Family Friday: Maternity Denim Overalls

If I were pregnant right now, I would probably be wearing these all weekend long. As my currently non-pregnant self, I don’t think I could get away with wearing them (I would look like Miranda Hobbes), but they look so damn adorable on pregnant women. So cute in fact, that The New York Times had an article with the headline, “The Unbearable Cuteness of Maternity Overalls.” I like these particular ones because they are simple and unadorned — more fashion-y than construction worker. They come in sizes XS–XL and are $79.99 at Gap (keep an eye out for sales, though, because earlier this week you could get 40% off). Maternity Denim Overalls

A plus-size option is at Destination Maternity.

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  1. Not buying maternity overalls is one of my pregnancy regrets. I think they look so cute!

    • Me too! Although I’m not sure how practical they would be when you’re peeing constantly.

    • Me three. I don’t miss being pregnant often but this is one that I wish I could do for a day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yikes, I’m a no on maternity overalls. I’m short, and have glasses, pregnant with my third, so popping quickly. Would look like a Minion.

      • Pregnant & Sweating says:

        I can’t even think about putting denim on my pregnant self in this heat!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am pregnant and don’t really understand the appeal. What is the point of overalls?

  2. Annie says:

    Hi – how does work? We need to find a babysitter for a hotel for a wedding and our local leads are not coming through. Can you check their references before booking them? Talk to them on the phone first to interview them? Or do you have to just book through the website? I found the website confusing.

    • Anonymous says:

      No clue about, but I would recommend asking the hotel if they have a list or recommendations.

    • I wouldn’t use for a one-time thing. I’d recommend getting a free trial for Chime, UrbanSitter or SitterCity (and remember to cancel your subscription when you’re done if you’re not going to use it again!). You do book through the site/app. Sitters will have reviews on the site from people who have booked them in the past. You can definitely talk to them on the phone first if you’d like!

      Also, you can post what city you’re going to here – one of us might have a lead!

    • You can ask for a phone interview (and with our forays on the site, we also have always done an in-person interview) prior to booking. Each provider should be able to provide you with a list of references to call.

      I would post a listing stating what/when/where you need care and potential caregivers should respond. Of the responses, we usually had our top 3-4 for in-person interviews (you may have to suffice with over the phone – or do it day-of, or a day before if your travel plans are flexible).

      In the past I have used it to find long and medium term (>1 year and 1 month) gigs. However, one of the women we interviewed said she recently spent a weekend caring for a couple’s two kids in their hotel room so they could attend a local (to us, not them) conference. I don’t think it’s abnormal to book for care for one night/day.

  3. tartan bono says:

    Picky eater tips? Our 20 month old has never been a great eater. She was evaluated by speech to make sure there are no swallowing issues and fortunately there aren’t. But their tips – offer lots of things, cut them into fun shapes, let her play with the food, try different flavors of foods she likes (like mac and cheese) – don’t help at all. Our kiddo just throws things or refuses to try them and eats probably the same 5 things for her meals. FWIW, she appears to eat better at daycare but is still fairly picky there. Any tips?

    • Anonymous says:

      Include her in the cooking as much as possible. Kids are excited to eat things that they helped make. Make things that have components that she likes. For example, my child went through a phase where she loved carrots in casseroles and soups. I would put in tons of carrots and then put a bunch in her serving on her plate, and it would encourage her to eat the dish as a whole. Lastly, smoothies if you’re worried about her getting certain nutrients. You can hide pretty much anything in those.

      • tartan bono says:

        Thanks. She really hates casseroles – she’ll carrots, pasta, and chicken – but chicken and rice casserole with lots of carrots? Dumped on the floor, ugh.

        • My 3.5-year-old is picky in some ways, and getting pickier. Most of the tips you mention wouldn’t have gotten him to actually eat (fun shapes, different flavors of foods she likes, playing with food). I think some of it is personality–in other instances, my kid is not easily distracted, redirected, or manipulated.

          He definitely likes his food to be separated into individual components. If we’re having tacos, he will have a tortilla, a little pile of chicken, a little pile of beans, etc. Casseroles are a complete non-starter. Sandwiches get immediately deconstructed (even PB&J, which is as messy as it sounds). He doesn’t even really like mixing foods when he has control, so he usually rejects dips and sauces, unless they’re basically adding sugar to his meal (ketchup, syrup, honey, jelly). Mostly, though, he likes his food plain, or with just salt and butter. We just roll with it and put small amounts of components aside for him as we prepare dinner. (There are a few exceptions–mac and cheese, spaghetti and sauce, and red beans and rice seem to be considered a single “food” to him, probably because he’s been eating them for so long).

