Nursing-Friendly Tuesday: Good-to-Go Cardi

Nursing-Friendly Cardigan: Pivotte Good-to-Go CardiI’m drooling over this machine washable, wrinkle-resistant, temperature-regulating cardigan from Pivotte Studio. It’s exactly the kind of thing I particularly loved while nursing, because it was easy on/off, had no hard zippers or buttons to brush up against baby, and, hello, machine washable, wrinkle-resistant, and temperature-regulating. It’s $180, which is a bit pricey, I’ll grant you — but try code Welcome20 to take $20 off your first order. It’s $180 at Pivotte. Pivotte Good-to-Go Cardi



  1. MomAnon4This says:

    I’ll be honest: I don’t think “temperature-regulating” is A Thing.
    But then, I work in compliance so, unless it’s defined by the Federal Government, it’s usually not a thing to me.

    • Momata says:

      Right? Isn’t that just “I’m cold so I’m going to put on a sweater”?

    • hoola hoopa says:

      I had the same thought.

      And $180 for a sweater that will most likely get spit up on? No thanks. There are so many less expensive versions of this.

  2. My 11 year old daughter is in dance–an expensive extra curricular–and I was thinking about cutting back her classes to focus on a few of her favorites. It seems like a critical age where either the kids start to take off and get really involved, or they decide it isn’t what they like and they quit. FWIW, my daughter loves it.

    At last week’s recital, I complained to my mom about the costs and how ridiculous it was. She’s a retired high school teacher and said something surprising to me: “At least these parents know where their girls are. It may be worth it to pay and have her in a safe studio rather than running around with friends.”

    Now I’m looking at the studio in a totally different way. Should I suck it up and invest, not because she’s going to go on and be a professional dancer, but because it’s giving her a safe place to hang out after school?

    • anne-on says:

      Wow. Good question. My running joke is working at home that I’ll always be able to ruin my teenagers fun. My dad also worked in the house from when I was 10 onwards, so we were always supervised after school.
      I honestly would not be comfortable leaving young teenagers (or even older ones!) alone after school. Activities or an au-pair type situation would be my default. I’ve heard too many horror stories about all the stuff kids get into between the hours of 3-6pm.

      • She goes to Grandma’s house after school and during summer, but I’m actually more concerned about the texting and Facetime that’s going on right under our noses. 4th graders are group texting (boys and girls combined) and it’s creeping me out a bit! If she’s in a dance class, the phone is in her bag and she’s moving and interacting with adult teachers she admires and the class isn’t focused on boys or drama. At home, she’s likely to have the phone on getting sucked in to the drama that is middle school.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      I know I got into all sorts of mischief between the bus and when my parents got home, so that is a pretty legitimate point. As is the fact that she’s not buried in electronics. My only concern would be the possibility of body image issues (if ballet) with puberty. I have a friend who still, at 30, weighs 100 pounds because she wants to look like when she danced. To clarify, she isn’t so petite that this looks good/healthy.

    • We reached this same crossroads with my now 15 year old daughter and dance. She really loves it and decided to try out for the competitive team when she was 12, which she made and has been on for three years now. It is incredibly expensive and time-consuming. BUT I love that it keeps her active, I know where she is and what she is doing every day of the week, she has made great friends and the older girls are great role models, she has learned time management skills in order to get homework done along with an intensive practice schedule, etc. I know she won’t become a professional dancer, but I am so glad she wanted to stick with it and we decided to allow her to do so. Of course, this does not take the place of open communication, rules, boundaries, monitoring electronics, and all of those other things. But I feel like it has made it a little easier.

    • Spirograph says:

      That’s an interesting way to look at it. I think so much of this depends on your child. I was such a boring teenager! It never occurred to me (or most of my similarly-boring friends) to get into trouble in the intervening time between when I got home from school and when my mom got home. Granted, that was pre-social media and ubiquitous smart phones, but I do think some kids are more or less likely to engage in “risky” behaviors.

      My kids are still to young for me to make this kind of choice, but if your daughter loves dance, you feel it’s a positive thing in her life, and you can afford it (in both money and time/logistics), I’d just wait for her to naturally narrow her focus. It’s probably coming in the next couple of years, anyway.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      If actually paying for it is not an issue (in that you can afford it, just would rather save/spend elsewhere all things being equal), I’d probably follow her lead on this one. Sure, 99% of athletes/dancers/musicians in middle and high school do not go on to do it professionally. But those classes and teams do teach discipline and provide a social outlet that is in many, though not all, instances safer and more structured. Will it keep her from getting in trouble all together? Probably not. But statistics do show a correlation between organized activities and a decrease in teen pregnancy and drug use. In my mind, if she enjoys it and grows from it, and it’s not otherwise impeding finances or cutting too much into family time together, it’s totally worth it.

