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Sales of Note…
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And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
2 and through says
I know this has been brought up before, but I have the third baby blues. I am so fortunate to have two healthy boys, and I need to be done. My husband is done, and financially, we need to be done. I readily admit that my patience is strained/I get frustrated when the boys are chaotic, or I am solo parenting (both things that happen on the regular). But I am so nostalgic for a third person to join our family. Even reading the labor stories yesterday made me ache to do it again. And it’s not even the baby stuff! I am loving the preschool years. If anything, I”d love to skip the whole 6 months through 3 years and just have more little people in my house, and then more big kids and adult children. Ugh. Does the yearning ever go away?
Mrs. Jones says
Sorry, but I cannot relate to this yearning. I have one kid and never ever wanted another. Never.
I do agree that preschool is better than toddler though.
It took me a lot longer than I’d publicly admit to even consider trying for a second. I LOVE #1. I want 2-3 kids. I HATE how much pregnancy and the early months cramp my life and our family’s life. I am now 5 months pregnant and cannot wait for it to be 2 years from now, when I have an almost-2 and a 4.5 year old….except then we’ll be having ideas about third babies.
I don’t know what it is, exactly, but I think it’s the whole your-body-is-not-yours. I am apparently not a good share-er. My toddler can try my patience some days but she is useful! she can put her own socks and shoes on! she is funny! She (sometimes) sides with me when DH and i bicker about things like what to watch on TV or what to do for dinner. She even has, on occasion, fetched DH a beer and a bottle opener (parents of the year right here). I am now just hoping that she can be useful with the new baby as well…she’ll be not-quite-three, but we’ve been practicing taking care of babies and being QUIET around the dolls.
This is me, except I’m only 3.5 months which means I have 5+ months if this misery to go. I hate being pregnant so much, and our first was such a difficulty baby that I have intense anxiety about going through infancy again. But at 2.5, she’s amazing, and I trust that will be the same with my second.
Perhaps look into fostering as your own children grow up and leave the house? I have one and never.ever.ever want to be pregnant/have an infant again, but I do think we’ll look into fostering as my own child gets a bit older.
Meg Murry says
I grew up in a school that had a lot of foreign exchange students for being such a small school, which I thought was an awesome experience, so I am hoping to do that someday. Not quite the same as having my own kid #3, but it does help with the idea that that door isn’t permanently closed. It was definitely something I think of in the back of my mind when we bought our house and how we reconfigure the bedrooms – I’ve got one mentally pegged as “move oldest to this room and his old room becomes a foreign exchange student room”.
I thought I had settled into the idea that I was ok with only 2 – and honestly, I’m stretched thin enough that I think I would be a crappier mom to all three if we added a third. We’ve been giving away our baby stuff, and I even mentally had been working toward the that rather than replace my IUD, we should just have H get the big V.
But a friend just posted a bunch of pictures of her #3 (a girl after 2 boys) and my heart is going “oooooh, I wish I could”. Or, even more accurately, “oooh, I wish I would’ve between my current 2” (they are 8 and 4). And if there was a way to guarantee a girl without the stigma and cost around gender selection, I’d be more for it.
But it is wonderful to have kids finally moderately self sufficient, and to have my body to myself, not to have to carry them around or physically spoon food into their mouths or be constantly vigilant of them trying to kill themselves or destroy the house.
Besides, I keep reminding myself of my teenage years and my rough mental health years, and I can’t decide whether it would be harder to have a daughter that was just like me, where at least I can relate to her (but oh would that be tough to re-live) or if it would be harder to have a daughter that was a more stereotypically girly-girl that I wouldn’t “get”. So maybe I’m better off just being happy with what I have, rather than wishing for a hypothetical daughter.
