnancy, especially since I work an hour from the hospital I have to give birth in, but wanted to hear from folks who have “been there” so-to-speak. On the one hand, I hate that I’m literally expected to work until I give birth or have to give up time with my baby, but on the other hand if they’re willing to keep paying me to show up and waddle around the last couple weeks of my pregnancy then I’m fine with it?

    • Cornellian says:

      If you’re cleared medically, I’d probably show up and waddle around the last few weeks and get your paycheck. Even in my intense NYC BigLaw job, people were not on my @ss the last couple weeks. I went out at 39 weeks and didn’t deliver until 41.5, so it sort of sucked from a leave perspective. Also sitting alone in my apartment while everyone else worked got old fast.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Yea if it affects anyone’s advice, I think people would largely leave me alone, and outside of answering last-minute questions from my staff or my director I’d be free to kind of put my feet up and groan (exaggerating, I hope.) until the day is over

    • I worked until 8 days past my due date and regret it – it was too much. I’d work until my due date again though to maximize time on the other side and show a good faith effort at work.

    • I worked nearly until the end but I had a situation where I had a lot of sick leave that I could only use part of toward my leave because my job only allows you 6 to 8 weeks sick leave towards your maternity leave so I utilized it more at the end. I basically worked to due date and then was a week late. My doctor wanted me to come in for check ins that week and to go to get an ultra sound so I took sick days for that b/c it didn’t count as maternity leave, whereas normally I would have just come in to work after the appointment. If you can do something like that, I would do that.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Oh man, jealous. Our sick leave is awarded in a bank each year and is “use it or lose it”, so you can’t build it up. I get 65 hours every January and then will need to use 40 hours of leave for the first week of STD, and I imagine I’ll be using plenty for the appointments leading up to being out.

        • I should be grateful for it and I am. I know it’s better than many other places. But I never took a sick day for years and years thinking I could use the time to cover my leave so finding out that I was only allowed 6 weeks was a bit of a rude awakening, especially given how illogical the logic behind the whole thing is. I’m pregnant again and am not nearly as hung up to go in now when I don’t feel well because there isn’t much motivation when I know that I still have more leave than I will be allowed to use.

    • Anon CPA says:

      I worked in the office until I gave birth with my first (38w5d), and until 39 weeks with my second (gave birth at 39w5d). I was really concerned about going into labor at work with my third (I have a history of fast labors), so I started WFH around 37 weeks. I gave birth at 38w5d again.

      I found that people largely leave you alone…if you are WFH. I was expected to be a fully functioning employee when I was in the office.

    • EB0220 says:

      I worked right up until the end each time. My FMLA worked the same way yours did, where the clock started when I went out (regardless of when the baby was born). I wanted to keep all of my days until after baby, and was glad I did. Caveats: I did work from home during both of my pregnancies, which made it much easier to cope with. I also had pretty easy pregnancies, and went into labor at 36 weeks with my first so never made it to that SUPER uncomfortable stage.

    • I worked until the day before I had each kid. #1 was a week late and got induced, #2 was a scheduled c-section. For my first, they let me work from home once my due date came, so I mainly sat on the couch with my feet up and answered emails for that last week. For #2 I was in on Mon and induced on Tues, although I’m pretty sure I took a shorter day on Monday and left early.

      By the end, I was HUGE and waddled everywhere. I hated having to put shoes on, but I was slow and giant so I got a bit of a pass on working at my normally frenetic pace. I liked having something to occupy my mind, and I liked being able to wrap up issues so I could completely check out during my 8 weeks of STD. (Our policy doesn’t allow you to send a single email while on STD. I had to send the “announcement” to my boss via text so as to not get in trouble.)

    • I worked from home for weeks 38 & 39 – I scheduled week 39 at home but thought I was in labor during the middle of 38 and so ended up WFH earlier than planned. I had wrapped things up by 37 weeks and was essentially consulting with my team for the last 2 weeks.

    • I worked until 5 days past my due date, and was actually in labor from 10 am until I left at 4:30 on my last day, including sitting through a meeting with some execs who joked about what they were going to do if I went into labor – little did they know I was in labor and had been for several hours. I don’t regret it at all. I have a desk job and wasn’t doing much that last week. I also felt pretty good up until 40 weeks, and was only minorly uncomfortable for the last 5 days. I am a type-A planner, so all the baby-prep had been done for weeks, and I didn’t have much else to be doing and would have much preferred to be getting paid during that time.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      If you can WFH that last week or two, I think that is ideal. I went into the office until my due date, then WFH my 41st week, and baby was born right at 42 weeks (was induced, woo!). Sitting at home doing nothing and waiting for the baby to be born is quite boring – it’s not like you can take a nice trip somewhere or even really walk around your city too much because you will be huge and uncomfortable and could basically go into labor any minute. My old work was pretty nice though and no one really bothered me those last few weeks.

    • As someone who didn’t have my first until 42 weeks, I would never recommend going out early. I would have wasted 2-4 weeks of my maternity leave with no baby!

