Nursing-Friendly Tuesday: Sleeveless Faux Wrap Blouse

Sleeveless Top: Pleione Sleeveless Faux Wrap Blouse Hooray, it’s nice to see everyone’s favorite nursing/pumping/general-blouse-love shirt back in stock, and in a ton of new prints and colors. I like this black-and-white scattered dot pattern (all the better for hiding random kid-related stains), and the price: it’s $58, available in sizes XS-XL. Pleione Sleeveless Faux Wrap Blouse

Here’s a plus-size option.



  1. Preggers says:

    What was or is your favorite end of first trimester, not showing, but definitely growing a pre-baby-bump fupa outfit?

    • Wrap or faux wrap dresses, definitely. I could wear jersey ones with a cardigan in my business casual law firm. I also got a lot of mileage out of ponte pencil skirts (even better if they were pull-on).

      • Ponte pencil skirt or straight-up knit skirt with a blousy top. Wrap dresses really emphasized the belly for me and I wasn’t ready to do that until later on. Honestly, I also just wore a lot of maternity pants with a longer than usual top beginning around 10 weeks — bloat is no joke and anything else was too much pressure on my belly!

      • Maddie Ross says:

        Also disagree with wrap dresses for “disguising” or hiding the early bump/bloat. Do love me some wrap dresses though once you’re out in the open. Especially when you’re not quite ready for maternity, but too big for your structured clothing. Hiding, IMO, is best done in high-waisted tulip or A-line dresses. Also good are pull on ponte knit pants with tops like the one featured today (not too blousy, but not meant to be tucked in – I prefer those that hit at about the hip, so it doesn’t *look* as much like you’re hiding something).

      • I’ll caveat the wrap-dress advice with the fact that I’m 6′ tall and a size 14-16, so I wasn’t “showing” for a long time (the only time a tummy pooch is good?) and could previously wear empire waists without an issue. I could see how they would be revealing for someone with a different build.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Maternity skirts, like the one Kat featured yesterday, were a staple for me before I moved over into maternity pants. I wear a lot of skirts/dresses (more so than pants) so it worked well with my existing wardrobe.

    • I had a couple of Chaus dresses with side gathering (not in a maternity-dress way, though) that were awesome. My other standby was flowy untucked blouses with slim pants or skirt (using a button extender or bella band as needed). I was never “hiding” though, so if that’s a concern, I’ve seen lots of comments on the main page that flowy tops are dead giveaway.

    • Due in December says:

      I actually preferred shift dresses in one or two sizes up from usual, and I am also loving them 6 months postpartum for hiding the extra 5-10 pounds of tummy that remains. I had this dress (link to follow) in regular size 6, not plus (for once, it seems there are ONLY plus sizes!) and actually wore it from the first trimester to the middle of the third, and still wear it to work. You could only really see the bump once it got pretty darn big.

      Personally, I much preferred dresses while pregnant. I found them more forgiving as my size changed and easy to just throw on one piece of clothing in the morning and feel “put-together.” And I found that messing with bella bands and elastic bands was just a pain.

    • Summer camp help says:

      With the qualifier that I am tall, I wore my regular pants and skirts unbuttoned/unzipped with a band well into the second trimester, with a blousy top and cardigan or blazer.

      • Midwest Mama says:

        This is what I wore as well, and I’m also tall and didn’t show until 20-some weeks.

    • MomAnon4This says:

      hate the term fupa.
      love your body.

    • Anonymous says:

      scarves and cardigans…though I was always ending first tri in the winter, so it was easier to pull this look off. Still, some gauzy linen scarves and cotton cardigans could work in summer, especially if the A/C is high where you work.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What questions should I ask when choosing between a preschool for my 3year old? FWIW, I live in a semi-rural area with probably 60-70 SAHM, and so the options for children less than public school age are few and far between. We are looking at four options, three of which are religious private schools, and one of which is a secular private school. I’m a little concerned that one of the religious private schools might be too fundamentalist for us, but otherwise the other ones are really regular preschools just in conjunction with a church.

    We’ve had in-home nanny care for the past three years and this is my first foray into this world.

    • Anonymous says:

      60-70%. Not 60 to 70 people.

    • Shayla says:

      Check the public records on how the places have done for their annual audits/compliance checks. Also, just because there may be a violation doesn’t mean you need to run. But, look into it and see what the school has to say. It’s different how you can access it depending upon where you. If you can’t find it online, call the school and ask. They should be more than willing to provide the report or guide you on how to access it, including discussing the results.
      Ask about teacher turn-over, and child/teacher turn-over
      Ask about curriculum: handwiritng, reading, numbers, etc. Even though it’s preschool, some include this more than others. Hearing the school’s plan is the only way to gage whether it’s important to you.
      Outside time
      Nap schedules, policies (can they bring in a lovey/blanket?) do they get their own cot?
      Drop off/pick up policies: when to do it, what happens if you’re late, security, having another adult do it
      Food (some schools randomly require you to supply your own snacks…)
      With the religious based schools, ask how they incorporate religion into their school day. You may be surprised by how little it impacts the regular routine. Or, it will reveal just how much the fundamentalist one is not for you.

    • Great questions from Shayla. The one I would add: Ask when they tend to hold the parent events (parties, sing alongs, art shows). One event at 10am on a Wednesday is one thing, but if there are multiple events at 10am or noon, it can be hard to swing as a working parent. The timing of these events can also show their constituency: working parents v. more stay at home parents. I thought that not attending the school events, or trading off with my husband, wouldn’t be a big deal, but I have found that my preschooler’s disappointment that I won’t be at yet another mid-morning brunch/read along/sing along really gets to me.