No advice, but right there with you. I adore my two little people (2.5 and 5) and I always thought we would be a family of three. But BUT pregnancy and the baby years. Looking in the rear view mirror and seeing those years behind us feels so liberating. Our youngest is more independent than her older brother, so we have time to have adult conversations and get things done. And then the longing for a third hits. Oof. No advice. But our current childcare struggles are about to push me to the edge and do something permanent BC wise. Eager to hear if others have come to peace with this struggle.
Yup. I have two kids, 18 months apart, that are 4 and 2. And we’re done. Life is just getting easy(er) again. I have an IUD. I still had a minor pregnancy scare (sore chest, missed period (from the IUD) but enough to test, which was negative), and when I told my husband about it he told me he would be ok with an accidental third. Sigh. We’re done. Probably? I don’t know.
2 and through says
I guess I’m not the only one! (but happy for those who are not feeling the urge – good to know it’s not universal!). I’m also curious that it’s not “baby fever,” which yes – I don’t need those initial years, including pregnancy, sleepless nights, the constant vigilance, etc. I just love my hilarious, sweet little people, and when I look at my guys, I feel like a little body is missing. I like the idea of exchange students, or fostering. Something to consider. Also, like infancy, I sense that I’ll be singing a different song in the teenage years.
I posted about this a few weeks ago. We have 2 girls (1.5 and 4). My husband is so done. We could swing it financially, but he is totally fine with 2. I, however, had great pregnancies, relatively easy labors, loved bfing/cuddling with babies. So I’d do babies all day long if he’d let me….oh well…
This isn’t what this post is about but THANK YOU everyone for confirming my hopes that things get a little easier by 2.5 or 3 yo. My guys will be 2 next month and already just things like them being able to ask for more food, or even ask for specific foods, are game-changers (a week ago, when I came into their room, B stood up in his crib and signed “eat, egg, bread, please please” so, yes, kiddo, I can totally do you eggs and toast for breakfast! Which he then gobbled up without whining and moaning without me having any clue what he wanted! And last night he said “eat, eat” just before bed while pointing into the kitchen and I was like “oh, B, you’re still hungry — we can totally do pre-bed snack!” Hooray, communication!). I am so looking forward to when they don’t have to be physically hauled into their chairs, hauled out to the car in a stroller (because they’re too young to understand that they can’t go run into the very busy street by our house), physically dressed, hauled in and out of the bathtub, etc. I’m 38 and the constant bending and lifting gets exhausting after a whole weekend (not sure how my 63 yo old MIL does it when she watches them and I kind of envy my 24 yo au pair). Lately I’ve felt comfortable working in the kitchen while they play in the living room or even running upstairs for a second to grab something, and it’s SO LIBERATING. They also make jokes now, can follow simple directions, and are almost like real little humans. I think I’m going to really like when they turn 3. (But I reserve the right to be very sad at that point that we’re not having baby #3, but with two kids already and me already 38 and the HCOL in our area, these two are it.)
Oh, this is me btw.
I’m late to this party, but I just wanted to chime in with: Just like you, I could take or leave infant years, and I really dislike being pregnant, but I really want 3 kids/3 adult children some day. I would have happily looked into adoption and fostering (in several years), but DH is not on board with that. So, I figure pregnancy/infant years are a really short blip in the grand scheme of things, and I just need to power through. The stars aligned and both DH and I recently got promotions/raises and more flexibility at work, which cleared a big hurdle. If we’d thought about it longer, we might still have decided to stick with 2, but too late. Financially, daycare sucks but is doable, and I’ll get a full night’s sleep again someday. I can’t wait til future youngest is 3, though.
It didn’t for me. It waxed and waned, but stayed with me–which is why I’m expecting my third baby a whopping 7 years after my last one. It took that long to be sure. It would be easier in some ways if we’d acted earlier–very few of our friends still have babies, and who know how the age gaps will go–but at the same time, we are much better set in terms of finances, careers, childcare options, and our older 2 kiddos are much more independent and helpful.
This topic came up within the last couple weeks on here, though, and I recall that there were a million responses insisting that the 3rd baby desire just dries up after a while. It is a question everyone will answer differently. There just isn’t one answer.
