Maternity Monday: Open-Front Cardigan

I did not know Autumn Cashmere is sold at Macy’s! Years ago, this was one of my favorite cashmere sweaters I’ve ever bought, and so it’s really surprising to see that Macy’s has so many Autumn Cashmere open-front maternity cardigans for great prices. This one was originally $250 and is now $70, and there are a bunch of colors, including brown and olive and the black pictured here. Maternity Open-Front Cardigan

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  1. Isn’t a maternity open-front cardigan just…an open-front cardigan?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think so too, but my maternity cardigan is a little broader at the shoulders and has more fabric for “coverage” at the front. My normal cardigans looked shrunken on me during pregnancy since my rib cage grew. And I was almost “all belly” but I still had to use my maternity cardigans.

    • This is what I was wondering too. I feel like I just wore my regular open sweaters last time around and was thinking about buying a new non-maternity cardigan for the fall, figuring I can still wear it after.
      FYI – the black color is showing up as $90 when I click the link, only the green and gray colors are $70.

    • 26 Weeks says:

      I bought a new open-front cardigan that’s non-maternity for this pregnancy. It’s got a lot of coverage and I can see myself wearing it through 40 weeks.

  2. EB0220 says:

    On this topic, favorite open-front cardigan? I perused Macy’s but couldn’t seem to find any that looked…stylish?

    • JayJay says:

      I don’t know how many are out right now, but the only open front cardis that drape well on me (show some shape and not just hang there making me look wider) are Karen Kane. And I’ve have them for almost 10 years now and they still look good as new.

    • Sarabeth says:

      I love the ones from Ibex. At least on me, they drape wonderfully and are cut short enough to seem passably professionally.

    • shortperson says:

      i love my mm lafleur morandi sweater. goes with everything and makes lazy clothes look put together. insanely expensive but machine washable so a reasonable investment?

  3. Violet says:

    Question about my toddler (he’s my first), almost 15 months –

    He is an active, joyful, “talkative” little guy at home, at daycare, at the children’s museum, and at most other indoor settings. When we go to playgrounds, the beach, the park, and other outdoor settings, he clams up and mostly stands still with a somber look on his face, not talking. He does like swings, but otherwise playgrounds are pretty much a bust. Yesterday I let him just stand around acclimating for 10-15min, then coaxed him up the stairs for the slide (took another 10min), placed him on the seesaw and rode with him for a bit, and then encouraged him to run and chase me, but he again just stood still. When he was 6-12 months, I didn’t worry much about this, but yesterday there were at last a dozen similarly aged kiddos at the playground and they were all zipping around the way he does at home. What is this, and should I be accepting this or encouraging him to come out of his shell more (and how)?

    • AwayEmily says:

      Does it happen even if he’s been there multiple times? My 18-month old is very cautious in new places (doesn’t want to walk, sucks her thumb, burrows into us) but usually warms up somewhat after a half hour. Then, the next time we visit, the warming-up takes only 15 minutes, then 5 minutes the next time, etc.

      I have some of the same worries as you but I figure that if they’re happy and engaged most of the time, then we should just be accepting that new places can be a bit overwhelming (and for your guy, it sounds like outdoor places in particular).

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yeah. My now 2 year old was/is like this too. We’d go to the playground and she’d just stand there, or the children’s museum and she wouldn’t want to leave my side. She’s just very cautious and takes time to warm up. As she’s gotten older it has improved.

      • Anonymous says:

        We had a two year old foster placement (so didn’t have him when he was younger, can’t comment there) and he did SO MUCH BETTER when we got there early. He could explore on his own with only a couple other kids around, and get comfortable with the setting, before the other kids got there. He was more confident then, since I would go around with him and check things out with him first. It made a huge difference compared to us showing up in the afternoon when the playground was busy already.

        • Spirograph says:

          Yes, my son was a lot like this, too, around two. To the point that, if he was playing on a playground by himself, he would stop and watch for several minutes if other people showed up. He’s 4 now, but still fairly risk averse and needs time to warm up to new people and situations. Less time than he used to, but noticeable. It’s very much a personality thing, although I think it also comes and goes at various phases. My daughter used to be completely fearless about new people and situations, but has recently (around 2.5) gotten a little more tentative and aware of other people in “her” space.

    • I think my daughter didn’t do that much at the playground until about 18 months. We did swings and some walking around, sandbox, but not too much active play and she didn’t have much interest in other kids.

      Also, I know it’s hard, but resist the urge to compare your child to others. Kids develop differently and it’s hard to tell their age accurately anyway. I had a major moment of panic because a girl in my daughter’s music class was saying so much (“please” and “thank you,” etc.) and was smaller than mine, and then I found out she was actually a very tiny almost 2 year old. Even now, I hear other kids talk more and my first instinct is to worry but I just try to remember that she is talking within a normal range and that, statistically, by 3 it all evens out. It sounds like your kid is fine by all measures. Maybe he’s a little more risk averse or shy; that’s okay, too.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      My 16 month old takes time to warm up at new places. Whenever we go to playgrounds, he doesn’t really do the “playground things” – mostly just walks around picking up sticks and pressing the button for the sprinklers. Sometimes he climbs up the slide structure when we prompt him, but then goes right back to walking around. I think the playgrounds are more for ages 2+, but we take him because we feel too cooped up being inside!! It’s soo tempting to compare to other kids, which I am guilty of in terms of his speech or lack thereof, but I’m trying to remember that all kids have their own personalities and develop differently.

      • I would love to know what playgrounds you bring him to, if you are still in the Boston area :)

        • Boston Legal Eagle says:

          Yes! We are in Brookline so hopefully this list helps if you are near that area. We’ve gone to:

          Winthrop Square (Coolidge Corner area – lots for little kids to do, and they have a nice water area. This is probably my favorite but it’s farther from us than the others and can get a bit crowded)

          Murphy Playground (Brookline Village – this has a water area too, which is a win for us, and it’s got a separated area for toddlers/babies)

          Cypress Street Playground (Also has a water area… can you sense a theme? Smaller than the others, but has lots of fields to run around in)

          Clark Playground (water area, of course, and there are lots of cool obstacle courses that look fun for older kids)

          Whenever I pass by the playground on the half shell (Back Bay), it looks fun as well, but we haven’t figured out the parking there yet.

          If you are in the area, send me your ‘r e t t e email and we can try to meet up!

        • Where in the Boston area are you? I have a bazillion suggestions for Cambridge and Arlington! And I agree, outdoor playtime is essential when you live in a tiny city apartment.

        • playgrounds says:

          My kids absolutely loved the playground on Lopez Street in Cambridge (I think the address is 34 Lopez Street). It’s fun for much younger kids than many other playgrounds.

          • That’s a cute one. Fulmore Park in Cambridgeport off Sidney St. is good too. In the summer, we practically lived at the Dana Park splash pad. Otherwise, I often run kid + stroller to North Point Park on the Charlestown border, or the Charles Bank playground near the Museum of Science.

    • Anonymous says:

      My kiddo really liked climbing stairs at that age, so that’s basically all she did at the playground. She much more enjoyed walking through the park, looking for squirrels, patting trees, picking up rocks (also climbing rocks — she’s a climber). So you can always try parks / botanical gardens over playgrounds if you want him outside. You can also try to go to your park off hours (no one is at our park before 10 on Sundays, except us) and see if it’s just that he’s overwhelmed by the playground or by the kids on the playground.

      Now that she’s almost two we have a set of “outdoor only” toys (soccer ball, bubbles, cups for water play, sidewalk chalk) so if she wants to play with them she has to go to the playground.

  4. AnonHyperMom says:

    Happy Monday! Our hyperactive 1 year old threw up last night and then decided not to go to sleep until 1.30 am. He is a very very active baby. My instinct tells me I need to change something in my behavior and his surroundings.

    Here is his regular schedule. He takes a morning nap and a late afternoon nap (wakes-up from last nap around 5.00 pm). Bedtime is between 8.00 and 8.30. I get home around 6.20 while he is in the park with the nanny. I go to the park and we continue playing and walking until after 7.00 pm. Once we get home DS is so excited to see his dad he wants to play. Usually the TV is on although baby is not watching. Then bath, crying after while I dry him with the towel and dress him (I always wonder why in the world he cries after the bath), bottle, bed. Our night routine is short. He wakes up to eat formula 2 times per night. He does not have the patience to listen to me read and wants to eat and toss the book. Wakes up around 6.45 am.