          For breakfast, he has 2-3 options to choose from everyday, and to be honest, they’re more about calories than nutrition. DH and I are NOT morning people, and 7 am is not the time we’re going to pick a fight about food. Kiddo also gets a multi-vitamin with breakfast, and fortunately, he loves it. We hear he eats pretty well at daycare, so we’re not too worried about that. DH picks Kiddo up from daycare with a snack, usually apple slices or raw carrots. For dinner, we try to incorporate at least one of the 5 foods we know Kiddo likes, and we offer him everything. Occasionally, he’ll surprise us and try and like something new, but it’s slow-going. Mostly, we’re waiting for him to grow out of this phase.

          It definitely helps to involve him in meal prep. As much as it can be a pain, it helps to take him to the grocery store or farmer’s market and let him pick some stuff out. Somehow, in the store, a yellow bell pepper or broccoli is much more exciting.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes. And then I say something like “And this is the yummy yellow pepper Kiddo picked out for us! Remember going to the store and finding this pepper, Kiddo?” when we have it.

          • Anon in NYC says:

            Yes, my 3 year old is definitely getting pickier. She rejects certain types of mac and cheese (baked with breadcrumbs? blasphemy), and all sorts of stuff. Yet at the same time, I’m honestly surprised when she likes other things – chicken with taco seasoning, for example.

            Having her make choices at the grocery store does help – which color pepper do you want? Which apple would you like to eat? Do you want strawberries or raspberries?

            20 months might be a little young for that sort of stuff, but you never know!

          • Fair point on age appropriateness–IIRC, around 20 months, we would take Kiddo to the grocery store, talk through our list, show him the produce we were buying, let him smell it, talk about it (color, shape, texture), and let him drop it in the produce bag or in the grocery cart. He wouldn’t have been old enough to make choices, but we tried to involve him in the process.

          • avocado says:

            Yes x1000 to deconstructing foods. Casseroles are the devil.

    • Annie says:

      No help but commiseration. We basically just go with it and are glad she gets a wider range of foods at daycare.

    • I would just keep offering in a low pressure environment, and not let her choose what gets served. We tend to do 1-2 things we know the kids will eat, and the rest is whatever we are eating (for example I’ll add hummus and fruit as a side for them if I don’t think they will like the main). Then we full on Satter Method in our house, but I know that doesn’t work for every kid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you eat supper/breakfast with her? We always had the best luck with eating the same food at the same time as our kids.

      For cutting stuff up, I bought tiny cookie cutters and use that for lots of fruit like apples/peaches/pears. I just sit at the table, slice off a large thin piece and pop out a couple shapes. Thin strips can also be ‘sticks’ which can be built into campfires or towers.

      Keep offering different stuff. My formerly picky eaters will now eat risotto, pad thai, tacos, and lots of other things. Usually gets better around ages 3-5. Also gets easier when they are verbal. One kid hates tomatoes in his risotto but loves mushrooms so I just take the tomatoes out of his plate and let him eat raw slice tomatoes instead (which for some reason he loves).

    • Anonymous says:

      Let her eat her 5 things. She’ll grow out of it.

    • I have a picky 8-month old so I haven’t actually tried many of the tips in the book yet, but on whim years ago I read the book, “It’s Not About the Broccoli”. I loved the tips in it and the general philosophy. I would highly recommend checking it out!

      • Anon2 says:

        8-month-olds aren’t picky…they are just learning and getting used to a lot of new tastes and textures. My son refused every purée at 8 months and now, three months later, is eating more table food than his brother. Just keep serving him/her whatever you are eating. Playing with it, spitting it out, etc are all very normal parts of learning to eat.

    • bribing with ice cream works pretty well for us…

  4. Preggo says:

    Need pregnancy/postpartum bra help! I’m 6 months pregnant and bought a couple bras a size up early on, but now I’ve outgrown them. Smallish chest, went from 36A to 36B. Is it worth buying another bra or two now, or should I get nursing bras? Once my milk comes in, won’t they be even bigger?

    Also, any recs for somewhere in NYC to get measured but not be pressured into buying something expensive? I’ve tried using Reddit A Bra that Fits, but the cup always seems to big and band too (uncomfortably) small.

    • Yes, your boobs will get bigger when your milk comes in, so I wouldn’t buy a nursing bra yet. I recommend wearing Coobie bras for now if you can get away with it.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Bra extenders are my savior. I JUST sized up at 32 weeks, but I’ve always been largechested so I didn’t have much growth. The extra flexibility with the band size makes life a lot more comfortable, though. $5 or so on amazon!

    • Anonymous says:

      I found it helpful to buy bras in S,M,L sizes instead of specific band-cup sizes to accommodate changes.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a small-busted person and just wore Coobies when pregnant. I bought a couple from the website.

      And I often used the champion sports bras from Target in leiu of nursing bras unless I was feeling fancy. I spent maternity leave in t-shirts anyway. The bras were easy to throw in the wash and have air dry and would hold the nursing pads well (even if they looked a big odd).