      I think the best case scenario (and what I did with my second) is to start primarily working from home around 38 weeks. It sounds like you wouldn’t be expected to be working at full capacity ( I wasn’t either, and it was nice), but having the distraction of work when you are nearing the end is really nice. Especially if this is your first, there is only so much you can do at home before you will get bored out of your mind. And once the baby is here, you will likely want all of the time that you can get with him/her.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Thanks all, it sounds like teleworking the last week or two is the way to go. This is my second and my first came pretty quickly, so I’m a bit nervous about being an hour away from the hospital at the end. However, I definitely agree that sitting at home would get old, and I might as well collect the paycheck and not lose FMLA time that could be spent with the baby. Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy!

      • bluefield says:

        I work in a very family-friendly office with a ton of women and not a lot of stress, and everyone was super nice to me at the end and thought I was superwoman for showing up as far along as I did. I knew I was getting induced at 39w2d and I stopped working at 39w. By that point I had transferred most of my cases so I would mostly spend my days reading the Internet and chatting with people. I would recommend coming in for as long as you can – no need to waste the days and you get bonus points for showing up huge.

        FWIW, my first labor was super fast and my second labor took foooorreeeevverrrrr.

      • Double-check how your FMLA works. As I learned on this board, if your office FMLA runs on the same year for everyone (i.e., you can’t take more than 12 weeks during a calendar year or a fiscal year instead of not being able to take 12 weeks during a 12 month period), you can stack your FMLA. I worked up until birth to maximize what I had after, but since I was due in November and had an FMLA that ran with the calendar year, I could have had a week or two pre-birth that got sacrificed.

        And I’ve never felt more type A (or stupid) than when I look back on the day I woke up with my eyes swelled nearly shut and ignored it. Despite trekking to the OB every other day at that point for blood pressure/protein in urine checks. It all worked out, but I wish someone had told me to take more time for myself in those last couple weeks instead of working so hard to be superwoman.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I worked until my due date, which was miraculously also his birth date. I’m glad I did. I wasn’t doing a whole lot at the office those last several days, since I had handed off my cases to other lawyers.

    • Currently 38.5 weeks pregnant and I’m working (remotely) up until I give birth because I also work pretty far from the hospital I’m delivering at. There are days when it’s a struggle (like this morning – I slept terribly last night because I’m SO PREGNANT), and days when I’m so grateful for the distraction of work (because otherwise I’d just be waddling around the house, complaining about how uncomfortable I am). Also, I’ve handed off a lot of my larger projects and other clients to people, just in case, so my workload is relatively light and it’s been a lot of catching up on overdue housekeeping items or tying up loose ends.

      I’ve decided I am not going to work past my due date, but I am trying to hang in there until the end and it’s going okay so far.

    • I would not set the expectation that you’re working until you go into labor, because you just never know. I thought for sure I’d be so bored and I have a desk job so why would I want to go home early? The week before my due date I was crying almost every day from pain and exhaustion. I was feeling immense pressure from work and my manager to “finish things up before I left” and since every day I didn’t know when my last day would be I was working 10+ hour days. Finally I had my doctor put me out on STD because I couldn’t take it any more. I’m so glad I did it, and I really wish I hadn’t set the expectation that I’d work up until the end.

      I really only went out two days early in the end (started my leave on a Thursday, went into labor that Sunday). I wish I’d gone out earlier and had more time to rest and prep stuff around the house (because I was in such discomfort and working long hours I went to bed as soon as I got home every day).

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I worked until 38.5 weeks, and my water broke on the Friday night after my last day of work. No real complaints. I didn’t get anything big or urgent, it was mostly treading water that last week or so.

    • Walnut says:

      I was in the office until the bitter end. No regrets. My “maternity leave” policy was the same as yours.

    • My due date was a Tuesday, and my first day of leave was the Monday of the week before (so I went out about 39 weeks, but last day of work was the Friday). If work from home was an option I could have done that, but had VERY uncomfortable and embarrassing GI issues that made being away from my home for extended periods, and commuting, very challenging. This worked because we were allowed 5 months of time away from work (2 mo paid) and I was planning to go back to work at 4 months, so I had a little extra time. I was MISERABLE for the last 5 weeks of pregnancy and working was extremely difficult.
      Current work place has no paid leave, but better state law re: protections — your pregnancy disability time (if any) and delivery recovery time come out of a separate bucket of time than baby bonding, so my plan would be to stop working a little before my due date again without worry that I’d then have to go back to work at 10 weeks.

    • My due date was a Tuesday, and my first day of leave was the Monday of the week before (so I went out about 39 weeks, but last day of work was the Friday). If work from home was an option I could have done that, but had VERY uncomfortable and embarrassing GI issues that made being away from my home for extended periods, and commuting, very challenging. This worked because we were allowed 5 months of time away from work (2 mo paid) and I was planning to go back to work at 4 months, so I had a little extra time. I was MISERABLE for the last 5 weeks of pregnancy and working was extremely difficult.
      Current work place has no paid leave, but better state law re: protections — your pregnancy disability time (if any) and delivery recovery time come out of a separate bucket of time than baby bonding, so my plan would be to stop working a little before my due date again without worry that I’d then have to go back to work at 10 weeks.
      Also – my water broke before my due date, and I had to go in for multiple checks in that week as well, so you never really know.