    He is very hyper during the day. For the past week or so he started having tantrums-he screams and coughs as if he is choking. Of course it is all fake. Once I give in and do what he wants he stops crying.

    Am I overstimulating him? My DH and I are not very calm people and we love to play and interact with him. How do I calm myself down so that I can tone down my baby? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • I might be misreading your question, but it sounds as though you are worried because he is go go go during the day – is that right? It sounds pretty normal to me. Our 14 month old is a crazy man who is 110% all the time except while sleeping. We try to read every day with varying levels of success. Works best if he’s especially tired right before bed. Our son has tantrums, too – just normal parts of development for us. Sounds like it’s normal to me!

    • Several ideas:

      If you and your husband are not calm, there’s a good chance your child is going to have a similar personality. Just go with it.

      Are you sure he isn’t just sick – is he a frequent puker?

      How old is he exactly – there are some big developmental leaps that happen around 15 months I think, and it was a bad time for sleep for us. And then dropping the morning nap causes problems with sleep for a bit. And teething molars.

      I doubt he really needs to eat twice at night at a year old, but if it doesn’t bother you than it’s probably not hurting him.

      The tantrums sound like they could just be normal toddler stuff – it’s a rude awakening when your baby starts becoming a toddler, but necessarily caused by something you are doing.

    • How long are his naps? My first thought is maybe he’s not sleeping enough? At 1, my daughter went to bed at 6:30. There were many days where she basically went to sleep immediately after I got home and a few when she was sleeping before I even managed that, but it was worth it for her to be well rested. Also, I think you should be able to maybe stop the night feedings at this point so he can sleep through the night? Easier said than done, I know.

      Another idea – have you tried massages? You could just get a soothing scent lotion to put on him after the bath but maybe those few minutes of quiet time would help set the tone for the night?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not wanting to ‘read’ or listen to books is super common at that age. Since no one is watching the tv, what about turning the tv off and putting on low key children’s music and doing less ‘active’ play – like trains, legos or putting his stuffies/dollies to bed.

      He’s not ‘faking’ it when he’s tantruming. At age 1 he isn’t verbal enough to try to tell you what he wants and crying/tantrums are often the result of that overwhelming frustration with not being able to communicate. It may not make sense to you why he is upset but kids in the 1-3 age range are just starting to learn about emotions. They can feel very emotional about things that may not seem like a big deal to us, are super important to them. That doesn’t mean they get to have the kitchen scissors or whatever dangerous thing they want, but it does mean that it is often more effective to acknowledge to them that they are really upset about being told no.

    • I have a 2-year-old who sounds similar to your 1-year-old (hyper, active, throws up when over-stimulated). We just went through some sleep issues and ended up talking to a child psychologist who specializes in sleep issues, and we’re seeing huge improvements.

      It sounds like he’s probably not sleeping enough. Every kid is different, of course, but it sounds like he’s getting fewer than 10 hours of sleep at night. Even with a nap or two, that’s probably not enough. When kids aren’t sleeping enough, they’re easily overstimulated and likely to throw tantrums. (So are adults–have you ever noticed you’re more sensitive to loud noises or bright lights when you’re sleep deprived?). It’s counter-intuitive, but they’re also more likely to wake up in the middle of the night when they’re sleep deprived.

      I would move bedtime earlier. Have your nanny bring him home from the park, and meet them at home. Begin the dinner, bath, bedtime routine as soon as you get home. Keep the TV off in the evenings until after he’s in bed–even if he’s not watching, it’s really stimulating. You may want to drop the books at bedtime and just do bottle/snuggles for now. Once he adjusts to a new bedtime, I’d also focus on getting him to sleep through the night without having formula when he wakes up. If Daddy gets home in time, he can do the bedtime routine, but don’t let it be play time or anything exciting. The bedtime routine should be as predictable as possible.

      Also, make sure he is getting a lot of active playtime both before his nap (assuming he naps) and before the bedtime routine. It makes a huge difference for our little one!

    • AwayEmily says:

      He might benefit from a longer uninterrupted night sleep…if he’s sleeping from 8:30pm – 6:30am plus waking up twice a night to feed, that’s only about 9 hours hours of sleep a night, and I think the recommendation for that age is closer to 11.

      A couple of options:
      1) put him to bed earlier (at a year, my daughter was going to bed at 7pm). You may have to move his afternoon nap a bit earlier to make this happen.
      2) eliminate the night feedings — at one year old, he probably doesn’t need them nutritionally, and it might be a tough few days as he gets used to it but then he’ll be able to get more sleep during the night.

      I doubt if you’re overstimulating him, though! It sounds like you guys have lots of fun together, and that’s awesome.

    • bluefield says:

      Since you asked what you needed to change (and with the caveat that these are just my opinions)…:

      I’m not sure this is having behavioral implications, but I strongly believe that one year old is too old to be waking up 2x night (or at all) to eat. I would stop that ASAP. I would recommend extinction CIO, but use any method that gets him to stop. You are not doing yourself any favors by continuing to feed him, and you are not doing him any favors – sleep training only gets harder, and kids need to learn how to fall asleep, and stay asleep, by themselves. Before you know it you’re going to have a 2 year old that wakes up twice a night for cuddles, and it gets old fast.

      Turn the TV off. Even if he’s not “watching” it, he might be getting worked up by the lights/colors (and there will come a time when he is watching it and you will no longer be able to turn it off because he will demand it).

      Stop giving in to tantrums. Once you say no, it’s no. The reason he throws a tantrum is because he learned that this is how to get what he wants (Mom says no, I scream and throw a fit, maybe mom will say yes). Easier said than done, but the most helpful thing I find is to think long and hard about what lines you want to draw. Obviously safety is a non-starter (although I am lax on safety – no to scissors, yes to some other dangerous-ish activities because if you fall and hurt yourself you’ll learn not to do it again), but things like what to wear, what to eat, what to play with – whatever. I’m not starting fights over those. If there is a tantrum, put him in his crib and leave. Tantrums get old fast when there is no audience.

      Afternoon nap seems late, and then he’s at the park very late. I would move the afternoon nap earlier (1-3 or 2-4) and have the nanny bring home your baby at 6 for dinner (when does he eat dinner?). 6-630 dinner, 630-715 playtime with daddy, 715 start bedtime routine (including bath), 8pm in crib.

      • CPA Lady says:

        ^ agree with all of this.

        At age 1, my kid slept 6:30-6:30 in addition to a nap from 12:30-2:30, and did not wake up to eat at night (she actually stopped eating at night by around 4 months old, but she was a big baby). Kids that old do not need to eat at night unless they have medical issues. Your kid will adjust in a couple of days and eat more during waking hours. It’s not just sleep that a toddler needs, but uninterrupted sleep long enough for them to get through all of the various sleep cycles.

        As far as tantrums, I put my kid in her room and shut the door and let her scream it out. This is personality-specific. Other kids do better with other tantrum responses. What your child is doing is not “fake”, it’s just screaming until you give in. My kid started having tantrums from around 13 months and is still going strong at almost three. The one year old tantrums were just uncontrollable outbursts of extreme emotion. That’s totally normal and developmentally appropriate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also offering advice since it’s what you asked for:

      It sounds like you are putting him to bed too late. This is probably why he’s melting down after bath – because he’s overtired. My DD does the same thing if she’s tired after a bath. I would meet the nanny at home, have dinner (he should be finished eating by 6:30), and then quiet playtime with the TV off, then wind-down with snuggles. In bed by 7:30 at the latest (although 7 would probably be better). I know its super hard not to play and interact with your kid much when you’ve been away from them all day, but during the week you need to focus on the dinner/bedtime routine and not playtime. They will stay up later as they get older.

      Move the naps earlier in the day so he’s waking up from afternoon nap at 4pm at the latest, but 3 or 3:30 is probably better.

      Also – he does not need to eat at night at this point. You’ll need to go through some rough nights getting him off the bottle but that’s probably why he’s waking up at night.