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Seconding coobies. They were recommended on this site and were the best during pregnancy. I bought the nursing ones after the baby came and they were still great.

    • Anonymous says:

      Uniqlo has some great s-m-l wireless bras that still have shape – I just got 2 and have been wearing them for the last 5 months. They work for a broader variety of sizes than a sized underwire. You won’t know what size nursing bra you need until you need it, but it’s worth being comfortable for the next few months!

    • AnoninNYC says:

      I bought cheap nursing bras when pregnant and, while the one I bought early on no longer fits (I’m 4 weeks postpartum), the one I bought later does. My boobs are definitely bigger than they were when pregnant, but my band size has gone down so it evens out well enough.

      My bras were cheap ones from Motherhood because I didn’t want to spend a lot and I had a credit there from some gifts, but I recommend the Towne Shop on the UWS for a great fitting experience and not a lot of pressure. Tell them you don’t want to spend a lot and they’ll try to show you their cheaper stuff. It won’t be as cheap as target bras, but they have so many different companies and styles that some are not super expensive.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am the same size as you and bought a couple cheap bras ($15 each) at Target for the third trimester. I’ve found the nice thing about starting off small-chested is that even with the growth, cheap bras still work for me.

  5. CapHillAnon says:

    Paging Inexplicable Diaper Blowouts from yesterday:
    Sometimes it isn’t just a question of fit. Make sure that the little strip of diaper that is beyond the elastic around the leg (the ruffled end that sticks out beyond the elastic) is entirely OUT and not tucked in or caught under the elastic. That’s a sure leak source for us. Also, to risk stating the obvious, the elastic around the leg should be in the leg crease (just like panties). It can be a little tricky with chunky baby thighs, good luck!

    • Anonymous says:

      What about leaks out the back? That’s what always gets us. We’ve tried several brands and bigger sizes.

      • lawsuited says:

        Have you tried Honest Co. diapers? I found that Pampers, Huggies and drugstore home brands don’t have as much reinforcing at the back and around the legs. The Honest Co. diapers fit really snugly at the back and around the legs, so LO can wear a bigger size without it being loose. We now only get leaks if LO’s diaper is too full.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          We typically use Honest diapers, and had to buy some Seventh Generation as backup, and they’re just not as good from a leak perspective, imo. The diapers are thinner and the elastic seems less strong. We’ve had 2 leaks in the past 2 days.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yup, we started out with Honest Co. and I have tried so many other diapers (Pampers Sensitive, Pampers Baby Dry, Pampers Pure, Huggies Snugglers, Kirkland, President’s Choice, Seventh Generation) trying to find an alternative but we always return to Honest Co. (usually without finishing the pack of other brand diapers) because they really do seem to perform better.

    • anon without a washer/dryer says:

      OP here. Thank you so much! And thank you to everyone that chimed in!! We’ve done Bambo, Seventh Generation, and are now on pampers pure, which I’ve been liking for the most part. We’ll try Honest Co. too and will try pretty much everything that everyone suggested because would definitely like to spend less time treating poop stains. I’ll keep you posted. . :-)

      • shortperson says:

        some babies just have blowout poop and its unavoidable other than altering their diet. this was my niece as a baby, no matter what type of diaper or other containment methods. as she got bigger we realized the cause was food allergies. :-(

  6. CapHillAnon says:

    Also, I’ll be the dissenter on maternity overalls. I think they’re infantalizing and not a good look for grown women. To each her own, though. We should all rock what we like.

    • Overalls just remind me too much of being 13 in the 90s and awkward. Not to say they look bad, but I do not think I could ever do them again.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I would not wear overalls in my non-preg life, and definitely wouldn’t start during pregnancy.

  7. Sleepsack to Blanket says:

    Thanks to everyone for the comments yesterday. As luck would have it, kiddo woke up in the middle of the night last night with a leaked diaper. Since we’re on the tail end of Sleepsacks, we don’t have a back-up right now. So I grabbed a throw blanket and told her she’d need to sleep with that like she does at daycare for naptime. She wasn’t phased at all and slept really well. I actually had to wake her up this morning, and she was still snuggled all adorable under the blanket. The only problem is that I think she now considers the somewhat unattractive Christmas throw blanket from a random gift exchange a few years ago to be her nighttime blanket. ;) We’ll need to pick out a new one soon!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha, we have a ton of adorable baby blankets, but my 22 month old has chosen a hand-me-down Mickey blanket that has seen better days as his favorite. I keep trying to swap it out, but he’ll find it and haul it back to his bed. “no, THIS blankie blankie!”

  8. seeking game ideas says:

    We’re headed to a lake cabin with cousins. Would like to pack a small, interactive game for the kids to play. The kids are 5, 6, and 8. Was thinking something along the lines of Simon says light up toy or saw something called “The Bop It.” Any ideas for something compact and fun for kids? TIA

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Bop It is really loud, so definitely don’t bring it out in the car! We have a 20 questions electronic thing that uses lowgrade AI to guess your clues, link to follow. I like knock knock joke books and Uno – play a hand with your 5 y/o and they shouldn’t have a problem with it!