Good luck! I can give you more insight when I’m on the other side (mid-June) ;-)
I should add that my children getting older had a big impact on our deliberations about a third. They’re fun, cool, interesting kids (I know: biologically biased, I’ll admit!), and I really like raising them. I don’t mind babies and toddlers and preschoolers, and am not at all dreading those years, but I am certainly looking forward to watching them become …people. It’s been an unexpected joy with the older two, and I look forward to doing it with this one too. *we have a long way to go–my children bicker like crazy chickens and think loud burps are hilarious and have to be forced to bathe even once a week–but then they have really great moments of insight and tenderness and wisdom (more frequently as time goes on), and I cherish that.
2 and through says
Have fun :) I’m glad you get to enjoy your 3rd with some bigger people around!!
PSA as I think someone was asking earlier last week – Kate Spade is having their surprise sale, and baby bags are marked down quite a bit, if that’s your taste.
My one year old went from guzzling down 8 ounces before bed to only having around 2. When did you drop the nighttime bottle? I think even those two ounces are helpful for putting here down and she is still making it through the night, but she seems to be dropping that feeding on her own…
We cut out the bedtime bottle shortly after my daughter turned 1. I was dreading it, since she was used to falling asleep in my arms with the bottle. But it was surprisingly easy! We instituted a clear nighttime routine to replace the bottle, which includes reading and rocking in the same chair, just without the bottle. When she starts to fidget and rub her eyes, I turn out the light, tell her goodnight, and put her into the crib while drowsy. And as an added bonus, getting rid of the bottle (and thus, not putting her to bed fully asleep) has done wonders for her sleeping through the night and for her ability to self sooth when she wakes up. Thankfully, it has been one of the easiest transitions yet.
I think this was me a year ago. I don’t remember the exact age but around 1 year (I think a little before because I think she was still drinking formula) my daughter just decided to stop drinking her pre-bed bottle. I was confused and a little anxious but after posting about it here I decided she would be fine if I stopped offering it, so I did and she was. Eventually she also cut out another bottle during the day (who knows when that happened) and drank two bottles a day, and now she’s more or less down to 1. Embrace it. Life is easier with fewer bottles.
We haven’t, but our baby almost did this himself at 9 or 10 months — he’d been having a bottle at 5:30 and one at bedtime, just after dinner (7:15 or so), and once he started eating a bigger dinner, was only having an ounce or two at bedtime. We got all excited that he would drop this one first, by himself! And then he dropped the 5:30 bottle instead, and definitely wants that 6 oz at bedtime. So far, nearly a year, we still do that bottle in his bedroom. But because bedtime is immediately following 7 pm dinner, for us, I think pretty soon we’ll just give him his milk with dinner and be done with it, since it’ll only be 5 minutes earlier than he has it now.
Don’t forget, toddlers need fewer calories than babies, because their growth slows. If she drops a feeding on her own, she drops it.
Would this blouse work as a 2nd trimester maternity top as well? I’m 17 weeks and looking for items that I can wear for the next couple months as well as post-partum – seems like this might fit the bill.
I have this top and, at least for me (I’m tall and have a long torso), it’s relatively short. So I would have a really hard time wearing it as a maternity top.
Thanks! I am not very tall and have a short torso, so maybe I can make it work. I was even debating about ordering it in both regular and petite to try on, so I would probably skip trying out the petite size.
+1. The top is too short for maternity, in my opinion
It depends on how you are growing. I probably could have worn it through about 22 weeks in retrospect, but no way to know at the time.
A comment late in the day yesterday got me thinking – how does anyone deal when a spouse is incapacitated in some way – mental illness, substance use issues, etc.? I’m amazing how often this comes up among my working-mom friends … husband’s depression keeps him from joining family events, extensive efforts made to cover up husband’s alcoholism, etc.