      • I agree with others regarding sleep being at least a good place to start. He has the same bed and awake times as my 9 year olds. At 1, they were going to be before 7. I also agree that it’s time to stop the night feedings. There is no way he needs them at 1 (obviously listen to your doctor if advised differently). I’m a fan of extinction CIO, although it is hard at this age. But basically, talk up that you are going to bed and you will see him in the morning and then leave and don’t come back. There are different methods if you aren’t comfortable with this or don’t think he will respond to this.

        My parenting philosophy is very close to – sleep is the most important thing.

        The books thing is totally normal at that age, as is crying after bath. My youngest HATED baths–screamed like we were trying to murder her every bath for the first two years of her life. Then, at some point, she decided she loved them and is practically a fish.

    • Anonymous says:

      Turn the TV off. If it’s on it after four at our place it adds an hour to bedtime. v

  5. Everlong says:

    For a vehicle with 3rd row seating, do we want captains chairs or a bench seat in the second row? We have an almost 2 year old and a -1 day old (c-section is scheduled for tomorrow!). Additional considerations include that we would use the 3rd row for passengers sparingly at this point in life. I imagine once a month we would want to include an aunt or grandma in a short errand with our family of 4. We hope to get at least 10 years out of the car so it needs to see us far beyond these infant and newborn years. We were pretty set on capitains chairs but could now go either way for various reasons. If we are open to a bench seat, we have more options in our price range. Right now, Highlander and Acadia are top contenders but if we’re willing to look at a bench seat, CX9 or Pilot would be added. Pilot with captains chairs is above our price point. Thank you!

    • Anonymous says:

      Definitely captains chairs. Carseats in those seats and adults can walk between them to go to third row. With rearfacing car seats, adults in third row can talk to/interact with kids.

    • ElisaR says:

      i don’t have a car w/ a 3rd row so take this with a grain of salt: captains chairs all the way.

    • We are really happy with our Traverse (sister vehicle to the Acadia) with the captain seats. It is so much easier to get in the back than when you have a bench. The car seats sit down a little further in them, so you might have to play a little more to get the rear-facing seats installed at the correct angle. The flip side is that we are able to use a backless booster sooner in the captain chairs.

      Our family of four picked it so that we are more comfortable driving grandparents around in one car. Plus we do a lot of road trips and it is great to have the extra space instead of being squished in a 5 seater! And it drives like a dream (compared to my 12 year old sedan with the shot suspension that I had prior…) It is a big vehicle, though — you can’t squeeze into tight parking spots. Let me know if you have other questions!

    • I’d go with captain’s seat in your situation. We have a Pathfinder, which has the bench seat and third-row seat. We use the third row seat sparingly, but it works for us because we only have one car seat, and you can fold and slide just one side of the bench seat. If we had two car seats though, it would be extremely difficult and close to impossible for me to climb in the back.

    • Anon CPA says:

      We just did this search! We’re about to have our third child, so we needed a functional third row – the Highlander’s third row is super flimsy, which is fine for occasional use but we didn’t want our oldest back there every single day. We went with the Acadia (we actually bought a pre-owned, because we preferred the larger footprint before the 2017 redesign). We narrowed our options down based on IIHS safety ratings, the need for the captain’s chairs, and then – A/C vents. Seriously. After coming from a sedan and a two-row SUV, we knew we wanted A/C vents in the ceiling for the comfort of the RFing kid(s). The only reasonably priced options were the Enclave/Acadia/Traverse and the VW Atlas (which hadn’t yet started selling their captain’s chair version and was also more in line with the Pilot model that has captain’s chairs). The Enclave is due for a redesign and didn’t seem to have nearly the bells and whistles that would have justified the higher price tag. The Traverse was fine, but definitely the budget option. Acadia it was! We’re super happy with it.

      I drive an Odyssey with a removable middle seat. While we’ve had just two kids, we generally leave it in – on longer trips, it was helpful for one of us to sit between the kids and on shorter trips, it folded down to house very useful cupholders. Unfortunately, that meant any extra guests had to sit in the same small middle seat or climb in through the trunk to the back row. :) We’ve now removed the middle seat, moved my oldest to the back, and have the younger kids in the captain’s chairs.

      • Spirograph says:

        I love the removable seat in the Odyssey. We leave ours out, but I like having the option. Once we don’t have two car seats in the middle row, I can see it being useful for carpools.

    • We have both. For our vehicle with the bench seat in the middle row, half the bench seat is folded down all the time so that my two older kids can access their boosters in the 3rd row. My youngest is then in the second row in a convertible. The plus here is that you can easily pop up that half of the second row for a backseat passenger without having to deal with carseats. The negatives are that the older two can really only get in and out one side easily (they are 9, so they can get in and out of both sides–it’s just more acrobatic on the side with the carseat).

      For our vehicle with captain’s chairs, we have one booster in the 3rd row and then a booster and a convertible in the middle row. Pros are that you can have two seats in the second row, and my son can get in and out of the third row through the middle. Cons are that we have two seats in the third row. It’s difficult/impossible for an adult to maneuver back to the third row between the two seats. My son always has to climb around his sisters.

      Honestly, dealing with 3 kids and both configurations day to day, I don’t have a huge preference.

  6. SUV question says:

    After test driving a number of SUVs we have narrowed it down to a GW Atlas. Anyone have one and want to chime in on what you like/don’t like about it? It drives well but my concern is that it is BIG – we do want a 7 seater but the size seems excessive.

    Our criteria – 7 seater with good amount of cargo space, third row that adults can actually sit in (not just small kids), Car Play

    Any other SUVs that we should look at? We looked at the Hyundai Santa Fe but my husband thought that the third row was too small for adults to comfortably sit. We nixed the VW Tiguan (too small). The Volvo CX90 is great but more expensive than what we want to pay. Nisan Pathfinder does not have Car Play (a must for my husband). We want a SUV, not a minivan.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you want an SUV with 7 seats, it will be huge. There’s no way around it. I couldn’t drive something that big so I got a minivan. I hate it so much that I own a minivan but it’s so much easier to drive and park. Parking those huge SUVs is a nightmare.

      • +1. I feel like a complete cliche in my Honda Odyssey but it’s freaking fantastic. It feels more like a car than a tank. Easy to drive, lots of room.

    • Have you checked out the Chevy Traverse/GMC Acadia?It has Car Play! I was just talking about it in the above thread. And honestly — anything with 7 seats is going to be big.

    • Anon CPA says:

      I posted above, too, but we recently purchased an Acadia and are extremely pleased with the purchase! We liked the VW Atlas, but couldn’t wait until the captain’s chairs were available. Also, it was more $$.

    • Crossover says:

      A 7 seat vehicle is just huge. I have a big crossover (a Mercedes R-Class–they don’t make them anymore unfortunately). I don’t think you are going to find a lot of people with experience with the Atlas because it’s new. Honestly, I would strongly consider trying to find a used Volvo. We bought our Mercedes a couple years used with an extended warranty, and it was less than half the price of the new model. 150,000 miles later, I still love that car and can’t figure out what I will replace it with.

  7. Everlong says:

    Should’ve added – minivans are not in the running. This will be my husband’s car, primarily, as he does most of the carting around of kids. It will be driven no more than 15 miles a day, most days. We hope to take 2 big road trips a year but most of the time the car will be needed to haul us and our purchases from Costco. We’re definitely in the suburbs.

