Finally Friday: Fitted Tee Dress

Weekend Dress: Old Navy Fitted Tee DressOld Navy has had these simple t-shirt dresses for years, and a few years ago I got one — and not only is it still wearable, but I still want to wear it. It’s a bit casual for work, although I have worn it to work-related lunches and the like (with a statement necklace and decent shoes) and felt comfortable. The real glory of this dress is in the easy summer wear, particularly with kids — throw on some slipshorts, pair it with sandals or another comfortable shoe like Toms, and look like the most put-together mom at the playground or at brunch. Pro tip: if you really prefer a longer length, try the tall size — one of my girlfriends does that with ON tanks, and I occasionally do it with dresses as well as easy tees I plan to wear with leggings at the gym. It’s available in regular, petite, and tall sizes for $17-$26. Old Navy Fitted Tee Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.



  1. Newbie Mom says:

    I’m going to an all day cle, would it be appropriate to email the organizer to ask about a lactation room? What would I say? ‘I’m breastfeeding and need a room to pump’?

    • Yep, exactly that. I’m sure the organizer has dealt with it before and can find you a decent (non-bathroom) space.

    • twin mom says:

      I just did this yesterday for a startup conference! I told them I am a nursing mom and require a private room with an outlet during the lunch break in order to be able to attend the full day, and would appreciate the accommodation. I’m’ all set.

      I was really proud of myself for asking instead of trying to use the bathroom or something. I think we just need to keep normalizing it…

    • Edna Mazur says:

      I’ve sent that email several times. I think I just asked about a room for nursing mothers. Some facilities are great, some are awkward but get the job done, but I’ve never had anyone be unaccommodating.

  2. ON lengths have been ridiculous lately. I used to buy dresses in petite all the time but the last year or so, the petite length has been way too short. I’m only 5’2. But I am interested in this dress. I’ve never been much of a dress person but last summer when I was pregnant they were all I wanted to wear, and given that a lot of my pants still don’t fit well, I might get a few new ones for this summer.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Yes, I liked the general look of this dress, but they only have the tall size left in small, and the regular is way too short for my comfort. Plus I probably would want something less straight/fitted to accommodate my generous hips and rear.

      Although I’m not sure how much the lengths are ridiculous as much as it is that I’m no longer their target demographic – because I know I would have worn this length dress in high school and college (or shorter) and would have turned up my nose at my current requirement that my dresses at least graze the top of my kneecap. Sigh. I feel old today. Or maybe I just miss my college body that I didn’t appreciate for what it was at the time.

      The plus sized dress was a maybe for me, but I don’t think I’d want to wear 50% polyester in the summer. Cotton and rayon/modal I can do, but I typically get too sticky in poly.

      • Yeah, I thought about that too (target demographics), but I have petite dresses from 2-3 years ago that are a several inches longer than the ones I’ve recently tried. I bought a sweaterdress over the winter that barely covered my rear – and it was definitely intended to be a dress, not a tunic.

        Oh, college body. I’m sorry I said such bad things about you at the time. Come back.

      • TheElms says:

        Meg Murry – you might try Lands End. They have a good selection of ponte/ jersey dresses that are a-line or fit and flare including some polo shirt dresses.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Thanks TheElms. My 3 summer weekend go-to dresses are already LandsEnd. *grin* I was just trying to branch out into something different (and some of them are getting kind of worn out and could probably stand to be replaced this summer). I’m not seeing anything on their s!te I like as much as the ones I have though, so I hope they come out with some more weekend dresses by this summer.

    • Navy Attorney says:

      I like the length in principle, but it’s just too short when you have kids and have to get on/near the ground. I prefer maxi dresses.

      • Yeah, I used to wear dresses like this and casual skirts all summer long. But they’re definitely less practical with kids. Been meaning to try to find a good maxi. (I still might get this one, though.)

      • Absolutely. My go-to traveling outfit used to be one of those Old Navy fold-over jersey skirts, but I only travel in maxi skirts and dresses when I’m with kids. I live in those things in the summer.

    • I am literally wearing this dress right now!! I have it in cobalt blue (Kat would be proud) and pair it with a navy blazer, statement jewelry and Valentino rockstud knock-offs. I’m 5’6, and the length is very appropriate on me (non-petite sizing, I think I have a M).

      The t-shirt material is stretchy but does not pill (unlike ponte from ON – very pilly). I think wearing it with a more formal blazer keeps it from looking too casual for the office, and also plays down the curvy aspect – my hips/chest/butt are partially under the blazer.