  3. Kept them. Second was a different gender so keeping some of his too since we want a third!

    Only exception is things I really didn’t love or don’t have an attachment to on boy I gave away.

  4. AwayEmily says:

    Just went to my 33-week appointment and the baby is sideways. Anyone have encouraging stories about sideways babies who moved down into the proper position? My first stayed obediently head-down for the entire pregnancy, so this is a new experience…

    • Anon CPA says:

      You’ve got plenty of time! I think my OB told me this last time she doesn’t get worried until 36-37 weeks. And even then, some babies turn during labor.

    • Turtle says:

      Anecdata: my close coworker recently faced this. Baby was sideways at her 36 week appointment and then it flipped by 38. She gave birth last week with the baby in the correct position. It’s possible!

    • AwayEmily says:

      Thanks guys. This makes me feel a lot better — I know statistically there’s a decent chance of him turning on his own but stories of this actually happening in the real world are very comforting!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I don’t know if this is comforting or not, but a lot of women might not even know their baby is sideways at 33 weeks because ultrasounds aren’t common after 20 weeks absent advanced maternal age or a complication. Probably LOTS of babies turn themselves without anyone knowing! And if you want to feel like you’re doing something – check out the “Spinning Babies” website. I have no idea if their advice is medically accurate, but sometimes it just feels good to “do” something when you’re pregnant and things feel out of your control.

    • My baby was totally upside down and they were not aware of this until 36 weeks or so. The midwives recommended I check out spinning babies (dot) com. I was considering moxibustion as well (under their advice). I spent a lot of time in the pool doing handstands. I ended up getting an ECV at 37 weeks and it went really well. If you do have to go that route and want more info on it I’d be happy to share.

      • AwayEmily says:

        Thank you! I really appreciate it…I’ve been reading up on ECVs. I’ll see how things go at my 35 week appointment, when I get the ultrasound (so far the diagnosis of transverse is based on feel rather than an actual sonogram).

    • Walnut says:

      My son was obediently head down the entire pregnancy. My daughter was still doing summersaults at random and finally settled into head down around 38 weeks. Let’s just say I was not surprised when she started rolling consistently at 10 days outside of the womb.

    • Pile of kids says:

      My last one was transverse at 37 weeks, and turned head down a week later, without having to do any headstands. You have plenty of time!

  5. Had this (and the long sleeved version) and got tons of use from them!

  6. Sleepless in MSP says:

    My 7 month old got her first major cold two months ago and has been sick pretty much non-stop since then. She is in daycare and we also have 4.5 year old. So far she’s had pink eye, RSV, and most recently a double ear infection. Prior to this, she’d been a mostly happy chill baby and slept relatively well. Since the start of the illnesses she’s been much fussier and sleep has been extremely hit or miss. When we started treating the ear infection last week, her improvement was phenomenal – we finally had our happy baby back, and she slept 10 hours straight through the night for 5 days in a row. It had been two months since she’d acted this way! A few days ago she picked up another cold and everything went back to fussy baby and up every few hours at night.

    I feel like I am at the end of my rope but don’t know what to do about all the illness. Especially getting a glimpse of what life could be like if she wasn’t sick all the time really has me down. I know being sick the first couple of years is normal with daycare, but it was not this bad with our first and the change in her behavior and all of our sleep is just so dramatic. I’m wondering if we should start looking into getting a nanny but I really don’t want to pull my older kid out of daycare which he loves, and leaving one in daycare and one at home with a nanny doesn’t really make sense and would be crazy expensive. Plus the older one would probably just bring all the germs home to the baby anyway.

    Am I just going to have to make peace with the fact that this baby is going to be sick and crabby for many more months and we won’t be sleeping well any time soon? Has anyone gone the nanny route due to illness, and how did it work out for you? Any advice for getting a sick baby to sleep better? We’ve tried humidifier in her room and raising the head of the crib.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      This is kind of an off-chance, and I don’t want to start a vaccine debate by any means, I’m just sharing my experience.
      With my son, we were seeing A LOT of these illnesses, back-to-back-to-back, and it was very frustrating. He has asthma too, so these small colds would trigger asthma issues that sometimes took 6-8 weeks to recover from… just in time for another cold.

      When he was a bit older (around 5), the doctor noted that the frequent ear/bronchial infections were odd, and on a whim did titers for his Hib and PCV vaccines. It turned out that, for whatever reason, he apparently hadn’t mounted an immune response to them and was basically un-vaccinated as far as those were concerned. They re-vaccinated him with the Hib shots and gave him the really strong pneumococcal one (like the one they give old people) and we’ve seen a DRASTIC reduction in illness ever since.

      Again, I’m not a clinician, but I wanted to share in case that experience helps anyone else.