      • I agree completely with Maddie Ross. I played a sport year-round all through middle school and high school. I enjoyed it, but the goal wasn’t to play it the rest of my life (or even in college). I know my parents liked it because it taught me discipline and kept me too busy (and tired) to get into mischief during any downtime that I had.

        • Lyssa says:

          I had the same experience, but with band and theater. I never had any plans to do it as an adult (even in college I really didn’t), but the fun, discipline, teamwork, etc. that came with being part of something really intense like that was really great for a teenager. (now I look back and scratch my head over how I ever wanted to take on more extra and unnecessary activities!) I was also told that things like that look really good on college applications, and she may be able to teach or something as a teen as a job, which would certainly beat the alternatives.

      • Anon in NYC says:


    • There are a lot of positives about extra curriculars, and if your daughter loves dance, and you can afford it, I think you should let her continue. That said, if she loves some classes and not others, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with cutting back on the classes she doesn’t love. Also, there are plenty of options for after-school activities besides letting your 11-year-old stay home alone. You could put her in after-school care (if available), hire a part-time nanny or babysitter for after-school hours (I did this in college), or enroll her in more casual and less expensive extra curriculars she might be interested in, etc.

      FWIW, I participated in a very expensive extra curricular when I was that age. My parents allowed me to do as much as they could afford, and it definitely helped with discipline and motivation (because I wasn’t allowed to do Activity if schoolwork slipped), social skills (both carpooling and social aspects of Activity), responsibility (making sure I had necessary equipment for Activity, maintaining equipment, etc), and even my relationship with my parents (because they drove me on long car trips for Activity). But I quit when I got to high school, at another juncture of doing even more, like 6 days/week, or not improving.

    • My parents kept me in a bunch of sports mostly for this reason. I played none of them in college. That said, I still managed to get in a fair bit of trouble, mostly once I got a part time job at a restaurant. This was pre social media days though.

      Would she be up for trying a team sport instead of some of her dance classes (keeping the ones she loves of course)? Things like soccer and softball through the local rec council are relatively inexpensive. And I think competitive team sports are so important, especially for girls. So many valuable life lessons- healthy competition, body confidence, sportsmanship in winning and losing, being part of a team.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Or along the same lines, would she be interested in diversifying into another activity, so that if in a few years she decides she doesn’t want to dance anymore she would go from dancing 4-5 days a week to having no extracurriculars whatsoever?

        For instance, would she be interested in taking an art class or learning to play an instrument?

        I wouldn’t force her to quit, but maybe you could talk to her about scaling back this summer to try some camps in other interests? Or at least ask her what she thinks about the upcoming class schedule before you sign her up. You could also keep her in dance full scale in the summer since she’ll have so much free time, and encourage her to think about diversifying or scaling back dance this fall when school starts.

        But yes, I’m trying to walk the line between over scheduling my kid and keeping him out of trouble when he’s not scheduled for something, so I totally hear you. He’s only 9 now, but he and his friends are super into video games and watching YouTube videos about them and are already emailing each other (but so far at least it’s through an account that’s linked to parent accounts). He’s super tech savvy, and I’m not looking forward to the day he starts figuring out how to be sneakier about it, and how to balance that line between letting him make mistakes on his own and figure things out vs letting himself get into truly bad situations.

        It’s so hard to balance “I don’t want to be a helicopter parent” with “gah, but I don’t want my kid to do X, Y and Z like I did in middle school either”

    • MomAnon4This says:

      I think this is a legit reason to continue.
      I think kids, esp. middle and early high school, and continuing, need a place to be different from their school selves, and express themselves with potential and in a peer group that is different from the expectations set by and for them in school, by the administration and teachers, and their peers.
      My brother was kind of a loser at school, tbh, but he thrived in our youth group where he was mentored and he was able to mentor other youngsters. It gave him confidence and an outlet, and best friends that he still keeps in touch with, 25 years later.
      I was seen as Smart at school and had friends, but was not popular. I loved youth group, too, and even chose it over Prom for that weekend’s activities.
      I think of the kids who were athletic outside of school, like swimming instead of basketball, or played a weird instrument, like harp or guitar in a garage band instead of through the school orchestra. I don’t know if it’s just the anti-drug, but it’s a safe place to explore who you are and who you will be. I cannot underestimate that.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      My kids are still little but my parents put in the swimming pool when I was 12. They joke now that is was because they could keep me at home and not hanging out at the local pool. And everyone came to our house so they knew where we were at all times. Your mom’s comment makes sense to me.

    • Former Dancer says:

      I was super involved in my dance studio in junior high and high school and it was such a positive, rewarding experience for me. I even ended up teaching beginners classes to little kids during my junior and senior years of high school and it became my “after school job” (best job ever).

      If you can afford it and she wants to dance, I think it’s worth investing the time and resources to keep her as involved as possible. It will keep her active and she’ll make great friends. She’ll also learn discipline, how to set and work towards goals, and develop a work ethic. If she becomes a dance team captain or teacher, she’ll gain leadership skills and confidence.