I know I struggle with defining appropriate lines between allowing / tolerating / enabling my own spouse’s alcohol use, which is more irritating than a serious health concern (at least so far) but doesn’t help the resentment I already feel from being the ‘default parent’ more than I’d like to be. For example, any evening after work where we realize baby is low on something, I have to go to the store because he’s too drunk to drive.
This may be too heavy / broad for general discussion, but it’s been on my mind.
I’m so sorry, Anon. That is so hard. My DH has had his own issues that have incapacitated him, and I’ve really had to apply some tough love. It’s obviously a know-your-spouse sort of thing, and pretty reliant upon the specifics of the situation. But for us, it required counseling, both individual and couple – and a firm resolve on DH’s part to address the issue. DH was told in no uncertain terms to address the issue (not be perfect, not never do it again, but deal with it – get help, make changes, etc…), or we’d separate. It was tough, and it took him getting to a humiliatingly low point to start making changes.
If your spouse is too drunk to drive, he’s probably too drunk to care for baby while you’re running to the store. That’s not okay. And if this happens every night or most nights, that is also not okay. These aren’t normal behaviors. I think even by saying it’s irritating rather than serious, you’re giving him way more benefit of the doubt than he deserves; this is serious! By covering his behavior and shouldering responsibility that he won’t you are enabling him to continue on this path. It sounds like you both need counseling – he needs it to address his drinking problem and you need it to break the enabling cycle; and you need it together to learn how to work as a team.
Even if he won’t go to counseling, I think it is very important you do. You could also attend a few Al-Alon meetings to see if you benefit from the support that can be found there.
Please find some support and some help – and challenge your spouse to do the same. These aren’t impossible circumstances to overcome, but it will require sacrifice and hard work from both of you.
Wait, so your husband is too drunk to drive every evening? That would be concerning to me, personally. I will say, I dumped a previous long term boyfriend who had fairly serious depression and refused to treat it. It wasn’t the depression that was the dealbreaker, it was the refusal to do anything to mitigate/treat it and all the ways I had to pick up the slack in our day to day lives to compensate for him. And we weren’t even married! It took a great toll on me, and honestly, made me fall out of love with him since I no longer respected him.
And my husband and I have both definitely cut down on our drinking since having kids (and not living in the city and not being in our 20s). A bottle of wine or two on the weekend, or maybe a beer during the week is our max. No more hard liquor at our home, and definitely waaay fewer boozy brunches/lunches/nights out. I will say that we see more ‘partying’ among parent friends of ours who got married younger and maybe didn’t get it out of their system? We both feel like ‘been there done that, need to wake up at 6am with a kid’ – the hangover isn’t worth it.
My husband’s anxiety prevented him from working, and sleeping, about a year ago. He was not functional for our family. I had already mentioned to him a mutual friend of ours, also a professional, who had taken a medical leave from work and checked herself into intensive group therapy. Even my husband could see that he needed to do that – he went to the internist hoping she’d tell him he was having a heart attack, and the xanax didn’t work for letting him sleep. He did take 2-3 weeks off for the therapy and ended up quitting his job. I was pregnant at the time, 7 months along. I was in regular therapy, we were also in couple’s therapy. This was the first time he’d taken time for himself like this in years. It really really helped.
How did I function? I journaled through it. I reached out to my friend and touched base with her. I upped my therapy. I reached out to my mother-in-law – husband’s mom – to ask her for help. I did tell selective friends. I read some of my husband’s self-help, I read a book called LOVING SOMEONE WITH ANXIETY and learned how I was helping and hurting. I don’t think I’m co-dependent – my therapist doesn’t think so, either – and I’ve strengthened my own boundaries and what I will/won’t do and what my expectations are. We communicate more and better.
I’m not sure what else to say? I am lucky that addiction is not a part of our lives, but certainly low-self-esteem, anxiety and depression are. Let me know if you have any questions
Hugs. I’ve been there (or somewhere like it). It’s awful.