  3. Sleepy says:

    My 20 wk. old ‘wakes up’ to nurse between 1-3 times a night. If it was once or even twice I wouldn’t be writing this. Most nights lately though its 3 or even sometimes 4. Baby isn’t even fully awake but if I don’t pick her up to nurse she will wake herself up and cry. If I pick her up, she eats a bit in bed with me, I put her back and she goes right back to sleep. She is getting enough food during the day so this isn’t about extra calories. She sleeps in our bedroom still so this also isn’t too much of a bother. But I’m wondering if I should be trying to break this habit. The few nights I tried to just let her fuss herself back to sleep, she cried until I couldn’t take it and I got less sleep than when I’d just feed her. Ive read all about sleep training and I’d be fine with letting her cry if she was just not sleeping and being cranky, but all she wants is to nurse a bit and then will be out like a light in minutes & I’m wondering how much I really should be trying to worry about this. Fwiw, she goes to sleep on her own, otherwise sleeps great, and is fine occupying herself for half an hour if she wakes up before us in the morning. But she was waking up less at 3 months and I’d like to get a good 4-5 hr stretch in most nights for my own sake.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I wonder if she/you would do better if she were sleeping in a different room. Like right now she’s waking up and sensing that you’re there so she fusses. But if she was in her own room she might self soothe for at least 1 of those wakings.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Yes, I was also going to suggest trying her in a different room. If you aren’t quite ready to put her in her crib to fuss, could you sleep on the couch or guest room tonight and tomorrow and see how many times she wakes up and fusses if she only gets daddy instead of you?

        The multiple fussy wakeups is how I wound up bed sharing with my kids from around 5-9 months, because then at least all I had to do was lift my shirt and I could still doze while they nursed. That worked in the short term (desperate times call for desperate measures) but I put my foot down around 9 months because I wanted more uninterrupted sleep, and the babies slept just fine when snuggling with daddy – but if I was in the room, they wouldn’t be satisfied with anything other than nursing.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Oh, and I agree with others that it could be the 4 month sleep regression, or the start of teething. If nothing else, can you at least take some naps this weekend to try to get a little more caught up, or go to bed super early?

    • Anonymous says:

      4 month sleep regression. Just saying. Big hugs, you’re doing great!

    • My son was like that at that stage. Are these more frequent wake-ups a recent occurrence? How long has this been going on? It might be related to the dreaded 4-month-regression. If that’s the case, I don’t really have any advice except to see what the next week or so brings. It might help to see if baby does get herself back down if she does indeed get fussy. Sometimes, I took a “wait and see” approach, mostly of our pure laziness and reluctance to get up. Co-sleeping might also help you get through this stage. If it is indeed a regression, I’m not sure if any sleep training will help.

      My other advice is for you to go to bed early. At that stage, I would go to bed as early as 7:30-8 and my husband would take the “first shift” when the baby would wake up at 10 or so. Obviously, this only works if baby can take a bottle. If baby doesn’t and your partner is around, at least maybe your partner can bring the baby to you so you can nurse without getting out of bed?

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that putting baby in a different room may help resolve the issue.

    • orange says:

      When my son was about that age, he started waking more during the night, but we didn’t want him to get back in the habit of expecting milk in the middle of the night, so we did 2 nights of going to him in his crib, but only giving him a pacifier. It worked. And he wasn’t even into pacis during the daytime. (Have to give my MIL a hat-tip for that one.)

      • Philanthropy Girl says:

        I second the use of a paci. Mine never really took to one, but there was a fussy stage – probably around the time you’re describing – when he would occasionally use it at night. The sucking reflex is soothing to them, so it’s not about food it’s about trying to self soothe. I think having DH offer a paci, in another room if possible, may be a good strategy.

    • Anonymous says:

      How long is it going on? If it’s been only a couple days and may be a growth spurt then her nursing more frequently may help her get your supply up.

      If she’s comfort nursing, can you try providing an extra nursing session during waking hours? Do you do a dream feed before you go to bed? A dream feed might fend off overnight comfort nursing or actual hunger if it’s a growth spurt.

      • Sleepy says:

        Thanks all!

        It’s been about 5-6 weeks, on and off. Right when she outgrew her bassinet and shortly before I went back to work. Part of me thinks maybe it’s because she is not getting enough cuddles with me on weekdays so she is comfort nursing at night to make up for it. But maybe that’s just mom guilt.