    • Hi there says:

      When my kiddo was that age we really liked Zingo and Cranium “Hullabaloo”. The latter seems to be discontinued, unfortunately.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Someone gifted us a travel version of “Spot It” that’s good to play in hotel rooms, while camping, etc. and we all have a good time with it.

    • If an outdoor toy is ok, Stomp Rockets are pretty awesome and good for all ages. Frisbee are also are pretty compact.
      We also have good luck with Jenga. Checkers is good too- it’s simple, but seems adult like so kids are really eager to learn. (Though only two can play at a time, but I’ve found that the games are short enough that the other kids don’t mind just watching and waiting their turn). Chinese Checkers is good for up to three players. Just a plain deck of cards is compact and has lots of options- you can play “Go Fish” or “War” or some such.

  9. TLDR – I guess clothes just fit differently now?

    I joined Weight Watchers because I hadn’t lost any additional weight since the initial weight loss of, you know, birthing a baby. It’s been really successful for me and I lost more weight than I expected – I’m actually lower than I was pre-pregnancy and within a few pounds of my lowest adult weight. But many of my pre-pregnancy size clothes are still tight around the waist/butt/hips. I’ve already dumped the ones that just don’t look as nice now because they don’t fit the same, so that’s fine, but for pants it seems like they are just a little tight around the button. And I know with vanity sizing the size 12 of 2000 is different from the size 12 of 2018, but I’m literally 3 pounds heavier. Is this just the “your body is different now/your clothes fit differently now” thing everyone talks about? I’ve always been curvy and literally never had a flat stomach so those aren’t things I care much about, but I really want to stay around a size 12. I’m tall and already find it difficult to find clothes. Should I try to keep losing weight?

    Sorry for the novel. I just expected to be thrilled to be at the weight I was this morning, and I sort of am, but I expected my waistbands to stop biting me in the bellybutton.

    • Anonymous says:

      I really struggle with how pants fit currently with the mid-rise crap. It hits me at my most unflattering spot. Bring back the low rise, please!

    • Anonymous says:

      I would stick with WW but focus on the activity side of the program. Focus on activities that tone up the parts that aren’t fitting into clothes how you like.

      The scale doesn’t move a lot for me but my clothes fit better when I’m active.

    • It’s hard to tell from your post if you actually need or want to lose more weight. But I’ve found that, while I’m losing weight, just a few pounds can make a huge difference in sizes–I think because where weight loss shows up changes throughout the process. So, for example, I might lose 10 lbs and be pretty much the same size because it came off an area that’s not really the limiting factor size-wise, and the next 3 lbs of weight loss finally shows up in my waist, bust, and hips, and all of a sudden (but not really), I’m down a size. That’s just personal experience, and everyone’s bodies are different. But, man, I really wish I could target areas for weight loss because I can lose 20 lbs and just go down a cup size, which means I’m wearing the same size but my clothes fit worse, and anything new needs to be tailored.

    • ElisaR says:

      ok you just inspired me to do WW. I am 15 lbs above pre-pregnancy and what’s worse – none of my clothes fit.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      For me at least, even when I reached pre-baby weight on the scale, clothes never fit the same again. It seemed like my ribs and hips had expanded and just never got back to where they were. I got my top half back down to pre-pregnancy, but my hips were never the same.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Your body shape definitely changes during pregnancy and childbirth! Your hips actually got bigger during pregnancy, and there’s not much you can do to squeeze them back together aside from wearing a girdle during the immediate post-partum. I hate pants.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep. Baby took some inches from my hips and deposited them around my waist. I went from somewhat of a pear to a tree trunk and stayed that way. Post-baby, I can no longer wear the same brands and styles of skirts and pants I wore pre-baby.

    • Thank you so much for all the encouraging works (and Real Talk). I think I just expected to feel differently when I lost this weight, like, “I’m done!” I know that I have been lax in strength training and any working out besides walking, and literally last week starting working with a friend opening a personal training business. So I hope that might help.

      ElisaR, YMMV, but I found WW to be a very low-key way for me to lose weight without having to make giant lifestyle changes. I mean, I made minor changes, and had minor progress, so it took me eight months to lose 20 pounds. But it was also not really that hard. If I had worked harder or changed more, I’m sure it would have happened faster, but I ain’t got time for that.

    • shortperson says:

      celebrate your new weight by buying some new pants! i am below my prepregnancy weight but am permanently off of waistbands for work.