    • Spirograph says:

      Yes, all of these logistics/management things. Aside from those, I’d be most interested in the “curriculum,” ask to see a typical daily schedule, and generally get a feel for what the goal and philosophy of the preschool is. Make sure it aligns more-or-less with your own parenting philosophy. Is it play-based? Kindergarten prep with more instruction? How much individual vs group time is there? How do the teachers interact with the kids — are they mostly safety supervisors and let the kids self-direct and settle their own differences, or are they quick to intervene?

      You also may want to check your state’s licensing. Some differentiate between child care and preschool programs with an education component, so which certifications the program has sought could be telling.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Additional questions:
      -staff turnover/longevity. Our current school has (what I feel to be is) a good mix of long time 10-30 year veteran teachers plus a few younger assistant teachers that are in the process of getting degrees. If all the teachers have only been there 1-3 years, I’d consider that a little bit of a red flag
      -are any of the preschools co-op models where you have to volunteer in the classroom a certain number of times?
      -other parent responsibilities (is there a rotating snack calendar? will you be asked to send in random things like construction paper or certain color t-shirts on short notice?)
      -communication – is there some kind of newsletter or notes home? is there the option to receive it via email?
      -the calendar. Does it follow the public school calendar? Does it close when the public schools do for snow days? Are there random inservices/early release/staff training days?
      -Is there a summer program or summer camp option, or just during the school year?
      -Is the preschool space separate from the church, or is it also used for Sunday school (and does it have the accompanying religious decor, and are you comfortable with that?)
      -what other religious elements are part of the day (Prayer before snack/meals? Bible stories? Noah’s ark related crafts? Religious songs?) and how would you feel if your 3 year old wants to start doing the same at home?
      -if it’s an all day program, how is the outdoor play area? Is there an area indoors where the kids can run around if the weather is too bad for outdoor play?

  3. Good morning ladies, any second time (or more!) mamas here? I am a first time mom to a 14 month old and I feel ready to start trying again for a second! I have appointments made with my obgyn and my general doctor to get checked out, health wise. What other action items do you suggest before trying to conceive? My husband and I are going to sit down and look at finances too. Anything you wish you did, or that you recommend doing, before you started trying for number 2?

    Would also be interested in hearing the age gaps between your first and second and your thoughts on the gap.

    Thank you for your insight!

    • AnonMN says:

      Our age gap is 2 years 3 months and I think it is good (we are planning on it again for our third) but the first few months are very hard. My best advice is to financially plan for daycare for two, but also to keep your first in their current child care arrangement full-time for your maternity leave. It really made a world of difference for me vs my SIL, who had no care for her toddler.

      • That makes sense! We have a nanny plus my mother in law, and we definitely plan to retain our nanny during my maternity leave.

        • Anonymous says:

          Having the nanny during maternity leave with my second was amazing. It was really great to have someone around after DH was back at work. It was also nice to spend time with my eldest while nanny and baby bonded.

    • Ashley says:

      My advice would be, if you haven’t already, work out how you and your husband share the sick-child duties. I have three under age 4, and it feels like every time we turn around someone is out of daycare sick. The germs multiply! As does the chance that you will get sick, too.

      I’m all for having them close together. My first two are 15 months apart, and the third is 22 months behind the second. It is tough for sure early on, but my first two are good buddies and I hope they will grow up that way. My sister and I did, and we never needed to take a friend on trips or have someone over all the time because we had a built-in pal.

      Other advice on having ’em close… hope the baby likes a wearable carrier? Finally had luck on that with No. 3 and an Ergobaby.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Oh yes, I was not prepared for the back to back illnesses that meant 2x as many days at home with only one of them sick at a time, plus then me or H getting it after that. I knew 2 sick kids at once would be bad, but I hadn’t realized that they usually didn’t get sick simultaneously but rather back to back. Because of that, I would *not* recommend using all your sick/vacation time to extend maternity leave – I wound up going back at 10 weeks, I was back for a week, and then I had to take almost another whole week off when the whole family got a horrible stomach bug one by one.

        With regards to your general health, talk to your doctors about your iron and vitamin D levels, if that isn’t already part of your well visit checks, or anything else that was an issue with your first pregnancy so you can stay on top of it for a second. You can also discuss if you should start on prenatal vitamins now.

        The other thing that was harder for me with the 2nd pregnancy was that with my first I was so exhausted but I could just go home and go right to bed at 7 pm a couple times a week during the first trimester. With an older kid to take care of you still have to feed them dinner and do bedtime whether or not you feel like it unless your partner can do it all himself.

        Things I wish I had done before getting pregnant (but obviously aren’t deal breakers): had a better household routine that I could just do on autopilot like meal planning, established an exercise routine I enjoyed that I could do throughout pregnancy, moved before we got pregnant with number 2 instead of when I was 7 months pregnant.

        Things I’m glad we did: kept the oldest in daycare throughout maternity leave, got on the daycare waitlist ASAP, got the oldest used to mommy OR daddy (or sometimes grandma) being able to do any part of his routine instead of insisting only mommy do bedtime or only daddy do bath.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree on this in all respects, although I only have two. Somehow, since we’ve had two in daycare, it feels like someone is out sick all the darn time. If you are doing daycare, you definitely need a backup plan… which I still haven’t totally figured out.

      • Yes, I love baby wearing and my daughter does too! Hopefully if I have a second, the second will as well!

    • MamaLlama says:

      Our gap is 2.9 years, but they will be 2 grades apart in school due to birthdays. Think about how your childcare model may change with two, and any relevant budget/work/life changes (we switched from daycare to PT preschool + nanny). Consider how exhausted you will be in your first tri/possibly all pregnancy and make sure there is a plan for current kid (DH, after daycare sitter, etc). My kid did a LOT of TV watching over the winter when I was pregnant and flat out exhausted by 6, and DH was working late.