  8. I posted about pumping on a plane/away from baby and wanted to share how it went & my tips!

    1. My biggest mistake was wearing my pumping bra full time for the flight rather than just putting it on for pumping – I have the Simple Wishes which is great but not at all comfortable as a real bra. I find for it to fit for pumping it needs to be pretty tight or the flanges don’t seal, and that coupled with my first time exclusively pumping led to severe engorgement in one of my b**bs. I spent the remainder of my flight frantically googling how to deal with being too engorged to let down (which was terrifying at 40,000 ft!!) and nearly crying from the pain. Thankfully, as soon as I got off the plane I locked myself in a family restroom (with the same level of determination as my first PP poop) and pumped while I very firmly massaged the lumps until one let go and then everything seemed to open up, thank god. I think I may have cried with happiness.
    2. Mamava pods are great, and the app is very helpful for finding places to pump when out and about. Otherwise family restrooms work well, which I read here.
    3. I ended up pumping in the bathroom of the plane because it had an outlet and I wanted to save my battery pack, but the outlet actually gave LESS suction than the battery pack! (This may have contributed to the engorgement on my first flight) On my flight home I just used the battery pack because the power from the outlet was laughable. I still felt more comfortable in the bathroom because not wearing the pumping bra (see #1) meant I’d have to maneuver it on in my seat, and even with a nursing cover I would clearly be putting on/taking off a bra (plus getting the flaps of my nursing bra down … I felt like I’d end up elbowing my seat mate in the face and probably flashing him too).
    4. I brought a manual pump and carried it when out and about just in case – I never used it but it gave me peace of mind.
    5. TSA was actually very accommodating – on my return flight I wasn’t subjected to any extra screening! On the way there they just examined my ice pack, which was frozen.
    6. I put all my pumped milk in bags and froze them and carried it home in a PackIt cooler (which I think I also read about here!).
    7. I was never questioned about having the pump in addition to my carry on and personal item, maybe because it’s in the Medela bag so the gate agents just knew? I did put the cooler in my suitcase because I’d read the cooler does not get the same exemption from baggage allowance.

    It wasn’t easy being away from my newborn (kiddo is only 6 weeks!) because he’s so small I had to pump every 2-3 hours around the clock, but I’m glad I did it. After this traveling when he’s 5+ months when I go back to work will be a breeze!

    • Congrats! Did you feel like superwoman, just a little bit? I did, on my first solo flight. You did a great thing for your kiddo.

    • Cornellian says:

      Thanks so much. I’m traveling and pumping for 3-4 days next month and trying to figure this out.

      • 3-4 days is prob the max amount of milk you can bring home without needing the milk to have its own bag FYI – the cooler I used was about the size of a small purse (fit about 50-60oz of frozen milk) so it fit inside my suitcase. Any more than that I’d want a dedicated cooler like the size you’d bring to the beach (or a PackIt that’s more duffel or tote bag sized).

        I also dumped some – partly because I was drinking and partly because I knew I couldn’t fit it all in the cooler I had. So that’s an option, too if you can stomach dumping!

        • Cornellian says:

          Yeah, I am going to be at a wedding (definitely dumping one session done via hand pump at the venue) and probably also hiking, so I assume instead of ~70 oz I’ll be bringing home something like 50?

          I’ve also thought of looking up milk donation groups out there and seeing if someone will come and pick it up.

    • This is very helpful. My guy is 6 months but I am traveling overnight without him for the first time in a couple of weeks and will likely have to pump on the plane. So thank you!

    • Katala says:

      Yay! You are amazing for doing a work trip only 6 weeks PP.

      +1 to the Mamava app + pods. Worth getting to the airport early enough to trek to another terminal to pump in a pod vs. a bathroom IMO.

      • Oh it wasn’t work :) It was for a very dear friends bachelorette party – basically the only person in the world I’d leave kiddo for at this point, she’s like my sister. I won’t be back at work til December and won’t travel til January so I’m hoping by then pumping can be more spaced out!

      • Sorry will end up double posting –

        Oh it wasn’t work :) It was for a very dear friends bachelor3tte party – basically the only person in the world I’d leave kiddo for at this point, she’s like my sister. I won’t be back at work til December and won’t travel til January so I’m hoping by then pumping can be more spaced out!

  9. avocado says:

    Replying to Everlong–replies will not thread on my phone. Captain’s chairs are a must if you want to use the third row while the kids are in car seats. If you don’t remove a car seat to fold the second-row seat, Grandma will have to slither over the second row to get to the third row. My young, active mom has trouble with this in my sister’s car.

  10. Violet says:

    Boo, threading won’t work on my phone today.

    AwayEmily – thanks for your reply! We mostly go to two nearby playgrounds, and I’ve seen no improvement at those, and he’s no better at the regular spots compared to the rare other playground we visit.

    Pogo – well done! I’m juuuust past the pumping stage, and get how tough it is. Great job!!

    AnonHyperMom – my guy doesn’t usually have the attention span for a book, but when he’s very drowsy, or cranky after first waking up, he’ll sometimes snuggle with a few books. These days, he’s really into books naming objects and some touch and feels, not really anything with a plot.

    I think he might benefit from an uninterrupted 10-12hrs of overnight sleep though. Is there a weight concern or specific reason he’s eating overnight? Can you slowly cut back the amount he’s getting? He’s also at an age where he’s probably understanding more than he lets on, and you could even start explaining that he will eat again when the sun comes out.

  11. EP-er: Paging moms of older kids! says:

    Hi Paging Moms of Older Kids — Yes, it is so hard right now. Yes, it gets better. My kids are 4 years apart. My oldest finally slept through the night consistently at 3.5…. just when I was so uncomfortable being pregnant I couldn’t sleep well. And my youngest also didn’t sleep well for 3 years. So, 7 years of sleep deprivation. So hard. But also so fun and rewarding. Now they are both in elementary school and things really are easier. They sleep and go to bed easily at a reasonable hour. They wake up by themselves and get dressed and breakfast independently. They need help with homework & going to activities, but they aren’t hanging on you constantly. I have a little bit of alone time now, since they aren’t so needy…

    I know our family is complete, but gosh I miss the tiny baby smells and snuggles. And the toothless grins. And the toddler joy of discovering things for the first time.

    You’re not being whiny — we all need to vent sometimes. You’re going to get through this. It really is the “longest shortest time” but you’ll be turning the corner before you know it! I promise.

    (Also, since when do we get Weekend Open Threads on the Mom’s site!?!)

    • I posted on the weekend thread if you want to go back and look (I didn’t post until this morning). But agreed–I have two 9 year olds and a 4 year old, and it gets better.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Mine is 7, and I feel like he became a human around the age of 4. IT WILL GET BETTER! I’m worrying about a lot of this too, because now I’m pregnant!
      I promise, one day your kid will sleep through the night. They’ll still wake up at 6am on saturday mornings, but one day they’ll be old enough for you to say “go watch TV until I come down” and you can sleep until 7:30. One day soon, they’ll put on their own shoes and it won’t be a production. They’ll understand when you’re sick and make an effort to entertain themselves on those days. They’ll hold the door when you carry groceries in and *almost* keep up with you in the grocery store. It does get better!!!

  12. Frozen Peach says:

    Augh. Feeling so sad for the victims of Irma. Trying to keep my own problems in perspective– we are all working from home today because it really wasn’t clear what would happen when the storm hit Georgia. It’s still not really clear how it’s going to impact the Atlanta area. My daughter was supposed to start her first day of day care today. Instead we are all cooped up trying to make the best of it and I’m busy trying to get something done and cover my conference calls. My toddler daughter simply doesn’t understand it when I work from home.

  13. Dropoff Drama says:

    My LO is 22 months old and is having a terrible time with daycare dropoff. He has been at the same daycare since he was 12 weeks old, and he has always been very happy there. He typically runs out of my arms to go play, or runs to his teachers for a hug. They all switched classes three weeks ago, so he has new teachers (his class is half old friends and half new friends). They are very sweet to him, and I have seen him react positively to them, but dropoff has become impossible. I give myself extra time to let him adjust before I leave, and even after hanging out with him for 15 or 20 minutes, it’s still a full-on, pitiful, “how could you abandon me” wail of despair every morning.

    I’m also 7 months pregnant, and while I don’t think he completely understands that, he does know something is happening or changing. It just breaks my heart to leave him there in distress every single morning. I feel like three weeks is enough time for him to have gotten used to the new teachers by now. I don’t know if it has to do with the new baby coming or his new teachers or something else. Is there anything I can do?

    • Anonymous says:

      I would shorten the drop off. 20 Minutes is a long time. Help him put away his bag/change his shoes/sign him in/point out an activity – ‘the water table with Friend looks fun’. And quick confident goodbye.