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s very stressful to have a fussy baby, know that they’re fussy because they don’t feel well, try to manage work absences, and try to make a decision that will work for everyone in your family. I wish there was something I could do besides say “hang in there”

      • I wonder if they’ll do the titer on adults who are frequently sick. My husband had asthma + back-to-back, long lasting colds.

    • My second was very similar to yours, and the only encouragement that I have is that it was a phase. It seemed like the longest phase ever when we were in it, but this year we have a 4yo and 22mo in daycare and haven’t taken a sick day yet. My youngest ended up getting tubes around 16months after his 6th double ear infection in as many months, and that’s when things started getting better for us.

      I had the same thought as you when we were in the thick of all the sickness, but decided to stick with daycare because we loved it so much for our oldest. We survived this period by (1) co-sleeping, (2) taking turns sleeping in the guest room when one of us was super low on sleep (3) calling the grandparents to help with sick days (4) Advil. lots and lots of free flowing Advil (5) Coffee, lots and lots of free flowing coffee.

      I feel like at this point, having a nanny at home isn’t going to provide the reprieve you are looking for. Your older child will still bring home the germs and so the youngest will be exposed.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Another thing that helped me weather through this phase was finding a pediatric practice that would see sick kids on evenings and weekends. An ear infection isn’t contagious, so if preschool said he was complaining his ear hurt, I would call ahead and get an evening or weekend appointment to get it checked out so I didn’t have to miss work. Honestly, half a day doesn’t make much of a difference, it’s not like the antibiotics work immediately.
        This was also useful because, before he got tubes (which also made a huge difference), I could pretty much bet that anytime he had a cold he had an ear infection, so even if he wasn’t complaining his ears hurt I could make a sick appointment for his cold (on an evening or weekend) knowing they would check his ears. Then, if daycare or preschool said something, I could truthfully say we had already been to the doctor, we knew it was an ear infection, and he was on antibiotics.

        Having those evening/weekend options really helped alleviate the “omg I can’t believe I’m calling into work AGAIN” factor of the stress

        • oh yes, plus 1 on this. Having a pediatric clinic that does evening and weekend hours is such a time/sanity saver.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs, that is hard. A few things that helped with my frequently-sick, non-sleeping kiddo when she was an infant; saline spray in the nose and snot sucker right before bed and anytime she wakes up; play with the temperature in the room (kiddo slept better when it was cooler); Vick’s vapo-rub on her chest (I don’t know if that’s allowed for babies, but I was desperate). When things were really bad, I would steam up the bathroom before bed/when she woke up in the middle of the night.

      But the thing that really helped was a nebulizer; I would sneak into her room in the middle of the night and give her an albuterol treatment while she slept. The mist also helps clear out congestion so it did double duty.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Oh, and this might have just been coincidental, but I started taking kiddo in for chiro adjustments (see above re: desperate). The last ear infection she had was right before we started the month of weekly chiro appointments, haven’t had one since.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Yessss to saline spray followed by snot sucker. The pediatrician or pediatric pulmonologist (I can’t remember which) also OKed us to follow that with Afrin for no more than 2 days in a row (when my kid was older), and sometimes that would help the congestion enough to keep it from building into something bigger. Preventing the congestion from building up and having time to breed bacteria etc. in there is key

    • I’m sorry. I know how frustrating this is. You may want to push for a referral to an ENT for tubes. My 11 month old has been frequently sick this past year, and most times it didn’t seem like an ear infection. And then nearly every time it was, so tubes may help.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        On this – I wish my ped had been more receptive to tubes. I understand the hesitation to put a kid under anesthesia, but we generally had 3-4 ear infections, followed by 4-6 months of no ear infections, followed by another 3-4….for the first three years or so of her life. And every time she got an ear infection, it meant at least 7-10 days of lousy sleep, followed by a week of re-establishing good sleep habits, followed shortly by another ear infection…. So even though she never hit the “6 ear infections in 6 months” threshold my ped practice applied, it was 3 years of consistently challenging sleep. Tubes would have helped a lot.

      • EB0220 says:

        My first child was frequently sick like this from about 7 months to 13 months. She got tubes put in and has barely been sick a day since (now almost 6).

        • anne-on says:

          +1 to tubes. Plus, my ENT (and ped) both took into account the stress and missed work for ME. I nearly started crying when the ENT gently noted how hard it must be on me to take time off for an ear infection appt, recheck appt, and then the missed sleep…over and over again and that tubes might be easiest on both of us. Also – would HIGHLY recommend getting your kiddos tonsils/adenoids checked by the ENT if they frequently snore – that is apparently a big indicator of oversized adenoids, which (unbeknownst to me) run on both sides of the family and predispose you to more viral throat infections/ear infections.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      A humidifier is a great idea. Have you discussed ear tubes with your doctor? That helped a HUGE amount with our son, who got them at 13 months.

    • FTMinFL says:

      “Has anyone gone the nanny route due to illness, and how did it work out for you?”