      Consider any changes to vehicles, start any relevant transitions (if you need your older one out of a crib, or potty trained, or whatever). We potty trained the month we started TTC. Took a few months to conceive and so when #2 was born, #1 had been solidly daytime potty trained for 9 months, and nighttime trained for 6. We avoided regression this way vs some daycare family friends who now have a 3 year old still in diapers, an infant, and no energy to deal with potty training. And they’re miserable.

      Start to look for gear once you test positive- we had to upgrade a few things now that there are two in the mix.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a 3 year gap. I nursed 18 months on first baby and wanted at least 6 months off after I was done before trying again. WHO also recommends spacing of 3-5 years for optimal maternal health. Plus older child was toilet trained when #2 arrived. Baby #1 was sick once or twice in the first year but Baby #2 was sick almost every month for the whole first year. Older siblings are germ factories.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m expecting my 3rd and there is about 20 months’ age difference between 1 and 2 and will be the same between 2 and 3. I’m also all for close spacing! They are now 1.5 and 3 and it works for us. DH and I are tired, sure, but we embrace the chaos, like doing kid-friendly stuff, and go with the flow. Know yourself and your partner for that one; friends whom I would describe as more into “adult” things and value peace, quiet, and order seem just miserable with two kids 3 and under.

      In contrast to others, I really haven’t had any issues with germs (knock on wood), but that’s probably just luck. The baby had a runny nose for most of the first winter, but I think we’ve only had a handful of sick days in the last year for both combined. They’re on similar nap schedules, they go to the same daycare, and they’re best best friends in a way that makes my heart burst. 3 year old has been potty trained for almost a year (thanks, daycare!) so our two-in-diapers time was fairly short. All our baby gear was/is still accessible and in good shape, so we didn’t need much of anything, just an extra car seat and toddler bed so we bequeath the crib to baby. (Financially, other than daycare, 2nd kid wasn’t much of a hit. 3rd requires a minivan, though. Oof) My husband is very hands-on; I am the default parent for remembering things, but he is incredibly helpful with the day-to-day. I have no idea how I would manage without him picking up at least 50% of the work.

      To the point above about 3-5 years spacing for optimal maternal health… I don’t know if this is because mine are so close together or just because I’m a little older and already tired from parenting young kids, but my second and third pregnancies have been much more annoying than the first. More pains, more exhaustion, just generally worse. I was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency and prescribed supplements after then 2nd was born, but other than my normal check-up, I didn’t do anything special, health-wise to prepare. I’ve been taking prenatal vitamins basically continuously for 4 years while pregnant and breastfeeding. I was back to normal weight and activity level and finished weaning both times before getting pregnant, but there was definitely still some unfinished rebuilding under the hood that became apparent once the physical toll of pregnancy kicked in again. If you’re otherwise healthy, it’s not something I’d plan around if you have other reasons for wanting close age spacing, but just something to be aware of.

      Emotionally: I remember feeling like I “missed out” on a chunk of my older child’s toddlerhood because I was distracted with the second pregnancy and then an infant, and it made me a little sad. I think I’ve gotten better at dividing my attention to focus and be present for each child individually since then, because I haven’t felt the same way since then. Or maybe my standards are lower!

    • Samantha says:

      Strongly advocate a larger age gap (4yrs bw mine).
      – You enjoy the first kid’s toddlerhood more
      – First kid is potty trained, eating and (almost) sleeping independently before #2 arrives
      – Needs of 2 kids are different, easier to ‘share’ mom’s time e.g. baby wants to be cuddled, older kid wants to pretend to be a dinosaur family (and talk abt that) – both don’t fight over your lap
      – First kid is a germ factory; second kid will get sick a lot more as has been mentioned, so beware of 2 needy little kids, helps if first is a bit older
      – First kid is a bit more mature about sharing stuff, looks down on “baby toys”, first kid is more forgiving of baby’s antics (eg. baby pulling kid’s nose) and doesn’t fight back as much
      – First kid can help you with or mind baby in dire situations (e.g you’re in the bathroom and baby is trying to eat playdoh or touch an outlet
      – Physical toll of pregnancy: you don’t need to carry your older kid while pregnant

      • Anonymama says:

        Mine are 4 years apart and I agree with all this, but as they get older and are into totally different activities I see how having them closer together would be more challenging for the first year or two, but possibly better as they get older. Like, right now older kid activities are completely hazardous with younger kid around, and older kid is often bored with younger kid activities.

  4. AnonMN says:

    We’re posting for our first nanny this month. Anything not within the norm (hours, taxes, etc) that I should include in the job description to ensure I get good candidates that fit our lifestyle? We’re hoping to find someone who is long term as we plan on having more (we currently have 2).

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know if your city is like mine (Boston), but I found that people responded to my ad even if they couldn’t work the hours I needed, so I don’t think they would have self-screened for other sorts of details. Some things to think about for the phone screen:
      -will the nanny need to drive your kids?
      -how much do you need him/her to be flexible around schedule changes? Our otherwise awesome nanny was fairly rigid and made weekday evening plans, so I always hesitated to ask her to stay late so I could go to a networking event or the like.
      -be clear about vacation and holiday expectations. How much paid vacation will you give? What holidays? Do you expect the nanny to take his/her vacation when you’re out of town yourself? (Note: I think this is crappy, myself, but some families don’t give paid time off. I think it’s fairly common to give two weeks and require that one of the week’s coincide with your family vacation. We gave 2 weeks paid and also paid for any time the nanny didn’t work because we were out of town or a grandparent had the kids–in practice, our nanny probably only took about 4 days per year when we were home & working.)