    • Jeffiner says:

      My daughter went through the same phase, and so did a lot of other kids in her class. Its normal. My daughter is less likely to get upset if she has something to do – like hang up her backpack or show her teacher her new jacket. Otherwise, I just rip off the Band-Aid and leave. I don’t know if its true, but I read somewhere that knowing you will eventually leave stresses them out more. She tends to cry more when my husband drops her off than when I do. He gets really upset seeing her so upset as well, and I think she picks up on that. Mommy is heartless, and knows she will be fine.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      So my kid is older than yours (2.5), but something that’s been bizarrely effective is to tell her, “ok, i’m going to go now, remember not to cry and scream. you’re going to have such a good day!” and then we do all the hugs and kisses. She actually asked me to tell her not to cry and scream (she makes the same request when we put her to bed: I’m supposed to say, “night night, I love you, remember not to cry and scream”) and maybe the reminder helps her? Like just because wailing is a habit doesn’t mean it’s how it has to go?

  14. Apparently it is tie dye day at The Kid’s school on Friday for a Hurricane Irma benefit (last week’s benefit was crazy hats for Harvey). Their goal is 100% participation. I have a long sleeve tie dyed t-shirt for The Kid, but it is going to be 90 degrees here that day so I expect that is a non-starter. I am happy to send some money for The Kid to donate for things like this, but the clothes part is going to send me over the edge.

    Is it wrong of me to take the position that if they want everyone to wear tie dye, then they should have a tie dying day at school? We already have had school color day and crazy hat day and apparently mismatched sock day is coming, but this is just beyond.

  15. FET this afternoon. Suddenly feeling anxious about Everything. Please send sticky wishes, calming vibes, and even happy stories!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Good luck!

    • No experience here, but lots of sticky wishes and calming vibes coming your way! Will be thinking of you.

    • Anon for this says:

      Probably too late for you to see, but thinking good thoughts for you! A happy story–I’m 18 weeks pregnant following an FET. Took two tries to figure out what worked for me (IM prog + prog suppositories… it was super-awesome), and it was harder than I expected to get that first negative despite being fully prepared for the news, but it did work out for me in the end.

    • Good luck!!! Remember that the embryo, once in, is like a pea in a peanut butter sandwich…it can’t fall out from sudden movements, etc. That said, you definitely deserve to take the afternoon to put your feet up, turn on Netflix, and come up with things to keep your mind occupied for the next 10 days :)

    • Aww good luck! I didn’t believe people when they said eventually it would feel like so long ago and not a big deal.. Now watching my 6 week old nap, I realize I’d forgotten all about those dang progesterone suppositories!

  16. Looking for recommendations for chore charts and morning-routine type charts. I have a 6.5 year old and 4 year old. My 6 year old is very much a rule-follower, and I think he would respond well to a chart listing out (in pictures or with words) what needs to happen in the morning versus me getting increasingly frustrated that he hasn’t put on his shoes yet. My 4 year old dresses herself and brushes her teeth before coming down for the morning, so I’m thinking the chore chart would be good for her. My preference would be to buy something as opposed to making it myself, but I’m open to a website where I pay for pieces to put it together (i.e. I don’t have the patience for Pinterest projects).

  17. Strategy mom says:

    Nanny thinks my husband’s job is so much more important/hard and it drives me crazy. I know it is petty and I need to get over it, but I work my but off and bring home 40% of the bacon and it just makes me feel insulted! ugh

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Ew! How annoying! It’d be frustrated too :(

    • My MIL is this way. I grin and bear it, but it hurts. Is nanny older? I think it’s a genational thing with MIL – she doesn’t realize women can be strong professionals too.

  18. Rainbow Hair says:

    Oh friends… I am taking my 2.5 year old to Alaska for 10 days. (I am just totally outing myself here, but whatever.) And it’s a work trip for me too. Packing is going to be a nightmare.

    It will be cold and wet, I expect, so that requires a lot of clothes for the toddler especially. Probably two pairs of sneakers and a pair of boots. A poofy coat and a rain coat and hoodies and a million pairs of leggings. And for me, fashion boots and sneakers and heels, I guess. Maybe two pairs of heels because there are so many different levels of formality for this event. And a formal dress and a dress for a themed party and suits and business casual and jeans for outdoorsy stuff…

    The fact that I’m going to be there for 10 days with a toddler totally excuses bringing a huge suitcase, right?

    Any advice on traveling somewhere cold and wet with a toddler? (She’s such a California girl. Last year this event was in the southwest and I put her in her stroller and pushed her outside and she said in her sweet baby voice, “wery cold!” — it was 60 degrees.)

    • Oh yeah, as big as you need.
      I get minimalist packing or one bag travel for logistical reasons, or even to stick it to the airlines for their pricing schemes. But for the piece of mind of having enough extra clothes to keep both of you warm, and you feeling like you’re dressed for all the different activities, is worth whatever baggage fee.

      Hat and mittens can help a lot with feeling warm, if she’ll keep them on. Putting the hoodie up over the hat sometimes helps keep it on.

    • 26 Weeks says:

      Hello! I’m in Alaska with a toddler. Here’s what he’s wearing right now:

      Outside for 5 minutes: fleece zip-up jacket and sneakers, or lightly lined rain jacket or rain suit with rain boots, depending on activity. At this point, no gloves or hat, unless it’s early morning. I would bring both gloves and hat when you come up here.

      My favorite rainsuit is the Oakiwear Trail. It runs a little large, but cinches down really well and uses neoprene for the adjustable ankle straps. Kiddo has been in a size 3T since 18 months old. For boots, we’re wearing the very packable MyMayus, but beware that they don’t have very much grip on the bottom. They’re no good for ice (we shouldn’t have our first snow in Anchorage until October, so depending on travel dates, you’re fine).

      Son isn’t wearing hoodies at the moment, so personally that seems a little like overkill if you’re going to pack a puffy coat (and want to save on space).

      I would bring for toddler: 1 pair sneakers, 1 pair rain boots, 1 rain suit, 1 fleece or puffy jacket, 1 pair hat and mittens (fleece?). You could bring a second pair of sneakers, but as long as you wear the rain boots when it’s wet out, you shouldn’t need them. We’re in long pants up here year-round, so definitely long pants. Kiddo is in sweatpant/jogger style boy’s pants (thick cotton?), so I might swap out some thin leggings to thicker jeans/fleece leggings/etc?

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        So when it rains is it like, really wet rain? (Oh my gosh have mercy on me I know how ridic this sounds but like… some places are sort of drizzle wet, rain coat is fine, and some places you’re basically walking through a car wash when it rains and you can’t avoid getting soaked, y’know?) Like, do I need a rain suit (or rain pants)? This may be the first I’ve heard of these things! Is an umbrella useless?

        Outdoors-y wise, we’re planning on walking on Byron glacier, and exploring the walking trails around Anchorage (there’s something by the water, I think?) — nothing strenuous.

        My thinking on the hoodie was that her rain jacket is thin/unlined, so if it’s cold and raining she can layer a hoodie under… assuming the puffy jacket would be too hot. Ugh IDK.

        For “pants” she exclusively wears thin cotton leggings so… hmm maybe I should look for a few pairs of fleecy legging things.

        Any tricks on getting her to wear gloves? I got her a pair of super cheap mittens as an experiment and she was not pleased.

        • 26 Weeks says:

          If you’re in Anchorage, generally it’s not downpour rain, it’s drizzle rain.

          You personally won’t need a rainsuit or pants. I usually use an REI brand rain jacket (layered with a warm layer, when needed). We are not fashion forward up here (although – I don’t know what career you’re in, so YMMV). I don’t see many people walking with umbrellas up here, if I had to surmise it’s because of wind/coverage/cold. You’ll want a jacket anyway, so you might as well be wearing a rain jacket. I own a travel umbrella, but literally only use it while traveling to other places.

          The reason I recommend rainsuit for your LO is that I expected you might go out and about, and given that it can be wet, and toddlers fall, want to play on the playground, or splash in the mud it’s a good idea. However, you may have a more well-behaved 2YO than I did. In kiddo’s rainsuit, he generally doesn’t need another layer until it gets cold (40?), because he’s generating a lot of his own heat and it’s all contained. We do wear long pants/sleeves. In a rain jacket, I would bring another layer (puffy, hoodie).

          Son still takes off his gloves, so IDK. Maybe the ones that velcro around the wrist will be harder to get off? We usually take him inside if he refuses to wear his gloves. Oh! Now I remember, get some longer gloves and then put them on first. Put coat on over it, they’re harder to get off. Bonus if the coat wrists are tight or the gloves are bulky.