Actually, the problem was that it didn’t feel awful at the time; it felt like just another hurdle in a long set of hurdles that were part of my normal. Consider taking a few weeks to live apart and see what “normal” looks like when the only person dependent on you is your child (because a drunk spouse is dependent on you, whether you realize it or not).
I think what kicked me out of the rut was imagining the example we were setting for my kiddo – she was so young at the time, but did I really want her to grow up thinking that a normal adult relationship consisted of mom doing everything and growing resentful while dad ‘napped it off’ on the couch? Nope. Now she sees Mom doing the things that are important to Mom, while Dad is a self-reliant adult while kiddo is with him because he HAS to be or she wouldn’t spend time with him.
This is such good advice. My husband has bipolar disorder, but it was a long and bumpy road to get to that appropriate diagnosis. For a long while I just thought our struggles as a couple were “normal.” When I was spending a week with my sister, and saw how she and her husband interacted around daily tasks, it was like a light bulb went off. I still have a clear mental image of my BIL helping my sister in the kitchen with some random, daily thing, and feeling an overwhelming wave of relief, recognition, and embarrassment (totally unnecessary, but there it is) at how far my husband and I had drifted from normal and healthy.
Best wishes to you finding your own version of normal and healthy.
anon for this says
I think mental illness and addiction are much more common than people realize, and the more people open up and seek treatment the better things will get – both for the person suffering and the spouse.
In my case, I’m the one who’s had really rough patches of depression. Last year I ended up taking off three months and spending time in the hospital after a traumatic event triggered a very severe bout of depression/anxiety. At first I was so ashamed and felt like such a loser (I quit my job as well), but actually getting the help and being open to some people about it made me see that it’s not a personal weakness/flaw but an illness like anything else that needs to be treated.
The hardest thing for my spouse is that he gets so sad when I’m sad. He hates to see me suffer. Then I feel bad for making him sad, and it’s sort of a vicious cycle. I do think he felt some resentment about having to do everything. I think the afflicted spouse has to meet the other half way – not every day is great but on the days I can get out and run errands, I’ll do it. I have to commit to getting better, and that includes being a contributing member of the household when I can!
Meg Murry says
As far as the “too drunk to drive so he can’t do errands” – I know maybe it’s beyond this, but have you straight up said “It’s not ok that every night you get too drunk to drive and I have to do all the errands, I really don’t appreciate having that burden dumped on me”?
If it’s more of a “thoughtless carryover from when we were young and carefree” or “oh, well I’ve had 2 beers so I better not chance it, you better go honey” vs borderline problem with alcohol, I’ll admit to being a bit passive aggressive about it. For instance, my husband would sometimes drink more than he should have multiple weekends in a row or stay up too late watching a movie or playing a video game with his brother. After being p*ssed off about it one too many times, I stopped tiptoeing around and rushing the baby out of the house on the weekends – instead I started turning on the lights, and announcing that I was going to an exercise class in 30 minutes so he needed to get his hungover butt out of bed and deal with the baby. Mature? No. Effective? Moderately.
Now we’ve reached a little better point of give-and-take, and a little more understanding, so basically he gets one night a weekend to stay up late and then sleep in, and I get the other, and we pre-arrange it. Unfortuantely, lately I’ve been using my sleep in day to recover from flu, not to sleep off a fun night, but I’m hoping to get back to a girls night.
I’m sorry if my examples are petty next to your more serious situation, but I hope there is something there you can use. Have you straight up said to him “you being drunk every night so I have to run all the errands is not ok” and/or put it on him to check to make sure the baby has “all the things?” My husband realized his drinking was becoming a problem for running our household when I threatened to treat him like a kid and hide all his alcohol until he finished his chores.
If it helps, pretty soon you won’t need quite so many specialized “things” for the baby (formula, wipes, diapers, baby food, etc) that require late night runs because you absolutely have to have them the next day.