      It will also help keep her out of trouble, especially as she gets older. There were many high school parties I either skipped completely or came home early from because I had three hours of rehearsal on Saturday morning and it was more important to me to dance well than to get drunk and stay out late with my friends.

      I had some nagging hip injuries and ultimately decided not to continue with dance in college or as an adult, though I do love barre, Pilates, and yoga now (and if I could find a low-key adult ballet class in my area, I’d be all over it). It’s worth the investment, even if she ends up not really doing anything with it as an adult.

      • “There were many high school parties I either skipped completely or came home early from because I had three hours of rehearsal on Saturday morning and it was more important to me to dance well than to get drunk and stay out late with my friends.”

        This is exactly what I am hoping for with my 15 year old daughter, haha! I love that right now after Friday afternoon practice, she usually invites 3-6 of her teammates (ranging in age, couple younger, some her age, some a little older) for a sleepover and then they go to Saturday morning practice together. I hope this continues for the rest of high school. (Might be wishful thinking on my part. . . )

      • Anonnnnnnnn says:

        I agree with everyone above that activities are GREAT for teenagers. I was definitely one kept out of trouble by my demanding choir schedule. :)

        But I wanted to flag an issue that I remember well from my friends who were very involved in dance– please be mindful and extremely vigilant regarding the crazy, awful body and food issues that frequently thrive in dance studios and communities. Most professional dancers smoke like chimneys and eat almost nothing to keep their weight down, and at least half of the women I know who participated in dance after elementary school had or continue to have major body image and food /weight issues. If nothing else, the culture can really encourage body and weight policing in a way that will not serve her well in social settings later in life (putting aside her own mental health…). If my kid wants to be involved in dance, she will be getting a hefty extra dose of body positive literature and messaging.

    • If she wants to continue and you can afford it, support her. My mother pulled me out of dance and gymnastics when I was nine years old because she just didn’t want to bother anymore and I still resent it thirty years later. My daughter is on a gymnastics team because she fell in love with the sport, begged for classes, and then worked hard to make the team. It is expensive and inconvenient and I hate giving up every third weekend for six months out of the year for meets. She is not a natural and has at times struggled to progress. But she can beat all of the boys in her class at pull-ups, has a good time at every practice, is learning to work hard to achieve her goals, and is spending her afternoons in a positive, supervised environment with her friends. What more could a parent ask for?

      Gymnastics has historically struggled with the same body image and food issues as dance. We were very careful to select a gym that accepts a wide range of body types on team and where nothing is ever said about food or weight, other than reminders to drink lots of water when it’s hot and to eat a healthy breakfast before a meet.

      • This is how our dance studio is also. They also don’t allow midriff bearing costumes which I think cuts down on the pressure (even self-imposed) to have a flat stomach. They also discuss eating healthy and exercising as part of being fit and strong, not to get skinny.

  3. Katana says:

    Has anyone tried this brand? I’m super tempted by this cardi and their pants. I’m still many lbs over my pre-preg weight so don’t want to invest in pants right now but cardis should fit now and later. Any experience with sizing, quality, customer service? The 15 day return policy scares me and a return shipping charge at this price point seems like a bad sign but I usually buy from gap, br, and the limited so I’m used to free shipping and lax return policies.

  4. Mrs. Patel says:

    So, on advice of The Hive, I got Mrs. Patel’s bars and milk water tea. The bars (sampler) are SOOOOO good! But the tea… tastes just awful! I have tried a variety of ratios and steeping time… am I doing something wrong? PS – I am not sure I’ve seen an increase in my supply as a result but I do have to say those bars are dang tasty.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I can’t speak to that brand of tea, but I hated the taste of Mother’s Milk tea and would always steep it with a bag of another kind of tea that I liked better – often chai, because the strong/spicy taste of the chai overpowered the awfulness of the Mother’s Milk tea.

      • That is so odd – I love Mother’s Milk and can’t stand Mrs. Patel’s.

      • EB0220 says:

        I also hated the Mother’s Milk tea. I disliked it from the start, but I got a stomach bug after drinking it once. Thereafter, it made me nauseous every time.

      • Katala says:

        +1 to steeping with another tea. I would steep 2 bags of mothers milk and 2 bags of chamomile or chai or english breakfast, add a little honey, let it cool, then add ice and cold water in a big pitcher to drink for the day. Since it was summer, iced tea was much more appetizing and it watered down the flavor of the Mother’s Milk.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would take actual supplements instead of the tea. Fenugreek and Blesset Thistle. If you don’t smell like maple syrup, you arent taking enough Fenugreek.