          You didn’t ask for it, but try to check out two parks while you’re here if it’s nice (or if the clouds are above the mountain line): 1) Carr Gottstein Park and 2) Campbell Creek Estuary. Both are off the beaten path – you’ll need a car, but with a short walk you get a great view. The Coastal Trail runs parallel to the water (or the mud flats, as the tide goes out) for ~8 miles from downtown and is a very nice, easy walking trail. There’s a couple of playgrounds along the coastal trail at Elderberry Park and Westchester Lagoon, both are decent for 2YO.

          • Rainbow Hair says:

            Ah thank you so much!!! Yes, I should’ve specified Anchorage (ugh is this like when you say you grew up in New York and everyone assumes you mean NYC but you actually grew up in a one stop light town?) — I’m sorry.

            I’ll check out rain suits for kiddo — and for me, I’ll wear my rain coat and pray that I don’t fall!

            The park recommendations are super appreciated because my husband will be stuck amusing Kiddo some of the time, and I’m sure she’ll need to burn off some steam! I’m preemptively way jealous of all the stuff they’ll get to do while I’m in meeting rooms. Womp womp.

          • 26 Weeks says:

            Since your husband needs to entertain during the day, can I recommend:

            2nding Anonymous below – to Anchorage museum, if kiddo needs to be entertained. They have a good indoor playspace that’s perfect for 2 YO.

            Mall walking! Not just for the elderly. We live on the south side of town, so we usually hit the Dimond Center, but the downtown mall will be fine for 2YO mallwalkers.

            Kaleidoscape Play Studio (recommended by a friend with a 2YO). I have never been, but one of my friends goes every Saturday. Big, open playspace.

            Calendar of events on the book-of-faces page “Anchorage with Kids”. They have a good list of things to do for the month.

            Anchorage Zoo is actually really nice, has local and rescue animals. If you’re heading toward Byron Glacier, you could alternatively do the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Zoo is better for little walkers, AWCC may be cooler for adults.

            Other nonsolicited reccs:

            You should grab coffee at whatever Kaladi Brothers is closest to you, it’s our ubiquitous coffee shop with good coffee. Our local downtown ice cream shop (Wild Scoops) is also great, with ~10 rotating flavors.If you’re stopping in Girdwood, Jack Sprat or The Bake Shop are both delicious (at Bake Shop – get a cinnamon roll with your order).

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m also in Anchorage with two toddlers. I agree with much of what 26 Weeks said. I would suggest that if your daughter gets cold easily, you might focus on base layers instead (I’m partial to Smartwool) which will regulate her body temperature. Cotton next to her skin can easily make her cold. As noted, we are not a very dressy place and technical wear reigns supreme (and is easy to find if you discover you’ve shown up with the wrong stuff). You know your work needs best, but I’m not sure two pairs of heels are necessary.

      I’d also add that the Anchorage Museum downtown has a kids space worth checking out. If you go out to Byron Glacier, stop in Girdwood on the way back and check out their fantastic playground on the main road. Have a great trip – Alaska is beautiful!

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Yes my plan was to drive to the glacier and then go eat in Girdwood! Thrilled to know they have a good playground!

      • 26 Weeks says:

        +1 to everything you said.

        I like CuddlDuds as cheap base layers for kids, easily found at Fred Meyer.

  19. Hope I’m not too late today for this – Does anyone here have the Rebecca Minkoff Julian bag (leather or nylon)? Is it worth the price, whatever that means to you? Other, similar backpack suggestions, especially for baby wearing with an outward facing baby? Thanks.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I got the lo and sons backpack and it’s incredibly lightweight and has a great organizer insert (which you can remove!) and I love it. I don’t know how it’d do combined with baby carrier straps on shoulders, though.

  20. Boston Legal Eagle says:

    Ladies – should we be weaning our 16 month old off the bottle for milk completely at this point? He gets a bottle (the standard Philips Avent kind) of milk in the morning and at night right before bed (after teeth brushing, oops. Will change that at some point…) During the day, he gets milk and water in a sippy cup. With us, he usually just has water from the sippy cup and doesn’t drink much milk from it. At daycare, they say he drinks milk from the sippy. We’re trying various straw bottles, but he doesn’t seem to want milk from those – will have some water from them though. I figure he will need braces at some point so not too concerned about that. Are there other reasons to get him off the bottle? Right now I think he likes the comfort aspects of having milk in a bottle.

    • We’ve been thinking about this too. Our 14 mo still does milk in the bottle. Sippy cups are for flinging to the floor, regardless of whether they have milk or water. So we’ve kept milk in bottles because he’ll actually carry it around and drink it that. I’m starting to feel some mom guilt, though.

      Also, we really have to get into a tooth-brushing routine. What do you do, Boston LE?

      • Anon in NYC says:

        For toothbrushing, at that age, we just really tried to make it “fun” so if she was having a meltdown we just didn’t do it. We tried to do morning and night. Our dentist said that if you can only brush your kid’s teeth once a day, try to make it the night/pre-bed brushing (although obviously do both if you can). For us, brushing her teeth in the bath was the easiest way to do this. Now that she’s a little older we do the “hunting bunnies” trick that someone on here used and IT’S AMAZING. We hunt for bunnies, doggies, dinosaurs, etc. and then she “spits” out the creature.

      • Boston Legal Eagle says:

        We brush teeth as part of the night bath after dinner but before the milk, and then again in the morning after getting dressed and after breakfast/milk. How much is actually brushed is anyone’s guess – I put baby toothpaste on the brush and then just try to feel for teeth inside his mouth. Sometimes he cries, most of the time, he just tries to take the toothbrush and plays with it or bites it. We actually got two toothbrushes, so one is for fun and the other is for more serious attempts at brushing!

        I got that What to Expect the Second Year book and I swear it said you should be flossing a toddler’s teeth in addition to brushing… Am I crazy or does that sound impossible?

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Get the flossers! It is insane (I really only floss between, like, 3 teeth, but my daughter lets me do it).

        • This is so dumb I’m embarrassed to ask, but are you using a regular toothbrush?

          Also what’s the hunting bunnies trick?? You hunt them in the mouth then they spit it out?

          • Anon in NYC says:

            You can find toddler or child sized toothbrushes on Amazon (or Target, etc.). They have a smaller brush so they’re easier to fit in a kid’s mouth. The hunting bunnies trick is basically that you have the kid open their mouth so that you can brush their back teeth, under the guise of “hunting” for bunnies or another animal. If I’m hunting for doggies, I make little woofing noises and ask my kid “did you hear that? I definitely see doggies back there!” and she thinks it’s hysterical. Then my daughter will tell me that she’s going to “spit bunnies out” and tries to spit out toothpaste in the sink.

          • Thanks! I love this. Probably lost on my son at this age, but definitely will keep it in my back pocket. I’ll pick up a toothbrush on Amazon and save myself agonizing over too many choices.

    • rakma says:

      DD1 was 3 before we could reliably switch her to a soft-spout sippy for that last milk of the day. The dentist has seen no issues from the late bottle use, either with alignment or decay. It was a comfort issue, and bedtime was not a time we wanted to have (another) fight.

      We tried the soft spout sippy a few times, and it wasn’t accepted well until one day when she pointed at it on the counter and called it a ‘baba’. That night she drank out of it, by the next morning all of the bottles were out of sight, and that was that.

      As for toothbrushing, we do that before the last milk of the day, after bath and PJs. Not optimal, but at least they get brushed! Brushing has been a fun activity since the last dentist appt, and the switch to bubblegum toothpaste, triggered by borrowing a cousin’s toothpaste on vacation.

    • Our pediatrician said our kid should be weaned at the 18 month visit (meaning at that point it was no longer advisable and we should have stopped). Reality is that we finally quit the bottle at a bit over 20 months. At that point we were only doing about 5 oz milk before bed. We stopped giving her a naptime bottle around 18 months maybe?
      She also had no interest in drinking milk from a sippy cup or anything other than a bottle so we just don’t give her milk now. She eats yogurt for dairy and I don’t think she needs the milk otherwise, she’s a pretty good eater. I have friends with older kids who still do bottles of milk at 2+ (and one kid who still does it at 8!). The ones who are older tend to be terrible eaters but I think it may be a bit of a chicken/egg situation.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Anecdotally I’ve heard that as long as you do it before age 2 it’s no big deal.