For some more platitudes, someone once said here that a marriage isn’t 50/50, it’s 100/100, where you each are giving all you can – but sometimes one person’s “all” isn’t as much as the other’s due to extenuating circumstances (illness, etc). Is it possible to get a babysitter and sit him down and tell him how much this is effecting you? Sometimes we have to step up for our partner, but that doesn’t mean you always have to be the one to do it, and not indefinitely.
I also wanted to note that there is a difference between had a couple of drinks and is probably over the legal limit and too drunk to parent a child. My husband will have two gin and tonics some nights. One while cooking dinner. One while eating it. I don’t think that’s “problem drinking” but it likely puts him over our state’s very low legal limit. I’m not the OP but I don’t think we should jump to problems with alcohol just because he can’t legally drive. Also, someone who drinks regularly will have a tolerance and not appear at all intoxicated even though they would fail a breathalyzer. It is responsible for that person to not drive.
The bigger problem though is that it is impacting OP and OP needs to communicate with her husband about what she needs to not be impacted. Maybe it means he does an inventory before drinking. Maybe it means he doesn’t drink. Maybe it means he comes along to keep her company on the trip while she drives.
I thought of that too after I posted my comment too, so to the OP – sorry if we all jumped into the deep end on what should have been a simpler question.
I think what tipped me into my response was the feeling that this husband is using his drinking as an excuse to get out of responsibility. To my mind, that makes what might otherwise be benign relaxation into a problem because it’s one spouse abdicating responsibility and demanding that the other spouse accept that responsibility, without any conversation or agreement between the spouses beforehand. I see that as a problem regardless of the actual amount of alcohol consumed.
Super Anon for This says
Interesting question. My husband was always a heavy drinker. I thought he had a problem, he didn’t. I was always the driver at the end of the night because he had been drinking too much, etc.
Finally he came to the realization that yes, he had a problem, and no, he couldn’t stop drinking. Three stints with in patient detox in the last year…I don’t have any easy answers.
Short term – he doesn’t want anyone to know, so we have not told family/friends, except for a very select few. Covering, especially with three kids, has been hard. Fortunately, I switched jobs in the fall to a more flexible job, on the thought that this will be a long journey (was biglaw, now I’m in house). Still somewhat sad about that, but I love my new job and I was hugely relived that I had made the switch during the last hospitalization.
No real words of wisdom. Basically, in crisis mode, it’s one day at a time. Haven’t figured out a long term plan yet. To me, I very much treat it as a medical issue. It would be different for sure if I thought it was more a frat boy mentality of drinking is fun, but knowing that he recognizes it’s a problem and is actively working on it is huge. It also helps that when he is well, he does way way more of the childcare, pick up/drop offs, meal prep, etc….
It has definitely affected our relationship. He’s in therapy; couples therapy is probably a good idea. We’re still trying to find our happy and healthy, but I hope we can get there, together.
Thanks for sharing this. I hope that things work out for your family and you get the help and healing that you need. This random internet stranger is rooting for you all.
I received an email that my child’s daycare is having a Valentine’s Day Party. They have asked that each child to bring signed Valentines for each child. My son is 9 months old. Am I being stubborn if I refuse to take the time to buy Valentines and send them on Friday? I think it is silly, but wanted to ask the hive. Thanks!
Nope, I would agree with you. This is the type of thing I will probably ignore until my kid actually understands what is going on and wants to participate.
Ugh, my daycare did that last year and I bit – out of 10 infants, only 2 sets of parents brought valentines (and I was one of the 2). I heartily recommend opting out.
Meg Murry says
Was it from your child’s teacher or from the daycare at large? Is your 9 month old in an infant classroom, all with kids under 2?
If it’s from the teacher of an infant classroom, I would eyeroll so hard, and would probably bring it up to the director if something like this kind of request happens again. Especially since it’s Tuesday, so you don’t even have the weekend to do it, and many store shelves have already been well cleared of pre-made boxes Valentines. Plus, 9 months old, give me a break.