      • Meg Murry says:

        +1 to supplements like fenugreek capsules if you really need it. But FYI, they can do an number on your stomach for some people, so start slow, and here’s my drug commercial fine print: part of how fenugreek works involves lowering your blood sugar levels, which is probably fine for most people but not good to mess with if you are diabetic or otherwise have to keep an eye on your blood sugar one way or another

        The teas all taste awful and you have to drink a TON of them to do any good. The best advice I got (besides switching to capsules) was to make a pitcher of them and drink it cold or iced, and basically just force myself to take it like medicine and/or chug it.

      • MomAnon4This says:

        Um, that sounds gross and possibly wrong.
        Please, check with your ob/gyne or a lactation consultant (or a pediatrician!) before taking a large amount of any supplement.
        FWIW I was on the KellyMom breastfeeding support page on Facebook, and they discourage supplement and even teas. Of course, they actively recommend other crazy stuff, but I’m just staying — be careful there.

        • Meg Murry says:

          No, that is the standard advice. Fenugreek makes your sweat smell like maple syrup, and if you aren’t taking enough for that, you probably aren’t getting more than a placebo effect.

          That said, you should probably talk to an actual lactation consultant to determine if you need the extra boost from teas and fenugreek, etc. I personally did, but I couldn’t stand fenugreek and just did a ton of oatmeal and fiber, extra pumping and then made my peace with combo feeding.

          • Butter says:

            This is true. I remember the worst part of taking fenugreek in the early weeks was waking up with night sweats and smelling like a Waffle House.

      • Butter says:

        You can also try Go-Lacta (Malunggay), but not at the same time as fenugreek + blessed thistle. I’ve been told to alternate month to month as your body gets used to one. Personally I saw better results with Go-Lacta.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you try fenugreek, you may have more success if you also take goats rue at the same time. That combo helped me a little.

          But the only thing that really made a difference for my low supply was domperidone.

  5. Hypnobirthing? says:

    Can anyone who tried hypnobirthing tell me a bit more about it and about their labor experience? I’m pregnant with my second and would like to try to avoid an epidural this time around. I don’t consider myself a very meditative person; I’ve never done yoga or meditation. So I’m not sure if this would be right for me. But I’m interested in tying something different than the prepared childbirth class I took the first time around. Any ideas on classes/techniques/approaches that will help me manage through the pain? I had the Natural Hospital Birth for number 1, and we will reread that this time around too. Thanks for any thoughts!

    • Clementine says:

      I highly suggest you get a doula.

      And although I didn’t really specifically take a class or anything on hypnobirthing, that’s basically what I did. I got into my zen place and stayed there. I would highly recommend it.

      • +1. My doula enabled me to do the no drugs thing, and there wasn’t one specific way, but she just had this amazing mental toolkit of strategies to zone out, calm, etc. I do think prenatal yoga/meditation was also a huge help.

        • OP - Hypnobirthing? says:

          Thanks. I had a doula the first time around, and really liked her. But we’ve since moved far away, and I can’t decide if I want to spend the money on another one. She was great, and I had a long labor with back pain, so it was good to have her switching off counter-pressure with my husband. Maybe I’ll just spend the money on a doula, do a home/self-study type course like hypnobabies, and not also spend the money on a group course. I forgot how all these expenses add up!

    • I did the hypnobabies (not “hypnobirthing” which is a different course). home course. It was kinda cheesy but really effective at reducing by anxiety and making me feel confident and relatively calm going in. I did have a natural med free childbirth. It was painful, though not until I got to 7-8 cm. Hypnobabies was most effective in early labor at keeping me relaxed and calm. But I think it really depends how long it takes. My labor stalled for like 5 hrs at 9cm just waiting for my water to break. That was killer in terms of my mental state/coping ability. If it goes relatively quickly, I think things like hypnobirthing are effective. But there comes a point after hours and hours where it’s really hard to maintain mental stamina, and I imagine all of the natural childbirth techniques falter a bit there.

      My midwife recommended hypnobabies for women who are more loner/independent types and the partner coached methods for women who want lots of support from others- like when you are sick, do you want to be left alone or do you want people taking care of you/hovering?

    • Labor Anon says:

      I wanted an unmedicated birth for our second (first was Pitocin, epidural, etc.). We/I didn’t do hypnobirthing but I did a ton of research and reading on my own about the natural process of birth (any of Ina May’s books) and thinking about how I handle stress/pain. Oddly, my biggest realization was that my husband totally freaked out when I went into labor with our first and that I highly preferred to be at home for as long as possible. When I went into labor at 10pm, I didn’t tell anyone but stayed home, snuggled in my bed next to my husband and toddler, labored and snoozed away. I woke everyone at 6am, went to the hospital at 7:30, hopped in the tub and my little girl was born at 9am. So my advice would be to self-educate and know yourself and your situation.