        Every time I think I’ve had it, she sleeps great. And then back to waking up lots. I think part of it just learning to sleep transition. She’s usually good for a solid 5-6 hours when we first put her down and then she starts to wake up every 2-3. So bed around 7, wake up at 1230, wake up at 3, 5, and the up for the day around 630/7. But that’s just an example – the weird thing is it’s always different. So sometimes she’ll sleep till 11, wake up, nurse, same at 1230, 2, and 4 and then good till 730/8.

        I haven’t done the dream feed because I feel like she often wakes up to eat anyway so what’s the point but maybe I can try that and see if it makes any difference. Transitioning her to her own room isn’t an option right now. I suppose I could switch sides though so I’m further away from her and see if that makes a difference.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Based on the schedule you listed out above, could you just crash with her at 7 pm occasionally so you could get a 5-6 hour stretch yourself? Yes, it s*cks and it means you don’t get much time to get much done, but it’s worth it 1-2 nights a week for a good stretch of sleep.

          For that 3 am or midnight waking, rather than just a quick nurse and back in bed, can you make her wake up more fully and get a solid nursing session in her (change her diaper or otherwise wake her up if she doses back off after 5 minutes)? One longer 3 am wakeup is better than one at 3 and another at 5, IMO.

    • layered bob says:

      my 8-month-old nursed to sleep and wakes up 5-6x/night to comfort nurse and has since she was 4 months old (before that she slept longer stretches). We tried offering a paci (will chew on it but not suck), tried rocking/bouncing instead of nursing (nope nope nope), tried a bottle to see if she was really hungry (not really), and then tried sleep training (gave up on the fourth night of 2+ hours crying + vomiting/choking).

      What I learned from these attempts is that everything else is WAY HARDER for me than just nursing her to sleep like she wants. We co-sleep so when she starts to wake up I snuggle her for 2-3 minutes while she nurses and then I roll over and go back to sleep.

      If your baby goes right back to sleep after nursing, why fight it? Yeah, she’s “comfort nursing” but what’s so bad about needing a little comfort from her mama? That’s clearly exactly what she needs, and once she gets it she goes back to sleep. Being comforted is as real a need as eating or sleeping for babies, and night nursing is the easiest way for me to meet that need (since I don’t need to wake up all the way or get out of bed). My sleep is more interrupted than I’d like, but in the scheme of things, she will only need me like this for a very short time.

      • +1! Both my kids comfort nursed through the night until 9-10 months. We co-slept so I didn’t even fully wake up. I figured the comfort was a valid need (I worked all day, and their bedtime was 6-6:30, so this was likely their way to get more mama time.) so why fight it?

        And yes I have tension increasers too (google Ask Moxie). CIO resulted in 2-3 hours crying sessions that ended in puke, for over a week each time before we gave up. Trust me, there is no hell like hour 3 on your 7th night of screaming crying choking babies. We just focused on being super consistent in our bedtime routine and waited til they grew out of the need for nighttime comfort. Once they grew out of it, it was like a light flipped. Both now sleep 11+ hours straight with almost no bedtime fights.

      • Sleepy says:

        Yeah, that’s kind of what I am thinking, too. It’s not ideal but it’s really not hard. And I think I am more bothered by it when I try to fight it then when I just bring her to bed nurse her and put her back or let her sleep with me. I think if I didn’t have a host of family and coworkers asking me if she is sleeping through the night and how often she wakes up I wouldn’t even consider this an issue. And while I would like to sleep a solid 6 hours at a time, it really isn’t that tough on me to just tend to her this way.

        • layered bob says:

          yeah, every time we tried something other than just nursing was because I felt pressure from family/coworkers/nanny to “train” her or “cut her off” or whatever. It felt so good to just decide that this is what my baby needs right now and I can provide it! And so much easier! We can revisit later what is best when my needs/her needs change.

        • Navy Attorney says:

          Heh, I just lie. My kids are horrible sleepers – 11 mo. old is still doing what yours is with one long stretch and then many short ones; the 4 year old was the same. I got tired of dealing with people’s opinions, so I say the baby sleeps great.