If it’s from the director or similar and addressed to all parents at the school, I would probably reply back
1) This is probably better for only the older classrooms (2 and up or 3 and up)
2) It’s incredibly rude not to give at least a weekend to working parents for special requests like this
3) This should be proposed as optional, not a demand.
Our daycare/preschool is helping the kids make “friendship cards” this week as part of art time, and I think that makes a lot more sense. I gave wine this year as part of the Christmas/New Year gift that went over well, so I think I’m going to do it again as a periodic “thank you for being reasonable” gift on Valentine’s Day (I get a deal on the remainder of cases from a friend at a wine distributor, so it isn’t much out of my pocket and is well appreciated).
Sorry, my original post was not clear. There had been prior emails regarding the Valentine’s Day party. I did not realize until this week that it was expected of the infants. The emails had been sent by the head of the infant (under 16 mos.) program.
Trials and tribulations of breastfeeding – to get baby’s weight up and increase my supply, I’m having to pump after each feeding (8-10 times a day). I’ve been washing all the pump parts after every use but it’s getting tiresome. I did order a second set to rotate in, but am wondering if there are any other short cuts I can take?
Why not just stick them in a clean plastic baggie (or even the medela microwave steam clean bags) and store the entire thing in the fridge? Its not like they’re ‘dirty’ and the fridge will keep the residual milk fat from going off. Honestly if you can store breast milk at room temperature for 6-8 hours I wouldn’t stress about storing your pump parts on a clean, dry surface, or in a clean dry place and just washing once at the end of the day.
Anon in NYC says
+1. Wash them daily, not after every pump. I wipe pump parts after each pumping session at work and store them in the fridge, and then wash them when I get home.
Meg Murry says
Unless your baby is a preemie or immunocompromised, wiping any obvious drops with a paper towel and then shoving the whole thing in a ziploc bag and putting in the fridge, and then washing every 12-24 hours is sufficient. You can also wash the ziploc bags.
Also, for some advice from someone who’s been there done that:
-in order to make more milk, you also need to get some food and sleep. That may mean skipping pumping after the middle of the night feeds, because sometimes 15 more minutes of sleep will do you more good than 15 minutes of pumping in the long run.
-formula is not evil, and using a little while getting your supply up doesn’t make you a failure. I cried when my LC made me give my baby formula for the first time (a few drops before the feeding, and then 1/2 to 1 oz after), but she pointed out that back in the day, rich women would have had wet nurses, lucky poor women would have had lactating relatives, and unlucky woman would have had their infants die. Formula is not evil, it is a miracle product that saves babies lives when used properly, don’t fear it.
-ask for help, don’t take all the feeding tasks on yourself. My routine with kid #2 was that my husband ,mother or MIL gave him around 10 ccs of formula or pumped milk while I got my pump parts out of the fridge (so they would warm up). That “woke him up” and let him know it was time to eat (and kept him from attacking my boobs like a crazed piranha, while I hand expressed so the milk was there and ready. Then I nursed for 15-30 minutes (or more if I could take it, less if I was in pain), and passed him back to family member for them to give him his follow-up feeding while I pumped. H took responsibility for washing the pump parts once a day, which also helped.
Feel free to ignore if I’m giving unasked for advice, but I’ve soooo been there (twice) and it does get better!
FYI, pumping into 2 ounce containers like these instead of the 4 (or larger) oz bottles your pump probably came with helped me on a pure psych-out move – seeing just drops in the 4 oz bottles was depressing, but my 1/4 oz (or less) in the 2 oz bottles at least looked like I was getting somewhere.
“rich women would have had wet nurses, lucky poor women would have had lactating relatives, and unlucky woman would have had their infants die”
Yes. This is why the “every woman can breastfeed” thing makes me insane. Babies used to die. A lot. Formula is a God-send. Breastfeeding may be ideal, but formula is a miracle.
All of this. My LC used to remind me that it wasn’t the absence of formula, but rather the presence of breastmilk that was the goal. I wish I had given myself permission to embrace that mantra a little more fully in those early, crazymaking days.