    • Katala says:

      I did the home study course, but due to complications was on bedrest at the end and induced early, so I didn’t really get to do the last few weeks of practice which are the most important. It was a lot of time practicing with my long work hours and it can’t really be crammed in at the end. So I think a class would be helpful just for keeping you on track.
      Since I was induced, labor was completely different than I imagined and the pain wasn’t bad enough for me to want to get in the zone, it was better to be distracted with cards, tv, etc. Then the pitocin kicked up and it was too much all at once and I begged for the epidural… baby arrived a hour or two later so I never used any hypnobabies techniques. I thought it would work well for me since I (used to) do self-hypnosis quite easily, but oh well.

  6. My Baby is a B**B Addict says:

    I would love advice here, as I don’t have the time/bandwidth to read any more books on baby sleep.

    The baby is 4.5 months old. I would day a decent sleeper. She has hit the point where she can’t sleep anywhere anymore, and so we’ve been focusing for the past 2 weeks on really getting a regular bedtime routine, getting naps in, etc. We are at the point where we have a bedtime routine, she goes to sleep at 7-7:30, we can generally get her to nap every 3 hours or so and are improving the number of naps that last 50 minutes or longer.

    BUT she cannot yet self soothe well. Sometimes she will self-soothe when she wakes at night (she sleeps with us, so we can hear the rustling/chatting to herself/fist sucking/farting), but can’t get herself back to sleep when she wakes up 30 minutes into her nap or an hour or so after falling asleep at night. To fall asleep initially, she is addicted to the b**b (or crazy bouncing by her dad, when I’m not there) to actually fall asleep. We can’t just put her into bed “drowsy but awake”)–she has to nod off while nursing or being bounced. Obviously, this is something we’d like to remedy for her sleep and our sanity.

    We’re not yet ready to do CIO or similar (maybe we’d consider it in a couple of months). Ideas? Someone on this s i t e suggested the website Precious Little Sleep, which had a lot of good advice. One thing she suggests is not feeding right before sleep, and substituting a swing for nursing or parents bouncing right before bed–the idea is that the baby learns to fall asleep by herself in the swing, and then is gradually weaned off of the swing. On one hand, I’d love to try this strategy and the advice has been on point for us so far (we happen to have lots of space for a swing next to her crib in our room, and I don’t care about cost at this point). On the other hand, doesn’t it seem silly to start putting a baby in a swing to sleep, then weaning her off the swing in a few months’ time, rather than just working it out with the crib? FWIW, we’ve started actually putting her in the Rock ‘n Play rather than the crib for naps, hoping the vibrations help her, and it may have worked a bit.

    Thoughts? Sorry for rambling. I’m sleepy ;)

    • Maddie Ross says:

      At 4.5 months we were still deep into the rocking/nursing to sleep thing. And honestly, it’s ok. If that’s what gets you some sleep at this point, even if it’s not as much as you’d like, you may just need to keep on keeping on. We finally were able to put down drowsy around 8-9 months. It gets better. 4.5 months is still really little.

    • Spirograph says:

      Does she use a pacifier or suck her thumb? Those were key to my kids self-soothing. We’ll have the orthodontic bills to pay later, but that’s money well spent for extra months of less-interrupted sleep. :)

      We never did swing or rock and play. Babies fell asleep nursing/drinking a bottle and being rocked for the first 6+ months; that’s just what was easiest for everyone. Eventually we added a story and song in between the eating and lying down in the crib, and now the story and song have stuck and the eating is only at dinner. It’s worth a try, but imho, you can only hurry that process up so much (without resorting to more formal sleep-training efforts, at least). Good luck! Sleep is tricky, and there are lots of “right” answers — it just depends which one works for your kid.

    • 6.5 month old here – baby JUST now started to be able to self-soothe. I would say give it some time, if you can handle it, and see if she learns to soothe herself in a month or 6 weeks. FWIW, your baby sounds a lot like mine, and mine is now sleeping from 7PM-5AM consistently (not every night, but maybe 5/7). There is hope!

    • MDMom says:

      Agree with all previous advice- baby still little so this is totally normal, pacis help, etc. We had success doing a bedtime routine, bath-books-bf-bed. Then swapped books and bf, so baby would eat then would drowsily tolerate me reading some books, then put in crib to sleep. Eventually baby was more and more awake for books and could be put down to sleep awake, probably around 6-7 months.

      Is baby in daycare? I think that also helps because they obviously cannot nurse to sleep at daycare so they get used to going to sleep without it.

    • My Baby is a B**B Addict says:

      Thank you all! This is helpful in getting me to calm down. I find there’s lots of advice to just do what works for you until 3 months or so, and lots of advice for schedules and sleep training (or not) starting at maybe 6-8 months, but I wasn’t sure what to be doing in this 4-6 month time frame, when we’re adjusting to changes (like baby needing to be encouraged to sleep to ward off extreme crankiness, rather than just passing out anywhere!).