  10. Head lice says:

    We got a note saying someone(s) in the preschool class of my daughter’s daycare has head lice. Several of those kids have younger sons in my kids toddler class. So now I’m compulively looking. She has what I’m 99% sure is sand in her scalp….but maybe it’s nits? She’s not itchy. How can I know for sure? Looks like nuts attach to hair not the scalp, and that’s not what’s in her head. It’s summer. It’s sand. Right? :/

    I will DIE if she has lice. My preschooler (different school) has super thick hair and if she gets it…ahhh. And I have a baby with hair too. Ahhhhh.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you wash her hair? Sand washes out.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, DH did. Which means it wasn’t a great job (there’s still paint in it from yesterday…). I took a little clip and was able to gently scratch her scalp and remove what I was looking at- does that help?

    • Wash it. If it’s sand it will come off.

    • Anon for this says:

      Wash it. Then if you still aren’t sure, get a nit comb at the drugstore, comb it out, and compare what you comb out to photos of lice and nits from the interwebs.

      It can take weeks after an infestation begins for the itching to start.

      If your kids do end up with lice, I highly recommend the lice salons that will comb the bugs and nits out and guarantee their work. Pricey, but so very very worth it.

      • ElisaR says:

        my mom went crazy when I was a kid because she thought I had lice. She finally took me to the pediatrician and the ped was like “um that’s dandruff”

      • In my area, there’s a mobile lice removal service that will come to your house and apply the treatment. I think it’s around $100. My kid hasn’t had lice yet, but I’ve talked to many parents who heap praises on this service.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      You won’t die, but it SUUUUUCKS. We (have) had it 4 or 5 times starting around age 4, including a super fun case where my teenage stepdaughters also had it at the same time. All the tips above are good, and there’s a little battery operated comb that kills the adult lice, too. We’ve done the lice lady before, and unfortunately, it takes care of the current case, but once lice is in your community it’s likely to return. (It’s like preschool whackamole, and you can’t comb the other kids’ hair.)

      Also, if she can bear it, a mom friend who is a haircare research scientist at PG used Head N Shoulders as a preventive for her kids while it was going around. I also use the tea tree/essential oil scented stuff, but I don’t think it actually works.

      Hugs. And I really hope you guys don’t have it.
      I can always become a professional lice lady if my day job falls thru

      • Anonymous says:

        More ways to prevent lice infestation:

        Keep long hair up in a tight braid or bun
        Coat hair with leave-in conditioner or another oily substance (and/or wash hair less frequently) so lice can’t grab on
        Instruct kids not to hug other kids
        Make sure coats and backpacks are hung up properly at day care/school and are not left on the floor or hung up touching other kids’ things

    • Head lice says:

      Ok, I’ve determined we’re ok for now. No adult lice, I combed through the whole area and only found a few specs which scratched off with my fingernail. Assume they were dirt or sand. I may buy some shampoo just to ease my mind/as a precaution. She’s not itchy either.

  11. Parents of older kids: Do kids reeeaaally need a booster seat? Or can they stay in their 5-pt harnesses until they’re giant elementary school kids and ready to use the regular seatbelt on its own?

    Basically, I am trying to figure out what kind of car seat to buy for my two kids.
    #1 is a small 4.5 y.o., who uses a convertible car seat and is far from ready to switch to a booster.
    #2 is a small 1.5 y.o. ready to move on from the bucket-style infant carseat.
    We have two convertible carseats for #1 (one for each car) and I am wondering whether to buy two more convertible car seats for #2, or if I should spring for two All-in-ones that will turn into booster seats for #1 when she is ready. Will my kids be fine in their convertible car seats until they hit the weight limits? Or will they demand a booster so the AIO is the best option?

    Help! I never thought I’d be spending so much money on 4 identical items that are so boring.

    • mascot says:

      My kid outgrew his Britax convertible carseat in torso height by age 5 (average overall height, low to average in weight for age). We moved him to a Britax highback booster with a 5pt harness. Around 7.5, he asked to start using the seat belt instead of the 5pt harness but he’s still in the highback booster. He seems to think it is more comfortable than the backless and frankly, I like the extra protection it gives. In our state, kids have to be 8 and 54″ before they can ride without any sort of booster. He’s a couple of inches shy of that I think so we will hold on to the high back boosters a little longer. We have bubble bum boosters that we keep for friends/ travel. I’d recommend the Britax highback if you want to switch your older kid- it will keep them contained like a carseat, but it’s more comfortable for bigger kids.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good point–there are two kinds of 5-point harness eats appropriate for forward-facing: convertible (works backwards and forwards) and “harness booster” (forward-facing only, but still a real car seat with 5-point harness). If the 4.5-year-old is front-facing, you don’t need to spend the money on a convertible for her, just get a harness booster.

        • Okay, this is all solid advice, thank you! Is the Britax Pioneer more or less what you’re thinking of in terms of a highback 5-pt booster?