      BUT I bet it will be easier than you think. We did the following when she was 13 months and the transition went pretty well:

      – used the 360 cup for milk (less spill-prone)
      – started a routine that involved snuggling in mama and dada’s bed with the milk-filled 360, parents, and books (we built in plenty of time to drink from it — at least 20 minutes — it is definitely slower than the bottle, especially at first).
      – for the first week or so, gave her lots of food for dinner that we knew she really loved, so that we wouldn’t be worried about her being hungry at night even if she didn’t drink a ton of milk.

      – we dropped milk entirely for the AM feeding
      – we brought her from her crib in the AM and IMMEDIATELY put her down in her high chair
      – made sure that she had food she really liked (luckily that includes yogurt so we gave her lots of that)

      It also helped me to remind myself that kids don’t actually need that much milk — esp if they are getting calcium from other sources. So it was more about subbing in a new and comforting routine than about actual milk intake.

    • IIRC our pediatrician recommended we cut it out at 12 months and just offer milk at meals in a sippy. I think the main reason was kids that carry around bottles tend to drink a lot of milk and eat less solids, which can mean they eat less iron, which the body needs to process lead. I think I also read somewhere that straws are better for developing mouth muscles needed for speech development, and then there is the whole tooth decay issue at night.

  21. Toddler Sleep says:

    Need some brains. My 13 month old has started to get up at 5am. This has resulted in a quick cat nap either just before we leave the house at 7:30am or crashing in the car on the (<5 min) drive to daycare. She's down to one nap in the afternoon so without the cat nap, she's an absolute wreck.

    I've tried to let her cry.
    I've tried going in, picking her up, ssssshhhhhing, saying "night night" and putting her back.
    I've tried getting her, changing her, and putting her back.
    I've tried getting her, changing her, giving her a pouch as a quick snack, putting her back.

    She just looks at me, says "downstairs?" and points to the door. If I put her back, she fusses and will eventually just lay down for a bit after screaming, but never for more than 10 min.

    I've tried moving bedtime earlier (she goes around 7:30). I've tried moving bedtime later. Same result.

    And by 7:30 she's saying "nap nap nap."

    Ideas?! Her sister slept until 8am when she went down to one nap, so this is totally new. FWIW she had been sleeping to around 7 when we switched to 1 nap. There's no house sound at 5am to wake her (I got up early and checked!)

    • AwayEmily says:

      First: is there any way to let her keep having the AM nap, at least on some days? Or is daycare insistent on her dropping it?

      Second: if the AM nap is no longer an option, I strongly recommend THE MAGIC CLOCK (ie, the OK to Wake clock). It seriously changed our lives and yes it CAN be used for babies/younger toddlers.

      We also have an inveterate early riser. We introduced the clock when she was 7 months (so, much too young to understand it intellectually). Basically, we started by setting the clock to turn green very soon after she woke up normally (at that point I think it was also 5am) and we would make sure to go in and get her up as soon as it turned green, so she’d associate the clock turning green with “someone coming to get her.” Then we would move it forward a few minutes each day. So, she’d have to wait just a little longer each day for the clock to turn green. Eventually she did end up going back to sleep for one more cycle, because she wouldn’t work herself up with crying any more. She now (18 months) wakes up at around 6 and the clock turns green at 6:30. She chills in her room with minimal fussing until then — she knows that no one will come get her until it turns green. This process took awhile, though — probably a couple of months altogether? It might be faster with an older/smarter kid, though. I have also had friends successfully use this strategy.

      • The okay-to-wake clock changed our mornings for the better! It helped with night wakings too. I was skeptical, but the improvement was pretty incredible!

    • This may be a terrible solution but we bring our daughter to bed if she wakes up that early and she will usually sleep with us for a bit longer.

    • NOVA Anon says:

      Second the clock – and if you get one, consider trying the Hatch, which you can apparently control with your phone – it was recommended to me on this site a couple weeks ago. I have one that you can’t control with your phone (and turns out he is VERY attached now to this particular clock, so ultimately decided against making the switch to the Hatch, but definitely getting Hatch for number 2), and it did wonders for our once-early riser. We started it with him at around 24 months, but I know you could start it much earlier. Good luck!

    • THE FAN! says:

      I just went through the exact same thing you describe with my 13 months old as well. The thing that was the most puzzling to me is that when we traveled, she was always sleeping great after the jetlag phase. There had to be something good about those Airbnbs! We tried later bedtime, earlier bedtime, nightlight/no nightlight, temperature, pj/sleepsack combo, CIO. Finally, last week, I put a fan in her bedroom. While she did wake up early the first few days, she quickly put herself back to sleep and she’s now quiet until 6:30AM. Not sure if it’s the air or just the white noise but it’s working and saving my sanity.

      I’ll also add the usual disclaimer about teething. My daughter has had her molars and canines (well, all of her teeth really) much sooner than normally expected. Always worth checking if something is poking out.

  22. Anonanonanon says:

    Someone posted this tip a few months ago and I’m using it, so wanted to say thanks!
    Now that I’m pregnant, I’m looking ahead to when I’m home for 12 weeks (mostly unpaid) and the fact I’ll need to cook more to lower household costs. I’ve started writing down the things we regularly cook, as well as the required ingredients, on index cards. Every week we’ll pull out the index cards and use those to form the grocery list. It’s been very helpful!
    I make sure to write out easy meals on there too, so that when I’m home/brain dead with a new baby I won’t forget about those options. For example, I even have a “grilled cheese and tomato soup” card!

    Anyway, thanks to whoever posted that tip a few months ago!

  23. Family meals says:

    I might be late posting today, but I’d love some thoughts from ‘rettes who have big extended families and how they handle family meals. My four siblings and I have seven kids total — all ages 7 and under. To say that family meals are a cluster is an understatement. With spouses, kids, and grandparents, we’re talking 20 people. There is so much commotion and chaos, and a majority of kids still need help from their parents. Because of the size of our houses and the number of people involved, we’ve mostly opted for buffet-style serving and letting the kids go first. Which means a) in a practical sense, we’re not eating all together or even at the same time because it takes FOREVER for everyone to go through the line; and b) the host/hostess is constantly getting up to grab something and doesn’t actually get to enjoy the meal. Help? How can I make this better, at least when it’s our turn to host? Is this just the stage of life we’re in?

    At my house, the seating areas are divided up roughly like:
    – 8 people at the main table in the kitchen – We try to save that for the grandparents, but usually a parent/kid pair ends up there, too. No dining room, unfortunately.
    – A bunch of people sitting at card tables in our finished basement, which has a bar for drinks. – I hate splitting people up, but fitting both card tables upstairs is a stretch, space-wise. I do insist for Thanksgiving, though. ;)
    – 3 more people (usually the 7-year-olds and 4-year-old) at the kitchen island.
    – A table for drinks SOMEWHERE.

    Would family-style serving help? I’m always worried that it’ll be harder on the parents with toddlers, but it’s already hard, so … maybe it’s a wash? We had big family meals at my grandma’s growing up, and my mom has confirmed that they were not nearly as chaotic as ours seem to be now. In a few years, a dedicated kid table will definitely be more of an option, but I think my siblings would balk hard at having the 3-year-olds left to their own devices. In the meantime, does anyone have any bright ideas of how to get everyone served/fed in a timely way?

    • rakma says:

      So in a similar sized group of people, skewed more towards adults and older kids, we’ve made family style serving work. Some things that I think make it work
      -multiple dishes of everything. 3 bowls of potatoes, 2 of each veg, 2 of each meat, etc. Multiple butter dishes, gravy boats, bread baskets. This way less stuff is being passed around, and what you want is likely to be nearby. Also, the serving dishes can be smaller, and once emptied, moved off the table.
      -Simplified menu. (doesn’t work so well on Thanksgiving) a baked pasta dish, salad and bread is a lot less to deal with than a full turkey dinner.
      -10 minutes before dinner is served, everyone gets a drink and sits down, except 2 adults who bring the food to the table. Reduces the amount of people milling around (We have the youngest kids, so at this point we’re staring to prep their meals or feeding them bread to keep them corralled)

      On the other side of the family it’s a smaller group with more younger kids, we have instituted a kids table for the 2-4 year olds. It’s a kid sized folding table that goes to which ever house is hosting. Each kid’s parent makes a plate for the kid, and there will usually also be a plate of cut up fruit and veg on that table to supplement. It’s also placed right next to the main dining room, so easy to supervise and help, that probably wouldn’t work if it was in the basement.