      Baby starts daycare in a month and a half, so I’m sure that will help with the routine. And she dislikes pacifiers, but may get the thumb sucking thing down at some point (now, there is just fist sucking).

      • Anonnnnnnnn says:

        Moms on Call’s sleep advice was critical for us. They tend towards CIO, but we have a GREAT sleeper and never had to do major CIO.

        The noise machine is the biggest game changer for us. REALLY important. Justo the homedics one, set with volume all the way up. Our kiddo (1 year) hears it now and immediately passes out. And sometimes turns it on for us when she is sleepy

  7. Baby spacing says:

    I know this is totally personal, but I am wondering what considerations others factored in when deciding when to try for baby #2 or #3. Maternal age? Career moves/FMLA? Older childrens’ age(s)/daycare/school situation? Caregiver availability (i.e. grandparents retiring)? House size? I am just curious to see what factors I might not be thinking about.

    • Daycare costs, maternal age, desire to have siblings close in age were our motivation to try for #2. Have been TTC for 18 months now (oldest is 2.5) so as time goes on, factor 1 improves but the other 2 are less favorable (but outside of our control, unfortunately.)

    • Ally McBeal says:

      For what it’s worth, I spaced my kids three years apart. Positives: 3 year old was able to handle a new sibling with grace, the relationship is just lovely, there was enough space between the two that I was able to really lean in between #1 and #2 and make real progress in my career. Negatives: CHILDCARE. We thought we’d find a nanny for both kids – but #1 was already ensconced in a wonderful full-day preschool and it was terrible to try to move her out of it, which meant we were paying for full-day preschool for #1 and a nanny for #2, which was stupid. So we ended up putting #2 in daycare, but a different daycare than #1, which meant multiple drop-offs and pick-ups. In retrospect I really see the logic behind just doing it all at once so that you can line up childcare in a way that makes sense for both kids.

    • hoola hoopa says:

      For us, the primary consideration was when we felt prepared to have another newborn. And by that I mean, when the idea of another newborn didn’t make us want to have a nervous breakdown. We had our kids as close together as possible, otherwise.

      For us, the decision to have a third relied on buying a new (larger) home or remodeling our existing home, so there was a heavy financial consideration and some serious logistics. Age kind of came into play with that one, too, but in more of a ‘by this date or never’ sort of way rather than spacing.

      We ideally wanted our kids close together for social reasons (sibling interactivity, moving through phases at somewhat the same time, not being so old when the last left home that we didn’t feel we had young-old years left to enjoy as empty nesters, etc) – but I know other people prefer to space them out so that they are only paying daycare/college for one at a time.

      • hoola hoopa says:

        Also, there are so many pros/cons of any spacing that I’ve never heard anyone say that they wish they’d spaced differently. I don’t think there’s an objective ‘perfect’ spacing, even for a given family.

    • Lyssa says:

      For us, with kids 2.5 years apart, I’d say maternal age (I was 34, but, more importantly, my husband was 38 and didn’t really like the idea of having kids after 40); career (I changed jobs shortly after the first was born, and wanted to be fairly well-situated in the new job before getting pregnant); and a desire to have kids fairly close together, basically just for stuff reasons (having and reusing all the baby stuff, etc.) Childcare expenses/logistics aren’t an issue, but if they were, that would certainly have been a concern (and the fact that my SAHD husband might ultimately want to go back to work made closer seem better).

      If we’d been younger, I could completely see having spaced them out further. On one hand, big brother has been great in a lot of ways that I think would have been different if he were a little older (since he’s very interested in his baby sister and not yet interested in looking down on baby things or creating rivalries or being cool), but, on the other hand, it would be easier if he were a little older and less labor-intensive. (could get his own drinks/snacks, go potty on his own, etc.) So, I don’t think that there’s a perfect point.

    • Our baby spacing (18 months) happened because my mom had our first son spend the night at her place one Saturday and I had just weaned so I wasn’t on any birth control yet…

      • Haha, our 2 year 4 month spacing happened because my husband had a root canal and I wanted to make him feel better (I was still nursing our older one, but more for comfort at that point). . . We joked we should have named the new baby after the dentist. We knew we wanted another one and had started to talk about when, so it wasn’t really a surprise but I did envision us actively trying a little more especially since I was meticulous (tracking, charting, etc.) when we tried for our oldest.

        • Us too. We had a very difficult time conceiving the first one, so I just assumed it would happen again. Not so much.

    • I’d be interested in this as well. DH and I are still undecided if we want #2. Our lives just calmed down after the craziness of the first year and we’re doing pretty good…. plus each time I look at my budget, I cringe when I think of daycare, 529 savings, planet tickets etc for more than 1.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wanted my body back for a while before trying for #2. When my daughter was 18 months old, she had been off the boob for 9 months. She could walk and talk. DH and I decided that we could see another kid in 9+ months (when she was 2.5). We started trying when she was 22 months and I got my Positive test a few weeks after her 2nd birthday (I don’t remember exactly but it’s mathematically likely we conceived on her actual birthday-ha!). Daughter started potty training at 2 and was daytime trained in a month or so. Now, we have an infant and almost 3 year old who is day potty trained and working on nighttime. She’s big enough to be a helper in a lot of ways.