          • mascot says:

            Yes- We have whichever one is the cheaper between the Frontier/Pioneer- we didn’t see the need for clicktight because we rarely move the seats between cars.

      • +1. Both of my (<10th percentile) kids are in the Britax Frontier right now. They'll be in it until they ask for the seat belt, which is when we'll convert it to a high-back booster.

        Like the other poster, around age 5 we bought some cheap Bubble Bum boosters for hauling friends or switching cars or travel. But they're not our regular use seats, and likely won't be unless my kids are like 12 and still need a booster, but are way too embarrased by the visible high back.

    • avocado says:

      Kids need to be around 4’8″ to use the regular seatbelt without a booster. It’s not just about where the seatbelt hits, it’s also about how long their legs are. My petite 11-year-old seventh-grader is still in a backless booster in one of our cars for this reason. We kept her in a Graco Nautilius with 5-point harness until she was nearly 8 because it was easier for her to use the harness than the high-back booster + seatbelt, but we also had a high-back booster for her to use in other people’s cars. She found both the high-back booster and the 5-point harness embarrassing when most of her friends were large enough for a backless booster or even no booster at all. All this goes to say, no matter how long you keep your kids in the 5-point harnesses, you will definitely need boosters at some point.

      We found that the boosters you purchase separately work better than the Nautilus converted to a booster, and they are super cheap. I would choose the seat that works best for you now and not worry about whether it converts to a booster. A convertible now plus a cheap booster later may even be cheaper than an all-in-one now. Not to mention, by the time a kid is old enough for a booster, the all-in-one will be really nasty.

      • Thanks for sharing this experience. My kid is pretty petite and I suspect she’ll stay that way as she gets older (I was the same). When you say it was easier for your kid to use the Nautilus 5-pt than the highback booster + belt, what do you mean? Easier in what way?

        • avocado says:

          With the high-back booster, the arms and sides of the booster got in the way and made it nearly impossible for her to reach or even see the seat belt buckle. We were using the Nautilus without the straps; it might have been easier if we’d purchased a high-back booster that was intended solely as a booster.

    • Anonymous says:

      I kept my tall kid in a 5 point harness until age 6 using the Graco Tranzitions. I like the seat so much I bought the same one for our other car. It’s now converted to a highback booster and works perfect for that.

      At least one friend still has their kid in a 5 point harness at age 7. The Britax Frontier (not sure if that’s the name) – goes to like 147cm before a kid sizes out – I think that’s what she used.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Hey, I have similarly aged kids. When the younger one outgrew the bucket seat, we passed the convertible down to him and got a Diono Radion R120 for the bigger one. We plan to keep her harnessed in it as long as possible; the weight limit for that is 65 pounds, and she’s about 45 pounds now, so that’s years away. At that point, we’ll either use it in booster mode, which seems straightforward, or pass it down to the younger one if he’s outgrowing the convertible and get a plain booster.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hypnobabies – yea or nay? I have had two vaginal births with an epidural, and I hoping for an unmedicated birth this time. I have hired a doula this time around. I am considering Hypnobabies for preparation. My doula wasn’t crazy about it and said that her experience has been hit or miss. A mom in one of the birth classes really loved it. My midwife practice group was neutral on it, but recommended a book called Mindful Birthing instead. Thoughts?

    • Knope says:

      I did Blissborn, which is also a self-hypnosis program but less prescriptive than Hypnobabies. Caveat that it got me through the first 6 hrs of painful labor, but at that point I just ran out of energy after having excruciating back labor and couldn’t keep going without an epi. I gave birth 2 hrs later (8 hour labor total), so I did think the method helped move things along. YMMV though!

    • I liked it for teaching me to relax my mind (I have pretty high anxiety), but I really think my yoga class that focused on strengthening labor muscles while mentally learning mind over pain helped so much more. I don’t really know which one helped the most, but I had my second induction with no epi/pain meds. I feel like I used the yoga techniques more, but I also had a painless ECV thanks to the hypnobabies relaxing, so who knows.

      It did help me sleep much better in my pregnancy.

  13. New job - formerly supportive husband now balking says:

    I’ve been offered a job out of state and it’s a big step up from my current role, in which I’ve largely been stagnating and unhappy (very toxic, unkind environment). My husband was very excited and supportive when I first got the offer – I’d actually considered it a non-starter bc other than my current job, I’m really happy here…my family lives here, and my kids are happy in their school, and I just love our city. Most of all, I felt really bad at the thought of my husband having to find a new job – he went through a period of unemployment a few years back, and now he’s in a position in which he’s thriving. But he assured me he doesn’t mind looking for new work and he’s excited, too, about being closer to his family in this new area.
    So – he convinced me I should be more open to it. And I started thinking it is a great offer, and letting myself get excited, because for me it genuinely is a wonderful opportunity. And so I accepted, with his blessing. But now -he’s changed his tune! He’s increasingly pessimistic about finding a job, and keeps talking about all the negatives of this — pointing out that retirement benefits are worse, that we’re going to have to buy another car, and he’s just generally being morose. And it was based on his encouragement that I even started to actually consider it! It just feels like such a bait and switch, and I’m sure I’m overreacting, and I probably should understand he’s just getting cold feet. But to me – I guess I don’t see what the point is in pointing out all the things that could go wrong…this jobwill enable us to buy a house (we rent now) and over the last week we were excitedly looking at homes. But now that I’ve accepted, what he’s saying is – ‘well if I don’t get a job, we won’t be able to buy anything.’ I mean, it’s just this insistent negativity and I really want to just back out.