      We hired a nanny not 100% due to illness, but sort of – little guy was really little (not on the weight charts little) and didn’t nap well at daycare which caused him to refuse to eat which led to him losing more weight and getting sick often. I said enough was enough after he spent a full (paid for) month out of daycare due to severe illness and we hired a nanny. He has certainly had far fewer illnesses in the 14 months since, but some of this may be due to improvements in overall health status.

      Illness issues aside, if you are thinking about a nanny and can swing it financially, it does make life easier IME. We hired a nanny who brings her young child (1 year older than our son) with her daily and takes them to regular kid-events at the libraries, kids’ museum’s, etc. He and now baby #2 get to interact with other children while getting more personalized care.

    • farrleybear says:

      Hugs. The first year can be so hard with illnesses. We’ve always done in-home nanny, and my kiddo stick had so many illnesses. In fact, had RSV at 3 months when he was being cared for by me and his grandma only. It will get better. I like nanny care for a variety of reasons, but reduced illnesses didn’t end up being one of them:)

  7. Just a vent, and I know they don’t mean anything by it, but literally every single one of my coworkers since I’ve come back to work has said, “Oh, it must be so hard to leave him! Don’t you miss him?”

    There’s no right answer! Such a loaded question. I also had one coworker (another mom!) say that you shouldn’t send kids to daycare until they can talk. That was a bold comment.

    Lots of smiling and nodding….

    • sometimes people really should just keep their thoughts to themselves. hang in there!!!

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Ugh, that is the worst. People have so many opinions, and just remember, their opinions are more about themselves and their choices than about you or about what’s actual fact! And saying you shouldn’t send your kid to daycare until so and so date when presumably your kid is in daycare now – like, thanks?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I’m sorry, I think people just don’t know what to say and aren’t thinking.
      I’ve been guilty of the opposite, where I’ll say “We’re so happy to have you back! How are you?” and then end up following with a variation of ” I’m sure it’s tough to leave baby, but there’s no denying it feels nice to put on real clothes and talk to grownups eh?” or something along those lines which is probably also offensive, sometimes we just don’t think.

      • Oh totally, and I think they’re just making conversation for the most part. But I really feel like there’s no right answer – if I say that I’m so happy to be back, it sounds like I don’t like my kid. If I say I’m so sad to leave him, it implies that I don’t really want to be at work.

        • Anonanonanon says:

          I know, there really is no right answer. The work-appropriate answer feels like “Glad to be back and ready to hit the ground running!” but then society is like “OMG way to hate your baby” because… society.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Oh my god I almost put a coworker in the garbage can after we had this conversation:

      Me: “My kid is 18 months.”
      Him: “Oh I have a son the same age!”
      Me: “Is he in the daycare [on site]? Kiddo loves it there!”
      Him: “Oh noooo. My wife and I agreed we would never let another person raise our kids. She stays home with them.”

      • I would like to congratulate you on not kicking him in the d*ck.

      • Anonymous says:


        I bet that dad thinks he’s a good dad. But he is letting someone raise his kid. I bet he has no idea what his kid’s clothing/shoe size is, when their last haircut was, when their nails were cut, when the sheets were changed, who the pediatrician is, who the kid’s friends are, who the kids’ friends parents are, or if their shots are up to date.

        IMO working moms are a lot more dialed-in to their kids than any dad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you ask the other mom why? And how she dealt with it? Because really, that’s a bold statement.

  8. Everyone kept saying the same thing to me when I got back to work. Anytime anyone would ask, “Isn’t it just so hard coming back to work?” I would just say, “Not really. It feels good to be back at work. Taking care of a baby full time is so much harder than this job.”

    • avocado says:

      My response was, “It is so nice to be able to eat or go to the bathroom whenever I want to!”

  9. I just need to vent for a second.

    We are missing one box of our Christmas decorations/ornaments/supplies. Which means our tree is missing a third of its ornaments. I reorganized the whole attic yesterday. The box is still missing. I am going to lose my mind.

    My husband is having a career crisis and is moping around and there’s absolutely nothing I can really say or do. He’s declared himself a failure in his chosen career because of some recent bumps and a difficult return to working for himself after being our primary childcare provider for a few years. I waffle between wanting to sharply say, fine, I’m tired of watching you mope, you’re a failure, do what you’re suggesting and “grow up and get a real job,” and being supportive, reminding him that he was very successful before he quit to take care of a very demanding tiny human, and that maybe he should try working, now that we have full-time childcare, for longer than a week before he throws in the towel. As the sole income-earner I am running out of patience for the mope.

    It’s the holidays, which I absolutely love, but once again I am president of everything, and I’m already burned out on that and yesterday was the first day of Advent. This will totally out me if you know me, but I grew up singing in a prestigious children’s choir that has a holiday reunion concert for alums that I loved as a kid. I’ve been in the same town as said concert for three years now, and every year I’ve had to bail the day of. Singing requires a whole Saturday– the morning for rehearsal and an early call time the night of the concert– and every year there’s been something. Once we all had fevers. Once my husband was throwing a hissy about something and I decided it wasn’t worth the emotional cost. Once I think I was too damn tired from everything else this time of year and gave myself an out. I am SO sad about not getting to sing again. But I haven’t even registered this year, because what’s the freaking use? I’m never going to be able to justify a whole weekend day in which I do something for myself.