    • One thing that has made the nanny hunt easier from me is that I email back and forth a few times prior to engaging in the phone screen. The initial advertisement tend to be pretty generic so I follow up with a more specific email that is very honest about our needs and expectations and asks a few questions. The more specific email is a template so that I don’t have to engage in a ton of thought prior to sending it. It tends to weed out a few.

      When I get to the phone screen, I like to ask a few hypotheticals and general questions: What is your approach to discipline for a 3 year old? What would you do if my kids started screaming at each other in the backseat while you are driving? What would you do if one child wants to stay inside and the other wants to play outside? We are going to potty train the 3 year old this summer. Do you have any experience in that?

      It is a taxing process but the leg work really is worth it. And don’t forget to call references!

      • layered bob says:

        +1 the hypos.

        I asked, “What would you do if the baby (4 months old at the time) started crying for some reason?” (looking for answers like, “check diaper, see if they’re hungry, hold and bounce, put the baby down safely in her bed if I was frustrated.”) And a surprising number of people said things like “tell the baby to STOP CRYING,” or “I don’t know.”

        I also required nannies to be fully vaccinated, which eliminated probably 60% of applicants (which may be unique to where I live.)

    • Check out Park Slope Parents. They have a comprehensive guide to hiring nannies that is a tremendous resource and relevant beyond just Brooklyn

  5. Summer camp help says:

    My almost-kindergartener hates his summer camp. (He spent the first two weeks of the summer at his school’s camp, which he loved, but school does not offer camp for elementary or middle schoolers for the rest of the summer, just for returning preschoolers.) He is attending a camp run by an outside vendor but held at his school and open to anyone, not just kids from school. So while some school friends are at camp, there are lots of kids he doesn’t know. He is very shy and does not like new people or new routines. Obviously we considered this when signing him up for camp, and thought that going to camp in familiar surroundings with some people he knew was the best option.

    Apparently not. He cried all night last night because he was so unhappy at camp. That sort of meltdown is very out of character. He is scared of all the people he doesn’t know and doesn’t like the activities. I feel terrible. We have six more weeks of this camp. I don’t know what to do. I think I could convince his school to let him go to the camp for preschoolers (he is starting K a few months before turning 5 and the school would have enrolled him in another year of preschool had we not requested he move on to K, so is still the right age for preschool) but then I’d be out $4k for the other camp (no refunds after June 1). On the one hand I feel like this may be a good growing experience, but I don’t want my kid to be miserable all summer. Hopefully it will get better as he gets more used to it, but if it doesn’t I’m not sure what to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      My child isn’t there yet, so take this with that grain of salt, but if he’s having such a difficult time with camp with some of the same kids in the same general environment, and you’re starting him on what is arguably the earlier side (at least by current standards), have you thought about holding him back? Surely the school could work with you on this since it’s so early on…

      • Summer camp help says:

        Thanks for the thought. He thrived at the kindergarten transition camp offered by his school the past two weeks (like when I told him to stop waking up at 6 am he said he couldn’t because he was too excited for camp), so I think the issue is figuring out how to get him comfortable with the current camp.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I’d give it a week before really worrying or doing something about it. Hopefully he’ll adjust in a couple of days.

    • As a fellow shy kid who was also a military brat (ie I changed schools every 18 mos-3 yrs) and parent of a shy kid about the same age, my advice would be to give it a bit more time. Day 1 in a new environment (which can consist entirely of new faces but same physical space) can be unnerving for anyone. I would think about what you can do to help your child through this experience with what will be most comforting and confidence-building for your child. Does your child derive confidence and comfort from you, a good friend, a stuffie? Can you hang out at the school for a while or in a nearby coffee shop and work? Can you put a stuffie in the backpack (and have the stuffie be your kid’s protector) for a few days? Can you talk with your child about what is good about the day? Also talk about times when you have been uncomfortable and how you have gotten through it. Talk with the staff and see if they can make him a special helper for a few days. I would stay away from emphasizing the length of the program but focus on the good and walk him through these emotions. Its so tough to see our kids hurting but I think you can help him through this!

    • mascot says:

      Can you reach out to the camp and let them know that he is having a rough adjustment? Maybe they can put him in a group with his buddies or have a more outgoing kid be his friend while he adjusts? He’s going to go through these adjustments for kindergarten too (which are hard for all kids, and worse for a more sensitive kid).
      Also, are they still having a rest period for his age group? Dropping the nap during camp was a big switch for my child in the summer between PreK and K. .

    • Meg Murry says:

      Was yesterday the first day, or has he already been there a week?If yesterday was the first day, I think he may just be tired and overwhelmed and it will probably get easier.

      Can you go in with him at dropoff and meet the teachers/counselors with him? Point out the friends he already knows, and remind him of his favorite things (is there a piece of playground equipment there he loves? etc).

      Also, you can just tell him that you understand that change is hard and it’s ok to be scared and to cry, but that you know he’ll be ok. Acknowledge the big feelings, and encourage him to talk about them. If you can, encourage him to tell you specifically what he is scared of, and see if you can walk through what he can do in those cases or role play.

      If you move him back to the preschool program, be prepared for a similar (or worse) meltdown at the start of Kindergarten. My oldest has had a similar freakout at the end of every school year, and the beginning of the next.

      You aren’t scarring him for life by sending him to a new camp, even if he doesn’t love it the first few days. He’ll have to try a new situation eventually.