      I would say money was not a factor (we are not rolling in it, but could “afford” the incremental cost), but living situation (house vs condo) was. we may want 3 (maybe not) so we wanted to have #2 with enough time to have a 3rd before i am in my late 30s.

      • MDMom says:

        My youngest just turned one and I am thinking same factors, except house size not a major issue yet. Im not ready to be pregnant again and I want to have more time with just my first. But I don’t want to wait too long because I want the possibility of 3 even if I’m not sure I’ll actually have 3. I’ll be 32 in a few months. If I definitely wanted just 2, I’d probably space 4 yrs. But I’m thinking closer to 3 years. Another factor- my brother and I are 2 years apart and I think that was too close, too much in each others space. My sister and I were 5 years apart and I think that was a bit much, though we are very close now. So I’m hoping 3 years is the goldilocks spacing.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m the poster above. Mine are 2.9 years apart, but will be 2 school years apart due to school cutoffs etc. if we go for three, I’ll want 2 school years/actual years between the middle and youngest since it will put me giving birth <35. I hate how all women delivering after 35 are auto high risk (in my area anyway) and subject to 648384 extra on appointments. If it weren't borderline and I knew I'd be advanced mat age anyway, it wouldn't matter- but I am sure gonna do my best to have that baby before turning 35 if I can help it.

          Also, the number of years in which our lives are disrupted by the newborn time period is /will continue to be a factor. I'm looking forward to a car full of kids that can tell me when they are hungry and wipe their own butts. And probably mouth off but hey, whatever.

    • Previous C-Section says:

      A big concern for me was a previous c-section and hoping to avoid another one. I knew I was a good candidate for a VBAC, and the risks of uterine rupture of the CS scar are quite small if you wait 18 months before conceiving #2. This wasn’t the only factor we considered, but I don’t see it mentioned often.

      • layered bob says:

        the VBAC thing is a big consideration for me – like you said, not the only factor, but something we’re taking into account. I’d love to just get pregnant right now, while we’re still in the little baby phase – my 9-month-old is already so “grown up” and I’d love to have a squishy little newborn again! But I know my body is probably not in optimal condition for another pregnancy yet.

        Also I have a job switch coming up and will not be eligible for the full paid maternity leave for awhile after that happens, so… waiting. Such a bummer. I always thought I’d want to space my kids at 3-4 years but now I totally see why people do much closer spacings – I love parenting even more than I thought I would and would love to just have a pile of children right now.

    • Good luck from Grain of Salt says:

      #1 was born in late 2008. I call him our Recession Baby, because we did not have stable employment again for a few years. After we moved in with Grandparents and moved out again into our own place. So, that was a good time to try for #2 – when we felt more financially stable, and were OK with paying private daycare/preschool tuition again.
      It did take awhile – I’m older, we don’t have freewheeling s3xyt1mes like we used to, etc. etc.

      #3 = SURPRISE. Grateful, just… surprised. Again, the finances — who cares about babies sharing a bedroom at this point, we both need new (larger) cars, do we even have time, etc. etc.

      There’s never a perfect time. You’ll never be rich enough. Just do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The primary considerations are cost, my age, and maternity leave policies at my current job (I get more leave if I’m here for a certain period of time). Right now we feel like if we want to be able to afford another kid that we are going to have to completely change our lives – from an urban lifestyle to a suburban one, and with a much longer commute. I’m not sure that those changes are something that we want, and yet I’m sad at the thought of not having another kiddo.

    • We spaced our 2 about 2.5 yrs apart. We wanted them to be only two years apart in high school, if possible. We struggled to conceive our first, and got pregnant the second month of trying for the second.

      We talked a lot about having 3 when our first was a young toddler, and then the first few months after 2 was born. Ultimately, I don’t think it’s going to happen for us. I *want* a third, but in reality, I worry about the toll on DH and me. We fought pretty brutally starting when #2 was an older toddler and even now, don’t really have it together (my second kid is 20 months). DH works late a lot, and I am pretty much on my own for most week nights. I’m not afraid to say that I’m a great mom when when I’m rested and relaxed. But I’m a pretty mediocre mom at best when I’m tired and stressed. Another kid is a lot more sleepless nights and stress on our marriage, a lot more resentment about how much solo parenting I do, and a lot more mediocre “mom-ing.” My youngest is also an early riser. He’s out of bed at 5:30 almost every day for the last two months, and it’s really worn my husband and me down.