    In conclusion, I’ve only cried twice this morning, and bah humbug.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Aww, this time of year is hard. I have overscheduled every weekend for the last month and then have to find time to grocery shop/do laundry/clean house/pay bills during the work week. Poor kiddo is feeling the stress and keeps demanding “time with just mama, no car.”

      What if you just….didn’t do all the things? What if you said a tree with 2/3 of the ornaments is enough, you’ll register to go sing and tell husband he’s on for childcare that day (let him figure it out, he’s competent), and let your husband’s work angst belong to him alone instead of accepting it as your problem? Or just accept that you have a tiny human and you’re in a season of great change, and put the concert in the parking lot until next year?

      • OP here– and I think you’re right that I need to just make a list of “Necessary Holiday Stuff I Can’t Not Do” and then cross half of it off.

        I already feel like a failure because I am not sending holiday cards and I don’t own a seasonal festive outfit of any kind and we aren’t even invited to swanky holiday parties because we don’t have swanky friends who throw swanky parties. This time of year is the worst for seeing others’ outsides via our insides. I know this and I still feel lousy.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is stinky.

      +1 to newmomanon’s advice for just not doing all of the things.

      But can I tell you what I’ve learned in incredibly hard and painful ways? You should prioritize and actually make happen the things that make your heart sing. It sounds like you really, really, really want to sing in that reunion concert. Yes, it is a pain in the rear to make it happen. And someone is probably going to be mad at you for it. But…the fact that you have let 3 years go and you are still sad about it…that suggests this might be the thing that you can let all the other things go for. And maybe just knowing that you get to have that for yourself will keep you going through all the other stuff that’s annoying. (Also drop all the other stuff that doesn’t actually make you joyful.)

      • avocado says:

        Sorry you are going through all of this. It really stinks when your spouse makes all of his problems into your problems.

        Another +1 on the advice to drop the stuff that doesn’t bring you joy (hunting for the box of ornaments) and carve out time for what brings you joy (singing) even if your husband gets pouty about it. You need to feed your soul. If you don’t sing because you don’t want to deal with the backlash at home, your husband probably won’t appreciate your sacrifice anyway. If you are going to get garbage no matter what, you might as well get it for doing something you want to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      Big hugs – that’s a lot.

      DH is being a jerk. You can deal with that after the holidays.

      You have a tree up and some decorations on it. #winning

      Book a paid babysitter for your singing day. Do your singing thing. This internet stranger gives you permission to do the thing that makes you happy even if it costs money and means time away from your kids. Give yourself that gift this year.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Agreed, he’s being a jerk and it should definitely be dealt with after the holidays. He either needs some therapy, or for you to look him in the eye and say “OK, so what’s your plan? What are you going to do to change it?” when he complains.

        Double agree on the singing- GO DO IT. Yes I know it feels not worth it and overwhelming but you’ll be happy you did. Tell husband that you’ve missed it three years in a row, it’s important to you, and you’re going. And that he needs to let you know 2-3 days before if it looks like you need to line up a paid sitter. If it’s less stress for you, line one up anyway and ask her to take them somewhere and leave DH to mope around the house. I don’t know you, but I really want you to do this for yourself.

      • Thank you. This is genius. Third party childcare. I can probably even call in Grandma and Grandpa. Maybe I will try again. And not shame myself too much if I cancel for the fourth year in a row.

        (It’s a lot, rounding up concert attire and all-day childcare and a dish for the brunch and I’m exhausted just thinking about it.)

        Thank you for the support. It feels really good to hear someone say the phrase “I really want you to do this for yourself.” Makes me realize how long it’s been since I have. I’m in a really difficult season of life right now, and part of that is just letting husband’s problems be husband’s problems. They have become my own because I have a mopey, glum, non-earner who needs lots of attention about his mopey glum. I’m not sure how much longer I can stand it, and yet I need to try to give him the space to solve his own problems. It would be easy for me to solve them– which is why it’s so hard for me to not try. I’m getting to the point where the mopey glum has become suffocating even to be around. Sitting in silence with someone can be exhausting.

        Thank you for the space to vent. I promised myself no making life decisions during holidays. So at this point the vent is actually opening the steam release valve so that I don’t come home tonight and scream “GET A JOB OR YOU ARE OUT ON THE STREET” at anyone, including my two year old.

        • Anonymous says:

          You can do this!

          Concert attire = whatever you were planning to wear the years you didn’t go or wear all black with a statement necklace or bright scarf.

          brunch = box of croissants from local bakery on your way to event, or if you must make something – ‘Holiday Fruit salad’ – dice strawberries and kiwis for a red and green fruit salad – can be made the night before and extra can be used as toddler snacks.