    • Take this with a grain of salt, because my son is younger and we haven’t had to deal with this yet. For now I would put this in the “growing experience” category, especially if yesterday was the first day. Change and transition can be really hard, but you can’t protect him from it forever. Help him with the transition as much as you can. But, although I don’t know your child, my guess is that the surroundings and people will become familiar. As it does, give him positive reinforcement. Then next time there’s a big change, use this camp as a concrete example of how he’s done well in and enjoyed new experiences before.

    • Summer camp help says:

      Thanks for the suggestions. Yesterday was the first day so I agree it is premature to freak out. Last night was hard though. I ran into his preschool teacher on my way out of school this morning and talked to her — she thinks we should tough it out and that he would be unhappy in the preschool camp because most of the kids are young 3 year olds just starting school.

      I have been walking him in and getting him settled with one of his friends. The only way I was able to get him to let go of me was because his best friend ran over and gave him a bear hug. I called the camp and they said they will pair my son and his best friend for subsequent weeks, so hopefully he finds new people to hang out with for the rest of this week.

      • I think you are on the right track, then. I would not withdraw at this point. My shy guy had a really hard year last year transitioning to a new program, and after a few weeks, he was well settled with good friends. That said, if you can take off an afternoon and pick him up early for a special dinner/afternoon activity, that special one on one time helps (know your kid, though, as it could backfire if he would then expect the same thing the next day).

        Or, it’s cheaper than losing the $4K, but you could hire a college student to take him out of camp once a week. It’s quieter, he could do some fun activities – like swimming – or he may be bored, and realize that he wants to be in camp with his buddies.

  6. pumping on a plane says:

    I have to fly home for 48 hours for a funeral and need to pump for my 7 month old…ON A PLANE (I’ve looked into different options but the layover is too short to pump during and the plane rides are both too long to wait until I land. Advice???

    • Best case – take the baby.

      Next best case – sympathetic flight attendant will let you pump in their area of the back of the plane (they aren’t supposed to) or let you take over the bathroom for 10 minutes. Explain to them to situation and see if you can garner any sympathy.

      Short of these, ask to sit in an aisle seat near the back (ask a flight attendant to reseat you next to a sympathetic looking female), bring a nursing cover, sit near the bathroom, get yourself set up in the bathroom, and return to your seat with a heavy blanket over your front to cover yourself during the walk and while pumping. Explain to your seatmate what the situation is, to avoid a panic with the pumping noise. I’ve done this, and it sucks. (Ha ha). But best of luck.

      • pumping on a plane says:

        Going to the bathroom to get set up was the part I was missing and stressing about, thanks!

        • Edna Mazur says:

          I agree with these suggestions but disagree with setting up in the bathroom and walking back to your seat.

          We have a communal pumping space at work so I’ve had a lot of practice, but if you wear a nursing cover, cardigan or something that keeps your sides semi covered, a nursing tank you can pull down, and a regular t-shirt you can pull up you should be able to get fully set up without exposing yourself in your seat. Practice at home a few times first maybe. That way you won’t have to walk around the plane all hooked up, which I would be uncomfortable with.

    • I’d spring for freemies.

    • Meg Murry says:

      When do you have to leave? If you have a 2 days and Prime or are willing to pay for rush shipping, you could order Freemies, which fit in your bra and you wouldn’t have bottles hanging down to worry about. What kind of pump do you have? Do you have a battery pack for it already, or would you need to buy that too?


      Alternately, you could use a hand pump and a nursing cover. Obviously not ideal, but it would be better than nothing. If nothing else, you could do a few minutes per side in the bathroom if you feel weird doing it next to your seatmate. Wear nursing pads and take extras, because the side you aren’t pumping may letdown and/or leak when you are pumping on only one side.

      Do you absolutely need to be able to bring the milk back, or do you have a freezer supply and/or do you combo feed? If you don’t need every single ounce, as much as it stinks, it’s a lot easier to pump in a bathroom (on the plane or on the ground) and just dump the milk rather than trying to transport that milk (although you probably do want to bring back the milk you pump while you are on the trip in general, just not the milk you wind up pumping in a bathroom).

      • pumping on a plane says:

        I don’t need to save all the milk, so maybe just trying to do it in the bathroom is the best idea…!

        • Katala says:

          I’ve pumped in the plane bathroom for 20 minutes or so (I could never get it down to less than that) and it was fine. I went during the movie, not close to the end, and there were 2 or 3 bathrooms in the back so I didn’t worry. Plenty of people take their time in there…
          I kept the milk I pumped in the bathroom. I had plenty of paper towels laid out and sanitizing wipes so I didn’t see the harm – nothing touched milk and a bathroom surface without a wipe in between (ie, my hands). I really didn’t think about it being any different than, e.g., the family bathroom at the airport. Pump wipes were necessary since the bathroom water is not potable.
          The plug in the bathroom did not provide consistent power, so I ended up using the batteries. It was fine.

          • (was) due in June says:

            I have also pumped in a plane bathroom. It’s not a huge deal. I just told the flight attendants at the beginning of the 6-hr flight that I would need to occupy a bathroom for 20 minutes to pump and to please let me know when a good time to go was. I think they got met at around hour 4. I brought lots of chux pads and covered all surfaces and used hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. I kept the milk. Note that the Medela battery pack does not provide nearly as much suction power as an outlet.

    • Anonymous says:

      agree with take the baby if you can

      if not, ask the gate agent to pre-board so that you can pump in the bathroom before the plane takes off. Likely that no one else will need to use the restroom and it won’t be gross because it will have just been cleaned.

      • pumping on a plane says:

        I’m going to a funeral, so I think it’ll be better to leave him at home on his regular schedule. But pre-boarding and doing it in the bathroom is a good idea.