          • Heh I’ll go anon for this but I have a 14 mo old who co-sleeps in my bed with me and nurses once at about 2am and once at 6am. I dont fight it. It’s the easiest way and doesn’t disturb my sleep too much.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ditto what everyone above has said. My 6.5 month old wakes at least twice a night to comfort nurse, like you’ve described. I find it way, way easier to just nurse him than to fight it. Also, I try to think about how much I love the baby snuggles. Since he learned to sit up, my LO has no interest in snuggling with me during the day — so the night sessions are where we get our best cuddles.

      • I just got up whenever the baby needed me at night. Not because I’m anti-CIO, but because 1) he would go back down right away after a brief nursing session and 2) it was the path of least resistance. We ended up sleep training around 15 months and he would cry at most 20 minutes before he ended up falling asleep on his own (before, I would always nurse him too sleep and then put him down asleep) and he started sleeping through the night just like that. Of course, we’ve had a few relapses, but he’s been a pretty great sleeper since then. I know it sucks, but it might just be easier for you to find ways for you to get some rest while also tending to your child at night. This is where your partner may need to step in.

        • layered bob says:

          +1 to path-of-least-resistance parenting :-) at least when the baby is so little.

        • Spirograph says:

          +1 from me too. For the first 6 months at least — maybe more like a year, whatever got everyone (especially me) the most sleep was what I did. Cosleeping, night nursing, moving to a different bedroom, husband waking up with the baby, CIO… I tried it all and kept what worked. My kids are pretty good sleepers now; I don’t buy the “omg you’re setting your kids up for terrible sleep habits for LIFE” hype for a second.

  4. Self-medication says:

    Deeply anonymous for this one. My mom had anger issues. She flew off the handle multiple times a day, every day. She spanked me until I was 13 and harshly punished me when I was in trouble, which I was constantly (I was a disrespectful back-talker, I never actually did anything ‘bad’).

    I have a toddler now. I am determined to not be my mother. Probably 90% of the time, I stay calm and handle tantrums/whining well. The other 10% of the time, I get anywhere from irritated to mad. I slam things. I’ve yelled or talked harshly to my daughter a handful of times too. I don’t know what its like to grow up with parents that are well adjusted, so I don’t know if that’s normal or if I’m too angry? My initial response is always anger, but I can control it most of the time.

    I’m working on the anger though. I’m trying to do all the meditationy type things like focus on my breathing, etc. I’m reading parenting books and self help books. I’m in therapy. I also realize that getting annoyed at whiny toddlers is normal to a certain extent.

    So, I’m just wondering, is it really bad that I self medicate with wine? No more than a glass or two. But is that a thing that other people do on purpose to take the edge off the frustration of parenting a toddler after a long day at work? Or am I a big old alcoholic who needs to get a grip?

    • Whitney says:

      I’m sorry you’re dealing with this but props for pro actively working on it. I have a family history of alcoholism and my dad’s rule of thumb is that you should never’need’ a glass of wine. It should always be for enjoyment. Thought it was good advice worth sharing!

    • MDMom says:

      There’s a lot going on here, but I’m just going to address the wine thing. It doesn’t sound like you’re an alcoholic, though only you/your family would know for sure. Is the glass or two of wine affecting your life? Do you think its a problem or are you just curious if it’s normal? I could easily have 1-2 beers every night. I don’t let myself because of the empty calories. I only let myself drink on weekends- Fri night, Saturday night, Sunday night. And then it’s just 1-2 beers. Maybe 3 once a month or so when I’m just in the mood. I like wine but choose beer because it stretches longer and is therefore less likely to get me drunker than I plan to be. (Also, I find after 30 that even a small amount of wine can give me a hangover ).

      After bedtime on Friday night, the first thing I do is go grab myself a beer, collapse on the couch, and go “ahhhhhh.” But, it would never occur to me to even ask if this is normal because I know I don’t have an alcohol problem and I’m not concerned about it. That’s why I wonder if there’s some reason you think its a problem, leading you to ask the question in the first place. But if you’re just wondering if its normal to crave a drink after a day with a young child, the answer is yes, absolutely.

      • Meg Murry says:

        I agree that enjoying a glass of wine as part of your relaxation routine is normal, not problematic. What would your reaction be if you *couldn’t* have that glass of wine – for instance, you were out of the wine or you dropped your last bottle and spilled it, or your doctor told you not to have any for the next month due to some kind of interaction with another medication? Would you freak out or stress out, or would you move on and be annoyed but ok?

        I think it becomes a problem when it shifts from “I would like a glass of wine now” to “I need a glass of wine” and if you were super upset if you couldn’t have it.