    Any advise, wise ladies? Do I need to be more patient and kind in how I’m viewing him? I recognize it is a big change.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you talk to how about why he’s changed his mind? Did he start looking and find nothing so now he’s worried about unemployment? The reason for changing his mind is a big part of knowing how to respond to it.

      The biggest factor is that you are stuck in a toxic environment and that’s not a good situation to stay in. This job is a way out.

    • mascot says:

      Is this how he handles nerves? My husband is great, but he can be such a negative nelly when he gets worried about something and goes straight to the worst case scenario. The times surrounding job changes have been tense in our marriage. But, I know this about him and have learned to wait him out. If he starts in on an anxiety spiral, I give him a few minutes to work through it and then move on. I also know that he’s not the best person for me to spill my anxiety to on all matters, so I lean on my other friends for that. Sometimes you need to be able to “what-if” with someone who isn’t financially tied to you. It sounds like he’s excited about the end result, but getting to that result may be a little painful for him. Perhaps have a conversation with him along those lines.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your husband encouraged you during your job search, and now he needs encouragement from you during his job search. Obviously your husband agreeing to you taking the job and him finding a new job and moving your family to a new city wasn’t a promise to never find any part of that process difficult. His job search is pretty different from yours because he doesn’t have the option of just deciding to stay in his current job if he doesn’t receive a better offer, so try to be compassionate about that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes omg yes you need to be more patient. He is still going along with it!its been a week! Men get to have feelings too.

  14. avocado says:

    Working mom rant of the week: Why on earth would anyone have a kid’s birthday party at 4:00 on a Thursday afternoon?

    • All of my elementary school birthdays were on a weekday directly following school (maybe it was a Friday, Thursday does seem a little weird) – we all went home to my house and parents picked up later. I guess the car seat laws of today make it more challenging, but IIRC your daughter is older, so could she find a car pool? If the party is out somewhere, price/availability probably dictated it would be on Thursday. To reframe, you don’t have to plan your weekend around a party!

  15. Thank you so much, all! Such good advice from all of you, and perspective. I especially liked this: “Obviously your husband agreeing to you taking the job and him finding a new job and moving your family to a new city wasn’t a promise to never find any part of that process difficult.” It’s true – and I needed to hear that I’m being unfair.

    One thing is – he’s refused to even ask his current job if he can work remote, saying policy prohibits it anyway. I asked why it would hurt to ask – better than quitting – and he said “I don’t want to feel stupid, it’s clear they won’t allow it.” I’m feeling very frustrated and almost angry – why not ask?

    • Shoot, that was from me, “New job – formerly supportive husband now balking”

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Ugh, yes, I would be frustrated at that part too.

    • I understand your husband’s point of view. I’m pretty sure my boss would never go for something like that. I have a good relationship with him and want him to be an enthusiastic reference, especially since this is my first job after a period of unemployment. If I moved to a different state for personal reasons, I think he’d sincerely wish me well and give me stellar references, and might even put me in touch with people there. If I went to him with a request that’s so far out of touch with the reality of our office and his expectations, I’d worry that my request would diminish his opinion of my professionalism. He’d still be a reference for me, but possibly a less enthusiastic reference.

      • Ok – that is really helpful. Thank you.

        • Sarabeth says:

          Maybe he’d be open to phrasing like this (at the point of resigning, obvs): “I realize that policy doesn’t allow for remote work, so our family relocation means that I’ll be resigning this position. However, I’ve really enjoyed working here, and if the policy ever changes in the future, I would love to rejoin the team.”

  16. Basement Office says:

    Not sure if anyone is still out there…but it is time to re-do my basement home office. I really hate that it is in the basement but have no other alternative. I also work at home a lot, so it will get a lot of use. Any tips for making it suck less? I need something more inspiring and conducive to work as soon as possible. Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      I would start with:
      -Lots of lighting (maybe including one of those SAD lamps),
      -cozy rug,
      -dehumidifier if you don’t already have one in your basement,
      -office supplies and decor that are cheerful to you
      -nice office chair

    • shortperson says:

      i work at home 3 days a week and just redid my home office. i got a rug i love, a standing/treadmill desk, a nice bulletin board to put up a lot of kid art, and i had a ton of old photos printed as metal prints to have a family gallery wall. if i were in the basement i’d consider an air plant or something too.