      I’ve also realized I like having kids who are old enough to get up/down stairs safely, snuggle on the couch with a book next to you, and who can climb into the car seat alone. Who don’t want to be in your arms only when you are doing something, and launch themselves out of your arms as soon as they are done. My two kids have been early walkers who are not into snuggling in your arms (neither kid would “hold on” as a baby/toddler while being held so they can jump out at any moment to rush to the next activity – I feel like I did “baby” wrong somehow that my kids never did this), and so I basically have independent toddlers from 9 months to 2 yrs. I think I’m pretty done with babies.

      Of course, I get misty and nostalgic when I read posts about positive tests, or even going through labor, or having a newborn. I also have two same gendered kids, and I think I’ll always miss having the chance to parent a girl. Those days I miss, and it’s those that make me want the 3rd. Realistically, I need to shut it down, and focus on moving forward with our two great kids.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      15 months apart, because we relied on previous infertility as a method of birth control.

      Timing of #3 we are looking partially at what would be the best to fit our life right now (kids sleeping on their own, etc.) and also what we ultimately want our family to look like (don’t really want elementary kids and high school kids at the same time).

    • Betty says:

      We wanted our children about 3.5 years apart (the spacing between my sister and I). We went through infertility and treatments to have our first, so figured we may likely need to go down that same path to have a second. So we started trying when our oldest was 19 months old (had we succeeded on our first try, they would have been 2.5 years apart). Our kids are 2 years, 6 months apart. A bit closer than we wanted, but we were ecstatic that we conceived naturally. The age difference has worked out really well so far.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only factors we felt strongly about were sibling spacing and our own ages. We figured that our lives would be easier if our kids were mostly in the same phase at the same time, and if we were younger parents (although 29 is not young by many people’s standards). I weaned around 1 year and got pregnant soon after both times — I don’t think this is ideal from the perspective of my physical or mental health in the short term, but with no other health concerns, *shrug*.

      It’s not that we didn’t care about career stuff, but our careers are really taking care of themselves, so there was nothing to compensate for. Grandparent care is not an option for us. Childcare is insanely expensive, but it’s the same amount whether we pay it all in 6 years or spread it out over 10+, and we can afford the compressed schedule. We bought a 3BR house when I was pregnant with #1, and figure it will be enough for as many kids as we want to have, it’s just a matter of how many have to share each room.

    • Momata says:

      Many of the factors listed above — and a sense of “let’s just put our heads down and get through this baby phase.” My first was also a great sleeper from six weeks on so we felt ready. They are 20 months apart. It has been manageable, and is getting more so now that they can entertain each other a bit and play with some of the same toys. I do think that having the older one still be so young and demanding kept me from soaking up as much from my second’s infant phase. But maybe that’s the case with any second child.

    • Anon here says:

      For us, it was a bunch of things, but mainly mental / biological bandwidth. There are 4 yrs between my first two children, and there will be 7(!) between my second and third (due any day now). I had my first 2 when I was at BigLaw, and now I’m with the government, so my salary is much much lower, but I have a great schedule. my first was a high-maintenance baby, and it took a long time to recovery fully from the birth, the endless pumping, and the nightly wake ups (until she was 2!! Still tired when I think of it). I couldn’t even consider it until she was 3 or so. My second was much easier, so I started entertaining ideas for a third earlier, but it took some time for my husband to be on board.

      I don’t consider us easily overwhelmed, but I think we would absolutely be overwhelmed by having two in diapers/ very close in age. Our house is tiny, childcare costs were so much more manageable with them spaced out, and having the older one independent enough to get in and out of her own car seat, read quietly, etc. was essential.

      Now I’m very happy with a huge gap before our third. We have so much more time and flexibility; our commutes are short, we don’t work nights and weekends; we live in bounds for a great public school through middle school (this was all still up in the air w/ the first 2). It just started looking a lot easier logistically to add a third now in ways that it wasn’t 7-8 years ago. And the older ones now are very excited (and I’m hoping will be helpful) about the baby-to-be. To each her own, though. Good luck!

      • So your oldest is now 11? It really is so personal. I have twins and the idea of having kids so far apart makes me tired just thinking about it! But that was almost exactly the spacing of my grandmother and her sisters, and I know that worked out really well. My grandmother was the oldest; her next sister was 5 years younger; and the last sister was 7 years younger than that. Even with 12 years between them, my grandmother and her youngest sister were incredibly close.

        • AnonHere again says:

          Yep, my eldest is 11. Thanks for the comment–sometimes I worry about how close they’ll be. We’ll make every effort to treat them as a team (which we do now), and to foster that closeness.
          I kept my fingers crossed for twins with each of my pregnancies (I’m a twin myself, and can’t think of a better sibling relationship), but I am secretly extremely intimidated by the idea of caring for 2 babies at once! You seem to take it in stride, TBK, and your little ones are lucky to have you.

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