    • I grew up with a similarly-sized extended family, and second rakma’s recommendation. We managed to fit everyone in at the main table, which had drop leaves that could be extended; overflow adults got to sit on the living room couch or the patio, typically. When the youngest got to about kindergarten age we did a kids table – usually a foldable card table that we all crammed around. Hang in there – it will get better!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Today is my 2 year old’s first full day of “pre-school” (8-6). She had some ease-in days last week for a few hours, but today is the first full full FULL day. I’m finding it hard to concentrate on work because I’m worried about how my little baby is faring. I’m less scared that she’ll cry and more scared that she WON’T cry – she has a tendency to hold her feelings in and not get the hugs she needs. This is so hard!!!

  25. Marriage advice says:

    My husband and I cannot stop fighting. It’s been going on for years. We will have a few days, weeks – and sometimes a couple months – of total contentment and absolute pleasure in each other’s company, and then either out of nowhere we explode on each other, or start bickering and snapping and oozing contempt. I would say on average it’s a few fights a month. And they are not always nasty, but when they are we say the worst possible things to each other. I’ve gotten better – he will say that himself – but he has gotten worse. He is quicker to rage, and crueler in his remarks.
    Neither of us remotely thrive on conflict –there are no makeup LGPs involved. We’re both depressed afterwards, and during. And there are much longer periods of no talk before resolution. I’m talking days – last time was a few weeks. It’s usually me that voices resolution, although he tends to take silent conciliatory actions along the way (making my lunch along with his, etc.)

    I’m paralyzed. I love him very much. He’s an amazing father to our toddlers. But our fighting is terrible for them. I know this. But I also know divorce is terrible for them. Obviously, divorce is better than fights. What is most important to us both is our children. We want to stay together for their sake – but also for ours, because we love one another. I’m in this awful cognitive cycle of thinking that it’s selfish to stay in this marriage that could be toxic for our kids, but then I think it’s awful to give up our marriage when THAT would be destructive to our kids. I imagine that many people will understandably say that a toxic marriage is worse for kids, and they are right. I guess what I want to know is if it possible to change this horrible dynamic. I’d like to know if anyone has come back from this. We have tried counseling in the past. It obviously hasn’t worked. We may start John Gottman’s 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work.

    Has anyone experienced anything like this? Is there any way of recovering? Thank you so much. I love my husband dearly, and want to stay with him – but, what trumps all is what is best for my children. At this point, both staying in the marriage and leaving the marriage sound selfish.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve totally been there. I’ve worked out how much I would need in the bank to leave. I’ve asked friends for divorce lawyer recommendations (under the guise of asking for a friend who is already divorced).

      We did marriage counselling for years with a counselor who got me through teenage depression. It was totally ineffective. We switched to a Gottman trained counselor and it made a huge difference.

      It’s not easy, sometimes counselling is hard but over the last year with the new counselor, things have really gotten better. What has made me stick with it is that many studies show that couples are not necessarily happier 5 years after divorce. And a lot of the things we were fighting about would have continued post-divorce because we would still be raising kids together. I focused on our good times and I’m glad we decided to fight for our marriage. It’s not 100%, but I have faith that it will get there. I figure we’ve walked through the ‘for worse’ part. We didn’t have drug/alcohol issues, mental health issue or infidelity – although there were a lot of in-law issues.

      It takes commitment to the process, DH just rearranged his day later this week because he forgot to block the counselling session time in outlook. But he made it work. I do the same, I haven’t had time for a pedicure appointment since May but I haven’t missed a counselling session.

      Last point is that I wish people would think of counseling as going to the dentist. Don’t wait until you need a root canal or false teeth, deal with stuff early before the rot and it’s a lot harder to fix.

      • Marriage advice says:

        This is so immensely encouraging. I’m reading it over and over. Thank you for your unbelievably thoughtful reply.

      • CPA Lady says:

        +100 to Gottman.

        We read his book “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” and it saved our marriage during a really low point.

        If we had to go to counseling I’d 100% look for a Gottman trained counselor.

  26. Marriage advice says:

    Any Gottman trained therapist recommendations in Chicago? I found a website featuring a few but would love first hand recs.
    CPA lady would you mind sharing how that worked? Did you set aside time each week to discuss? Thank you.

    • CPA Lady says:

      The book has exercises to work through. So we’d read a chapter and do the exercises, taking turns reading the questions aloud– not everything applied and we weren’t having problems in all areas (and didn’t have kids yet), so I think there were a few we skipped, but we did most of them.

      We had dated for four years before we got married, so we knew each other fairly well, but there was a lot we learned about each others communication styles and about each other in general. My husband is a very quiet, uptight, engineer type and I’m … not at all. So there were some surprisingly basic things we were missing– I always thought he hated my cat, for example, but it turns out that when he was making negative comments about the cat, he was perceiving his tone as “deadpan, but kidding” and I was perceiving it as serious. So I spent two years thinking he hated my cat and he spent two years thinking I knew he was kidding when he said he hated the cat. There were lots of big and little realizations along the way both how we perceived ourselves and each other and the messages we had grown up with.

      We’re still a work in progress. We had a terrible rough patch last year due to a variety of stressors, so I bought another of Gottman’s books (The Relationship Cure) to read as a brush up. I still havent finished it, but it’s very good so far. That book can be applied to every relationship in your life and I think it’s a good follow up to the Seven Principles one.

  27. Marriage advice says:

    I can’t tell you how much this helps. I’m feeling incredibly encouraged by your and the kind poster’s feedback above. The example you gave resonated profoundly– I suspect we have multiple such miscommunications, which seems like such a nondescript thing, and yet can have devastating consequences, stacked on top of one another.

    I will report back. I’m feeling much less hopeless. There is, and I hate to sound corny, so much kindness on this board.

  28. Goingback says:

    I go back to work in a week and am freaking out about if I should have done more to improve the sleeping situation with her. She’s 16 weeks.

    She sleeps every 1 to 1.5 hours for about 30 minutes in the day and goes down easily in her crib drowsy but awake after a book and rocking for 5 minutes between 630 to 700 pm. I pat her a few times in her crib and she’s asleep.

    She sleeps well until about 10 pm, when she needs to eat. After 10, she’s up every 1 to 3 hours. The every 3 hour wakeup are manageable, but every hour feels unbearable some days. She eats for less than 5 minutes and immediately sleeps, so it’s not terrible but blah. It wears on me. I bring her to bed after midnight because walking across the hall to her room is too much.

    She’s been rolling over both sides, so we use a zippadee zip rather than a traditional swaddle. No white noise because she seems to like it quiet.

    How do I help her sleep better or longer or do we just slog through? I feel bad sleep training until after 6 months when i know she’s probably okay to not eat.

    • First, just wanted to say that everything will be okay. I had a similar freak out a week or two before going back to work, also at about that age, and it was easier than I thought it would be. Second, don’t worry too much about this – a big sleep regression happens around 4 months so anything you do may get undone anyway. I think it’s totally fine to just be in survival mode and figure out how to get thru week to week. You don’t say what your child care situation will be but if it’s day care, they will deal with getting your daughter on a nap schedule and if it’s a nanny/family arrangement, she can continue at her own pace.

      I think the thing to tackle is your nighttime situation so you can get some longer chunks of uninterrupted sleep. At that age, I found having my daughter in the room helped because I could just lean over tot her back to sleep. And yes I brought her to bed because half asleep nursing is easier. But I think she slept somewhat longer intervals – usually she’d be up once or twice a night, and I also fed her before going to sleep for the night. In your situation, I would leave a small bottler two for her and if you can, have your partner give it to her. It may also help break the association between nursing and soothing vs. needing to eat. I also think it will get easier as you start to introduce food, which we did around 4 months. Yes, it’s mostly for fun at that stage but I noticed an improvement in sleep anyway. Finally, depending on what you feel comfortable with, maybe see what happens if you don’t respond right away. Some times babies will fuss for a minute or two and then get right back to sleep.

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