  17. Random Spouse/Partner Question says:

    This is kind of a strange question…as you’re with (mostly married or otherwise combined financially) to a partner or spouse, to what extent do you discuss each other’s career ambitions regularly. I can’t say that hubby and I really do or have unless there has been a decision to make. We’ve just gone with the status quo, etc. But there’s a really big part of me that wants to ask where hubby sees himself in 5, 10, etc. years. I feel like I really have no clue whether hubby wants to advance at his company and, if so, how far/when/etc. I don’t necessarily care and want him to be happy…but I feel like I am at a bit of a career crossroads myself, and knowing his goals (which I believe he will reach if the desire is there) might impact my choices over the next few years.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Just ask him. I wouldn’t say that my husband and I discuss this “regularly” but we do talk about work and jobs in the sense of whether they’re satisfying, whether we can get desired skills from our existing role, what the next move might be, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Both my husband and I have significant career uncertainty at the moment, so basically all the time these days. Our jobs are secure, it’s more a question of whether I want to stick with mine through a major transition period when it will require an out-of-state move and has no long-term guarantees, and what options my husband has for either choice. I’m not sure my husband listens when I talk about my career goals, because I would be pretty happy to coast at my current level, or even lean out, but he seems to think I’m on the C-suite track.

    • Walnut says:

      My husband and I discuss regularly to ensure we’re unified as a family. Sometimes I set back for him job, sometimes him for mine. This is sometimes big stuff like job changes or pushing for a promotion. Other times it’s just looping the other in on a big project or busy period.

      Sounds like tonight might be a good time for a bottle of wine and a chat.

    • Anonymous says:

      My husband frequently brings up his goals for my career: eliminate travel, reduce commute, increase salary.

      • Sarabeth says:

        Ha. Hopefully this is tongue in cheek?

        To the OP – We talk about this stuff, not in terms of specific checklists, but in terms of overall goals. My husband knows that I want to get tenure, keep doing research, etc. I know that he likes his job but probably doesn’t see himself staying there for more than two more years, and would like to find something local (he currently works remotely). And we have had LOTS of conversations about how to balance our jobs against each other; he took his current job in part so that he could be flexible while I looked for an academic position.

        Is there a reason you feel like you can’t just ask him? It seems like a big missing piece of planning a life together.

        • To be blunt (and this is a judgment free zone, right)…I have a goal of a HHI increase going forward, and I want to know how that shakes out between us as it relates to my own career. Should I be going all in again after a few years of leaning out? If so, what does that look like for our family?

          • And I worry that it will come off as pressure or sounding like I am unhappy.

          • This is part of the hard work of marriage. You need to make sure your goals are jointly defined or you will be unhappy.

          • Anonymous says:

            If your goal is increasing HHI then obviously you need to work harder.

      • And that is exactly what I am trying to avoid. The plan would be to just listen and provide as little commentary as possible other than “that sounds great” and “you’re awesome”. But not providing commentary isn’t my strength.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          I think in that case, you definitely don’t want to frame it as “you need to make more money” but an overall series of discussions about life goals. Your life goals are to do ______ [whatever you want more HHI for]. What does he want? What do you mutually agree on? What is the best course of action? I could earn a higher salary if I go do something like X, and I think that it would help us achieve that. You could earn a higher salary if you did Y. Is that something you’re interested in?

          • Anonymous says:

            This. My husband and I have a loose “life plan” that we need to break down into some 5-year and 10 year goals. We’re on the same page in the broader sense: leave our HCOL area within 10 years, slow down, spend some time living abroad, get the kids launched successfully, and enjoy our retirement. But what we do in those next 10 years, and especially next 5, is wide open to discussion. We have very different HHI requirements based on different definitions of necessities, so different priorities for balancing free time vs $$$$. My job has more money now, his job has more prestige and long-term benefits, so when they collide head on, what do we pick? It’s a constant balancing act, you just have to talk.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Fairly regularly– a few times a year? But my husband is kind of a workaholic and has been pretty much sprinting up the rungs of the corporate ladder where he works to the point where I have had to put my own career on the back-burner to be able to support his success. Every time he’s about to be promoted or apply for another higher up position in his company, we talk very openly about the pros and cons and what it will mean for our family and common goals. I was mad about leaning out for a while until I discovered that I enjoy having a low stress job.

      I do have to say, that the person who posted either here or on the main s i te (probably there, based on how nasty it got) who had a very similar situation to mine (took a lean out job so her husband could make twice as much as she did at a high pressure job) about what would happen if her husband decided to divorce her is something that I think about too…. which we also talk about. He has assured me he has no intentions of leaving me, but these things happen.

      Basically we talk about it any time one of us has something to say or a decision to make.

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