    • NOVA Anon says:

      All good advice from TK. She’s right – it sucks! (haha) I have very different advice, but baby was a NICU baby so I got used to pumping in front of strangers very early on – so YMMV. I pumped a number of times on a plane, including while sitting in a middle seat. I have also pumped at an airport gate. I never said anything to anyone, I just did what I had to do, and completely ignored any sideways glances. I didn’t feel I owed anyone any sort of explanation, and the plane completely drowns out the noise of the pump in my experience. As long as I wasn’t jostling my neighbor or getting in his or her space, I didn’t feel bad.

      Bring a nursing cover and wear a shirt you can easily undo (button down works best). Put your pumping bra on in the bathroom before you start pumping (learned the hard way that this part is hard without jostling your neighbor). Also like the idea of using a blanket, in conjunction with the nursing cover. Set up and disconnected at your seat, under the blanket/cover. Bring lots of plastic bags, extra parts, and wipes (antibacterial and Madela). I did use the nursing cover to “hide” the milk as I disconnected, to the extent possible. Wipe out your parts with a Madela wipe; you can clean fully at your destination. If traveling with ice packs, they must be frozen when you go through security – I recommend the Madela cooler w/ ice pack. Also, if you don’t have a battery pack, make sure to get one, and bring back-up batteries. Bring a hand pump too, in case of emergency. Good luck – you can do this!!!

      • Yep – Also pumped in my seat and on the terminal floor. No one said anything or even looked at me weird. All the above advice is good; also a hands-free bra was key for me so I had my hands free to adjust the cover. Also, did someone recommend a battery pack? You’ll need that. The one for Medela takes 8 AAs so you can use regular or rechargeable.

      • pumping on a plane says:

        THANK YOU!!

    • ChiLaw says:

      I’ve pumped on planes, as described by the women up here. I actually found it better than (weeping while) sitting on the floor of a handicapped stall in the airport (hoping I wouldn’t miss my flight, because the family restroom/pumping room was occupied for 20 minutes and a 20 minute walk from my gate, and I only had a 60 minute layover…). I told the flight attendants “I have to pump for my baby, so I’ll need to be in the washroom for a little while. I just don’t want you to think anything’s wrong!” (not asking permission, trying to make it so we’re on the same side, reminding her of the cute baby rather than the milk producing b**bs). But yeah, I did dump that milk. :-/

  7. How does your daycare invoice you? I don’t know if this is normal or not, but we never get a bill from daycare. They give you the rates and you are just supposed to keep track and prepay. Some people pay monthly and some people pay weekly. You can’t auto-pay from a credit card, only a checking account. That is a lot of points to give up, so I am logging into the portal weekly and paying with my credit card. It is a little more complicated because my daughter goes part time — some weeks twice, other three or four times — and there are the ancillary programs (dance, karate, music) that cost money, but again, no invoice. This morning I reconciled things & found I never paid for May’s Croughing Tigers. I can’t believe that businesses actually operate this way… so how does it work where you are?

    • Anonymous says:

      Our first daycare, which was small (one room per age group) just sent monthly emails and it was on you to drop a check. Only option was to pay by check. Our current daycare never sends invoices at all (only updates when rates change), and does weekly auto-debit.

    • Meg Murry says:

      That is odd. Our daycare standard is monthly billing, at least for families that aren’t using a voucher/subsidy from the county. We can sign up to have the bill emailed to us, or they will put it in an envelope and tape it to your kid’s cubby (if you are late, you get both the electronic bill and the paper bill). We also don’t have the option of extra classes though, so the bill is always the same amount each month until you change classrooms or the rates go up (typically annually), other than late fees.

      They use Quickbooks and the invoices are sometimes a little confusing as to what I owe vs what’s already been paid, (sometimes the email only says the new amount but if I click on the bill itself there is also actually a late fee as well) but if I’m not 100% sure what to pay I can email the billing coordinator and have an answer within a day (usually within the hour).

      We don’t have the option to pay by credit card anymore (they offered it for a while, but they were losing money from all the fees), so I use the automatic bill-pay feature my bank offers to mail a check once a month, which has worked out well on all sides.

      That seems crazy to me that no one is actually sending you a bill – there must be someone there that keeps track of what you owe and what you’ve paid, right? Maybe you don’t get paper bills as long as your account is below $X? We also get a statement at the end of the year showing all the payments we’ve made throughout the year so we can use it for our taxes, which I really appreciate.

    • LegalMomma says:

      We don’t get a bill or an invoice, we are supposed to prepay (Friday before for the following week) but they don’t count you as late unless you don’t pay on Monday either. (this is a small daycare center – no extra fees for classes) No option for credit card – I just drop off a check for two weeks worth the same day I get paid (helps me to keep track of when the amount is due). On request they provide a billing statement showing what you have paid for the requested time period (i.e. January 1 through the present) that I use as a receipt for the dependent care account. Not sure how they handle late fees as (knock on wood) i have so far avoided being late.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have been through two day cares and an after-school program, including one national chain program, and have never gotten an invoice. None of them has taken credit cards at all. Parents are supposed to know the due date and amount and pay by check, monthly at one place and weekly at the other two. I set up a recurring payment from my checking account. The bank automatically sends a paper check.

    • EP-er says:

      We have electronic sign-in. When you leave/pick up your child, you are supposed to check-in/check out on a a computer. It will flag if you owe a payment, but nothing is itemized, just a total amount. They just switched us over to a new payment portal, where you can see all of the itemized charges…it was crazy. Charges, discounts, registration, ancillary programs, payments all listed out, but not reconciled. I’m guessing that this is more of a problem with our part-time situation, but still… Just a little frustrating.