I just honestly felt my body relax reading those words. That is a great mantra.
Love this – thank you for sharing!
Yes, this. At work, where I don’t want to keep parts in fridge, I wipe them down after each use and use medala microwave steam bags 1x day (not because sterilizing is necessary, but because its easy peasy).
this. I pumped at work (so annoying) and I kept the parts in the fridge in between sessions. Just washed the parts once a day.
I didn’t even bother wiping them down with anything other than a paper towel.
Put them in the fridge. As the PP says, you can use a clear plastic bag. I like the planet wise wet bags for this purpose — I use them now to store my pump parts in the fridge at work. No need to be washing so often. Also, FWIW, I hate washing pump parts so much that I asked my husband to take this on as his chore. If you are the one making all the food for baby, someone else can take charge of the cleanup. He washes everything at night, and I am so much happier.
As others have said, just wash once a day. Can you buy enough sets to put the horns or flanges or whaddyacallems into the dishwasher? However many days it takes you to run a load of dishes, add one, and that’s how many sets i would shoot for, ideally. This way you are only washing the little valves and stuff.
Not your question, but just an fyi – I did this too, upon doctors advice, and it got my supply all out of whack because my body thought I needed to provide enough milk for twins or triplets. I developed mastitis due to massive oversupply issues and had to be hospitalized and put on narcotics (pain was far worse than C-section recovery.)
As a first time mom, I didn’t realize that the 104 fever, rock hard spots within my massive b**bs, and joint pain were signs of an infection. Certainly wouldn’t hope this for you – but keep an eye on your own health too as you’re doing all of that extra pumping.
If you have a partner, could your partner do some of the washing? I had two sets and only washed once a day, and pump parts + bottles still added up to a huge amount of washing. Splitting it up was really helpful.
Wash once per day. Order multiple sets. And consider domperidone. I took it with both children and it helped get me to six months of almost exclusive breastfeeding, though there was a lot of formula supplementation as well. Good luck.
Thanks all! This is a lifesaver. Amateur question- do you use the same bottles as well? Or should I keep switching those out for new ones each session?
Appreciate all the input. I’ve put myself through the ringer, but at the end of the day the priority is getting weight on the bean. Bonus points if I can do that with more breastmilk than formula. Even more bonus points if we can get past this within the next few weeks ;)
Fwiw I’ve received info from the ped and multiple LCs, but went to a breastfeeding support group that was heads and tails the most beneficial. Not the kind of thing I would have ever seen myself doing, and yet there I was, and it was great. Just a reminder to others to investigate all the possible resources out there.
Amelia Bedelia says
I used the same bottles, too.
I think there’s something about not adding fresh milk to chilled milk. So, I would pump into bottles, transfer into a bag (which went into the refrigerator) then next pumping session pump into the same bottles (w/o washing). Depending on how much you’re pumping, Medela makes bags that you can pump directly into. I didn’t like them as much as the regular storage bags (kinda awkward), but may be a good option for you. I wasn’t producing very much, so I usually had to combine the output from multiple sessions to get one bottle.
You can pump into Lanisoh bags too! Use the adaptor from the crummy medela bags and cut a tiny hole in the top of then Lansinoh bags like the medela bags. I use one bottle, one bag then put it all into one bag for storage.
That was me, btw.
Because I like to know exactly how much milk is in each bag, i just weigh the filled bags on my kitchen scale. The bag weighs .25 oz, so I just subtract that out and 1 oz liquid volume of breast milk is basically 1 oz of weight.
So….about imposter syndrome. I posted a while ago about expecting a bad review. I haven’t had the review yet, but early results are actually looking positive and I brought in a piece of work this year that generated fees in excess of my annual salary. So…maybe I’m going to ask for a raise instead of pleading for my continued employment? Life is funny.
Good for you, congratulations!
For tall women or those with long torso I find this brand to fit to short in the waist.