        However, for me I know my temper and patience get much shorter when I have more than a tiny amount of alcohol in my system when I am tired, and I have pointed out to my husband as well that he can be an angry drunk (I think for both of us alcohol just brings to the surface whatever reaction we would have had sober much faster/stronger), so I caution you to look closely at whether the wine is actually helping with the anger or not.

        Also, I’ve told my kids more than once that “Mommy needs a time out” and put them in a safe place (their bedrooms or in front of the tv) and then went to my own room, shut the door and put my head in my hands for some deep breathing. Toddlers are great at pushing every single one of your buttons, and they have the ability to persist at whatever annoying behavior for way longer than you would think humanly possible. Don’t beat yourself up over tantrums, button pushing and meltdowns – they all do it to try to wear you down.

        Can you shut down the tantrum or whining with humor? My husband is way better at this than I am (I always seem to want to “win” and get into a battle of wills) but he is great at stopping a tantrum by doing something silly like picking the kid up and flipping him upside-down, tickling him or otherwise just doing or saying something ridiculous like trying to put the toddlers shoes on his own feet when toddler won’t put them on. Or flipping the conversation – when the kid starts on “I don’t want to go to bed/school/wherever” saying “I bet I can beat you upstairs/to the car/put on my coat faster than you” will snap the kid out of it.

        • +1

          I often have a glass of wine to relax after a long day, but if I am out of wine, or even if I need to bring another bottle in from the garage (like 15 feet away) I’ll just be like, eh, water’s fine. If you feel that same way, I think the drinking is not a problem.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. My dad was always right on the edge of a big blow up, except when he was in the middle of a big blow up. I have realized now as an adult that it’s because he is a super anxious person who never learned to handle his own emotions, much less other peoples’ emotions. Have you ever figured out why your mom got so angry?

      I ask because I notice I do the same thing as my dad – my kiddo starts whining or a minor tantrum, and I get anxious that THIS WILL NEVER END or that it will escalate or that people will think I’m a terrible mom, or what if I lose custody because of this tantrum, or what if….and it spirals from there. Then I get angry at my daughter because it’s her “fault” that I’m anxious. If I can identify that I am anxious, and say it out loud, somehow I don’t need to be angry anymore.

      I also taped some “tantrum coping strategies” at strategic points around my house. When I realize I’m falling down the rabbit hole, it’s helpful to have some other behavior to quickly act out.

      As far as wine – if you “need” it, have you considered psych medication instead? Medication is a much more even experience, instead of the increasing panic of the day followed by a few hours of calm while drinking.

  5. Self-medication says:

    Hmmm… you’ve all given me some things to think about. I think I’ve been using it as a bit of a shortcut to calmness. I am not an “angry drunk”, I just get calm and relaxed. I don’t think it’s having a negative affect on my life, I just know I’m consciously using it as one of several tools to help myself stay calm, and was wondering if I’m alone in doing this or if it’s a red flag.

    I like the idea of using humor– I’ll have to give that a try. I do that sometimes, but it would be good to be more consistent with it. I also just downloaded a meditation app. Work in progress, over here.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Could you try using something else to see if you can get the same result? For instance, pouring yourself a glass of flavored seltzer water, fizzy lemonade or cocoa instead of wine? I feel like that was what someone else on the main s!te did to kick themselves of their regular 1-2 glasses of wine a night – keep the ritual of pouring a comforting glass, but make it non-alcoholic.

      Also, how long has it been since you’ve had a break? Can you hire a sitter one evening and go do something fun?Or heck, go do nothing but take a walk or sit in the park with a book. Or hire the sitter to take them to the park while you stay at home with your book or Netflix or take a nap? When I’m at my breaking point with my kids it’s because I’m just tired of the rut.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wasn’t the poster from the other site but I definitely did this. I switched to fancy sparkling juices (trader joes has a great selection) and drank out of champagne flutes. Same effect for me! Unfortunately also about the same amount of calories :-).

    • One thing I do that *sometimes* works on toddler tantrums is start to sing the wrong words to a song, like “the baby on the bus says ‘honk, honk, honk'” and the kid can’t stop himself from saying, “no, no, the baby says ‘waa, waa.'” And I pretend like I’m all mixed up and do it with another lyric of the song, then we transition to some other activity. It also gets me focused off the tantrum and into this role-play situation, which makes me less annoyed by the tantrum.