      We can pay extra for Music, Dance, Crouching Tigers, Tumble Bus, Sports Camp…

    • We go to a center with 3 locations and we have to prepay by check every Friday (I just set up automatic bill pay so I don’t have to thing about it). We don’t receive an invoice and do not have the option to pay by credit card. The last place we went to offered auto-debit in addition to just writing a check, and sent a monthly statement.

    • hoola hoopa says:

      Home-based ‘center’ – Informal email invoice around the time payment was due. (She eventually got an accountant which really helped!)

      Regular ol’ daycare center – photocopied, hand-written invoice given about 3 days before payment due (~10 days before payment is ‘late’).

      Haha, I was shocked by the handwritten invoice, which felt surprisingly informal for an established center. OP’s situation makes it look so sophisticated!

      • We went to a home based center and they would write the total we owed with our child’s name on an index card each week. They also had some kind of log book or account book they used. 100% unsophisticated.

    • Eileen says:

      We’re at a home based center, and we don’t get invoices, but there are no extra fees. They use Chase QuickPay and we have it set up to auto pay every Friday for the next week.

      If there were extras we had to keep track of, I’d expect an invoice.

  8. Baby shower etiquette question: we are expecting our first child in October and a good friend is hosting a baby shower. Many of the guests have young children and are also on tight budgets in our HCOL city. I’d like to communicate that second hand gifts are welcome and encouraged…a baby goes through things so quickly and you never know what they might like! I’m considering the wording “clean and safe secondhand gifts are appreciated and will be loved.” for the invitation. I’ll also have an Amazon registry, so new items will certainly be an option. Thoughts on this option?

    • I think it’s always tacky for the recipient to mention gifts, even to say that a less expensive option is welcome. And while it’s thoughtful to think about people’s expenses, it can backfire and seem condescending, like you think they’re too poor to buy gifts.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with this. Especially given that most of the gifts I received from friends/co-workers at my various showers were on the smaller side – clothes, towels, blankets, etc., or were group gifts. The larger items were all from immediate family, or purchased ourselves (either in toto, or using gift cards from showers). With hand me downs, my experience has been that there will be some people who will offer, but most people I knew were saving for future babies or had earmarked stuff for close family.

    • Closet Redux says:

      Hm, I would skip the “clean and safe” qualifier. It should go without saying, and if you do get something that’s not clean or safe, you can get rid of it yourself.

    • CPA Lady says:

      If you absolutely MUST mention it, I’d say “hand-me-downs welcome” rather than “clean and safe secondhand gifts”… that sounds like you think they don’t know what they’re doing and are stupid enough to give you something dirty and unsafe, which would be either comical or insulting coming from a first time parent to people who have children already.

      But if I were you, I’d just have a lot of low cost items on your registry. If something comes as a big expensive set, I would see if you could register for the individual pieces (e.g. individual A&A blankets rather than a four pack or split up your baby toiletries rather than getting a set). Having a kid can be expensive, but a lot of baby stuff is not particularly expensive.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t mention it. People might feel obligated to buy a gift + give hand me downs. The type of hand me downs suitable for gifting might be something that a family with a tight budget would rather consign.

      A registry with lots of small items is great – allows people to do up a basket of items. When money was tight, saving and regifting new unused items I’ve received mixed with new purchased items was a budget friendly was to deal with showers.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I don’t think there is actually a way to tell someone that if they give you hand-me-down baby gear that that is enough of a gift and to not get you a new item. I’d suggest actually reaching out to people (friends/family) prior to your baby shower/registering and asking if they have baby gear that they are willing to part with (or loan you, that you would return when your baby outgrows the item or when they need it back). Then you don’t have to register for those items and you can put smaller items on your registry. I got a bumbo, an exersaucer, a door jumper, an infant car seat, and two baby carriers from friends. I’m loaning a friend our rock n play for the foreseeable future, but I’ve told her I’ll want it back.

      • CPA Lady says:

        +1 to this too… I actually put a post on FB asking if anyone had a Bumbo they wanted to loan me or get rid of, and someone gave me one right away. If people are done having kids, it has been my experience that they want all the baby crap out of their house ASAP. We’re having an only, so as soon as my daughter is done with something, out it goes.

    • I wouldn’t mention it. I know you mean well, but I agree that it’s tacky to mention gifts at all, and mentioning second-hand gifts sounds either condescending or like you want two gifts. If you (and really, the host) want to do these friends a favor, invite their young children, designate a room or area for them to play in, set up some snacks, and hire a babysitter or ask a non-invitee friend to watch the kids. I don’t mind attending baby showers, but I hate spending money or using up favors on a babysitter to attend.

    • And this is why I check these ideas before implementing them. Thanks so much for the suggestions and advice (particularly the babysitter idea)!

    • MomAnon4This says:

      Ask for gently used gifts from recently former babies, something like that?

    • Anonymous4 says:

      So I was the hostess and not the recipient, but in the invitation, on the same card that included registry information I included this “Gently used baby items would be grand, This new babe would enjoy second-hand!” It worked, and was well received by guests. Perhaps you could work with your hostess to include this so it doesn’t come from you?

      • Samantha says:

        +1 I’ll chime in to say that it’s perfectly fine to say “hand me downs welcome.”
        When a couple of my friends became pregnant, I wanted to ask if they’d like to have some (unused in some cases, or hardly used) items. Particularly with gear (baby carriers or a bassinet) that the baby doesn’t like or outgrows.
        This is a great idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t see the concern with mentioning gifts. You’re talking about wording for the host to put on the invite, right? It’s a baby shower– gifts are the point.

      A friend who was very open to secondhand gifts made a registry at babylist, which has categories for used clothes and books.