        • Anonymous says:

          Dude. My husband spent a decade finishing a dissertation, during which he was the king of mopey, glum non-earners who needed lots of attention. The only way I got through it was by really forcing myself to let him solve his own problems, and not engage. So he would come home and mope about his dissertation status and my response was, “Gosh, sounds tough. What’s for dinner?” The goal for me was to disengage. I could not solve his problems, and I could not put my whole life on hold waiting for him to solve his problems. So I just managed myself and the kids on my own. I booked a lot of childcare, tried to take care of myself, tried to take care of the kids, and did my best. He could come along or not, but I was not responsible for his happiness.

          It sounds harsh when I type it out now, but it was instrumental to helping me survive that bad patch. And the good news is that my husband finally figured it out. No amount of me begging or crying got him to finish the dissertation — but eventually he yanked himself out of his depression, started writing, and finished it. And the good news (almost miraculous) is that now, he is a true partner in all ways. He has a job (which is KEY for his mental health), he makes decent money, he handles 50% of the household load and the mental load, he takes kids to the doctor and dentist. It is really incredible and essential for me.

          You can’t get people to change. All you can do is live your own life and hopefully, your husband will emerge from the fog and change himself.

          And finally, please go sing. It sounds amazing and restorative and I would babysit your kids myself if I could!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I agree with the advice to go sing. You’ll feel so much better if you take the time to do something you love. And lord knows you’ve earned a little time for yourself.

      Re: husband, UGH I am in a similar boat and it is THE WORST. Sometimes I just want to, in the words of a wise toddler I know, “frow him in the gobbage.” I have had plenty of my own confidence/mood/work issues, but I work so hard to function in spite of them (like, I’ve done the *hard* therapy stuff, I exercise almost every day, even though I hate it, because it helps my mood, etc. etc.) and when I see my husband and it looks like he’s just moping/giving up it’s SO FRUSTRATING because not only do I work hard *at work* but I also work hard to be a person who isn’t a moper. …sigh…. But my being frustrated at him will certainly do nothing to solve his funk. And he just told me he forgot he has this conflict for a party where i was really looking forward to him being my date and it makes me want to cry. The. End.

  10. A laugh from the trenches says:

    I went part time when my second was born. She’s 17 months now and I often struggle with staying at home (when the kids aren’t home, they’re in preschool/daycare but I work at him).

    Thought I’d give you ladies that dream about being home more a glimpse into my complete and total lack of personal space- I try explaining this to my husband who didn’t quite get it until today.

    I was in the bathroom, pooping. I’m pregnant with #3 and constipated as all get-out. My kids were playing together in one of their rooms and I was smart enough to close the door, which I know (thought) the little one can’t open.

    But yet, in case my little one, who had dragged a step stool to the bathroom door in desperation to get in. She came in and tried to get me to pick her up (I’m on the toilet. Go away. Here, play with this empty toilet paper roll.). She then proceeds to grab my underwear, which are *around my knees* and climbs into them.

    WTF. So now I’m on the toilet with a 17 month old *inside the leg hold of my underwear that I am still wearing*. And she’s clawing at me demanding to be picked up. I finally give in. So now I’m straining to poop, 16 weeks pregnant, with a toddler on my lap. And she decides to start clawing at my eyes and laughing like a maniac. She’s usually up in my business and driving me crazy (unlike my. Older one, who never did anything like this except snuggle), but this was Peak Invasion of Space.

    In that moment, I knew I am a FT working mom at heart and after I was finished texted DH to let him know I’m going to add a day to the toddler’s daycare schedule lest I run screaming into the road naked one of these days.

    Ps- my preschooler was happily reading to herself in her room while all this went on; they are not all nuts! Here’s hoping #3 is calm.

    • anne-on says:

      Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry but I am laughing SO hard right now. I think you deserve a mocktail and a bath ALONE tonight.

    • Anonymous says:

      I LOVE YOU FOR THIS. Thank you. My kids are 6 and 3, and sometimes, STILL, my DH will come home and try to touch me and I snap at him and say, “Whatever you have to say to me, say it from the other side of the room because I AM ALL TOUCHED OUT TODAY.” (I work in an office full-time, so if I were you, I definitely would have run screaming into the road naked by now.)

    • Anonymous says:

      God I have been there. Like, do we really need to snuggle while I am trying to dump out the menstrual cup 5 year old? He spent 9 months inside me and is still all up in my business.

    • This is pretty hilarious. Being able to poop alone is such an underappreciated joy.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Being able to poop AT ALL is an underappreciated joy until pregnancy :-P

        Hope the constipation gets better!

    • Ugh my 11 month old has taken to lightly running her fingers over my outer thigh while I’m sitting on the toilet pooping. It’s so creepy but also hilarious.

    • I’m sorry that I laughed so hard at this. We brought my son into bed this morning because he was up earlier than usual and we all ended up having to get up because the only thing he wanted to do was grab our closed eyeballs.

  11. feeling less sorry for myself about pumping at work. this is hilarous/horrible. FWIW i found that taking a single dose of metamucil at night helped with the pregnancy constipation. just make sure separate vitamins and metamucil otherwise you won’t absorb the vitamins well. don’t hesitate to take something for it — waiting until you have piles/fissures is way worse. ask me how i know.

  12. Mom guilt/babysitters says:

    This weekend has gotten out of control, schedule-wise, for our family. We are up to 5 babysitters or family members watching our 2-year-old son at different times over the weekend (although MIL is watching him twice). Nothing is easy to cancel without hurting people’s feelings and/or causing a lot more drama than I’m willing to take on even though I feel guilty. It really just mushroomed–we scheduled a few non-essential things first, and then several essential things came up around them. I guess we’ll just try to make sure we give Kiddo some quality time when we are around. Tell me it will be OK?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      It’s going to be a blip in kiddo’s life, and OMG, all the babysitter fun!!!

    • It will be okay. I felt similar feelings after last week, when I missed every single bedtime (thank you for taking care of that, husband!) due to one unavoidable personal matter, two work events, and two meetings with friends that I felt super guilty about not canceling because they weren’t “essential,” but one was a gathering I put together months ago and the other was a dear friend I hadn’t seen in six months. Then the weekend before that (Thanksgiving), my husband and I went away, so I didn’t see Son for a weekend. This weekend, my parents kept him for a night as we traveled to another city for an event. Basically I felt like the worst mom ever but … it’s fine. And now I get more snuggles.

    • mascot says:

      Your kid get 2 sessions to bond/hang out with grandma! And 3 sessions of fun baby sitter play time!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Your kid is loved. This is a blip.

      But I feel the guilt. I started singing Cats in the Cradle to my kid just because she loves cats, but now I feel suuuper guilty because like, “there were planes to catch and bills to pay” is the story of my effing life.

  13. Update on the milk saga from last week – thank you for the recommendation of straw cups. He doesn’t *love* them, but is drinking a little milk (big change from absolutely zero milk). I explained to him that the bottle went away and milk is now in straw cups. I have no idea if that helped at all. And this morning he said his very first ever sentence – “no milk.” Shrug!

    • Anonymous says:

      My kiddo didn’t drink any milk from the time she quit nursing (15 months-ish she was once a day) until 22 months when she went to daycare and they pretty much only offered her milk. Now she asks for it at home, though she’d prefer to drink it out of a cardboard box.

      • Right – I think it’s fine if he stops drinking it altogether. It was just rough because he was still signing for milk and getting mad when we would get it out of the fridge but pour it into a cup instead of a bottle. If he ends up drinking less milk than before, I feel pretty fine with that! He’s eating insane amounts now, so I think he’s more than making up for it!

  14. This seems like such a dumb question but: what do you do with family photos? A friend of mine took some amazing photos of our little family but I’m not sure what to do with them. The grandmas probably don’t want another photo book to collect dust (plus they are a lot of work and not cheap for something that just sits on the shelf). Should I just order prints and give them a few? I’m struggling here.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I use them for holiday cards and keep them online (and upload them to a photo sharing site for grandparents). We printed out photos for the first holiday after our daughter was born and gave them to grandparents, but haven’t done that since (although I bet they would be appreciated!).

    • Anonymous says:

      Really amazing pictures I’ll enlarge/print and put up in the upstairs hallway. I change them out every few months.

      Also, we chromecast a running slideshow of all the photos DH has in the family folder of his g oo gle photo account. There’s like ten years of photos there. Keeps the kids from asking to watch television shows because they are so busy chatting about the pictures. It’s what we put on when we’re cooking dinner. They LOVE seeing ones of grandma/granddad when they were younger and of me when pregnant. We include pictures of my sister’s kids as well (she uploads some weekly), they live far away and it’s a nice way to share our lives.

      • +1. We have one frame we change out every year. We use them as our holiday card. But our most enjoyable use is the Chromecast screensaver. We leave it on all the time too and get lots of “Dad! Come quick! What’s that picture from??” or “Mom is that YOU? When did you have red hair???” One year when I had to work between Christmas and New Years, I spent the quiet time in the office creating albums for each year we’ve been married, so it’s easy to just switch between 2012 and 2017 and 2006 to keep the pictures “fresh”. I also created two “Mom as a kid” and “Dad as a kid” albums because we got married in the time of Wedding Slideshows so all the pictures were already together on a CD. Those albums might be the kids’ favorites.

    • How about a wall calendar? Way less effort/$ than a book, and more visible.

    • Oh, if you’re looking for grandparent gifts, Hallmark usually has “grandparent” ornaments that will use a photo. Print out a good one, slap it in the ornament, and voila.

      If you’re feeling optimistic, try to get a copy of all your sibling’s photos and put them in one multi-frame. Give it to the grandparents, and say you’ll switch it out when you get new photos. Pretty much all grandparents have a brag wall of framed photos of their families.

  15. Word!

  16. We get our mileage out of family photos. We use them for Christmas cards. We order prints and put them in our hallway (rotating through 4 frames) and in my office (rotating through 3 frames). We order prints for the grandparents as their Christmas presents. And last year, I ordered an ornament with the photos printed on each side because it was free (after ordering Christmas cards) + the cost of shipping. We took it out last night while decorating the tree, and we really liked it, so we’ll probably do that again this year if there’s another good deal.

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