      • Closet Redux says:

        ^ agreed. gifts are the point, really, so I don’t think the old etiquette applies. i like the little rhyme and LOVE the idea of encouraging people to give second-hand. baby stuff is often very gently used since they grow so quickly (and we buy so much), so i think your sentiment is wonderful.

  9. When you are potty training (either officially full steam ahead and/or they go sometimes as practice but you’re not yet “all in” training mode), how do you handle the multiple requests to “go potty”? In other words, we aren’t at a stage yet where we can tell if the situation is stalling/faking/doesn’t have to go or truly will go. Do you stick with once and if they don’t go, they don’t get to “try” 5 minutes (or less) later? Do you take them every time they ask for the practice? I don’t think there is a right/wrong answer here, but I am not feeling great about either option (saying “no” or repeatedly going to the bathroom), so looking to see what others do as well. None of the advice I’ve found has addressed this part of the process.

    • IME, it takes a while for them to learn the feeling of having to go and trust their bladders to delay. Depending on where you are in the process, it could be the novelty of the new potty/bathroom or you are really close to the child actually getting it an not trusting their bladder. Have you tried rewards only when something actually happens? If you are trying to stretch out the time, I’d still make sure you go every 30 minutes or so and gradually increase the wait.

    • Anonymous says:

      We take every time but we don’t allow playing around while trying. They sit, get their short potty song, if nothing happens then quickly out the door (quick hand wash).

      If public bathrooms or new to child bathrooms often the urge to go will disappear once they get in their because the new environment makes them nervous. We’ve left only to go back in 10 mins later when the child really couldn’t hold it any longer and went despite the nerves

    • Closet Redux says:

      We went every time, even the false alarms. I wanted for her to trust herself, even if it didn’t always work out. And if you do go the rewards route, keep in mind that it might make the false alarms more frequent if the kid is just trying/hoping to get a reward. We did not do rewards and I think we had an easier time of it partly for that reason.

    • MomAnon4This says:

      Ask questions. “Do you feel the pee in your ____ (whatever you call it)?”
      Can you push the pee out?
      Positive feedback for trying — agree with other advice here that a reward for sitting/supposedly trying is different from a reward for getting it out. But Yay! You sat and tried! What a big kid! Hug! (after handwashing)

    • Thanks everybody. That’s helpful. We were almost fully potty trained over Memorial Day weekend then switched daycares and rocked her world, so we’re kinda starting over. :-/

  10. Frozen Peach says:

    When did you start potty-training?

    Any suggestions for books for parents? We snagged a copy of “Once Upon A Potty,” which I vaguely remember from growing up.

    • pockets says:

      I read Oh Crap Potty Training and it was helpful-ish. I don’t put a lot of stock into parenting books (if there was 1 way to do something, the doctor would just tell you how to do it and that would be that) and, as per every parenting book I read, the major points could be summarized on a 3×5 index card. But a lot of parents swear by that book. I took some of the author’s advice and ignored other parts. I’m by no means a potty training genius, but some of the points there were just not going to work and other seemed gimmicky (i.e., she has to have some novel way of doing something or else the book wouldn’t sell).

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I started potty training when my daughter came home from school and announced that she was done wearing diapers. The only thing I read was the comments section here.

      But apparently I had also fully ingested all those “potty training boot camp” ads because I expected it to take 3-5 days to get her 95% potty trained, and it’s actually taken closer to 3-4 months to get her 80% there (as in, she has accidents at daycare about 1 in 5 days still, and the occasional evening accident because mommy forgot to sit her on the potty right away). So keep your expectations reasonable and don’t start until your kid is fully with the plan, no matter what the books say.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kid got interested in potty training at around 21 months. We thought it was early but decided to follow her lead and tried it. She was not physically ready.

      At age 2 years 4 months, the kid moved into the one room at day care where they handled potty training. We tried at home and the teachers tried at school. She was no longer very interested and did not manage to get potty trained before she moved out of that room two months later.

      Next classroom did not support potty training. Kids in pull-ups were never put on the potty because the teachers preferred to change the pull-ups. It was obvious that it was going to be 100% on us to train the kid, but we had no idea how we would do this if the preschool was undermining us by encouraging her to go in her pull-up all day. Kid was now physically ready but had zero interest in potty training. She did, however, want to take soccer lessons. At Christmas break shortly before she turned 3, we told her that we had found a soccer class for 3-year-olds that only took kids who were potty trained, which was not really true but whatever. The day after Christmas, we announced that it was time for her to train and that if she was trained by New Year’s, we would be able to sign her up for the soccer class. We did nothing but potty-train for the next few days. An epic battle of wills ensued, but she went back to school in underwear and got to play soccer. We basically did everything the books say not to do (bribery! ultimatums!), but it worked for us and I don’t know how else we could have accomplished it without support from the school.

      We didn’t really bother trying to potty-train at night until she told us that she was staying dry all night and then going in her pull-up on purpose after she woke up. There didn’t seem to be any point.

    • AnonEC says:

      We started practicing elimination communication around 5-6 months, when my son had started being able to sit up and started solid foods and poops. We hold him to sit on a small standalone potty every couple of hours during the day (especially after waking up in the mornings, before and after nap times, after eating—you know the times is adults have to go too). Now at 10 months, we catch 80% of his poops and maybe 50% of his daytime pees; but he’ll try to pee every time we sit him on the potty.

      We’re fortunate that our nanny (older Asian woman) has done this before with her children (typical for her culture) and other children she’s nannied. I’ve always been intrigued by EC but she was the one who really implemented it and got him sitting on the potty that first time. We trust her knowledge!

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