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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?
Anyone have any good recommendations for a neutral area rug for a nursery or where to find one? I’m generally not a rug/carpet person, so I’m a bit lost here. I have hardwood floors and a garage (heated but not to the level of the main house) below the nursery, so I think it would be a good addition. I’m having a girl, but the nursery is going to be rather neutral – light gray walls, white furniture, light teal accents with some accent foxes (throw pillow, sheets, etc.) Thanks!
I would buy a rag rug – they are nice and soft and can be thrown in the washing machine if they get mucky.
Can you really throw a room-size rug in the wash? How do you dry it?
Yes, it’s a squeeze and a laundromat might be a better bet but it works. I run it through the dryer for a bit but would recommend drying it on racks – ours definitely got smaller when we did it.
Wayfair, Lowe’s, home goods. It doesn’t have to be kid-themed just buy a rug you like. Something we found that really helps with the rug feeling comfortable is having a good rug pad underneath. This will also help with insulation. We bought from rugpadusa on ama*on for every rug in our house (all hardwoods). They really protect the floors too from any spills. They’re pricey but we thought it was worth it.
Do you have a specific recommendation? We have rug pads but they don’t give that cushy feeling that I really want.
Rug pad USA brand has different thickness options. I believe we chose not the thickest, but the next down.
We bought our nursery rug on wayfair and bought the pad they suggested with it.
For whatever this is worth, we are rug people and love looking on eBay for old rugs, and we have beautiful rugs in the main rooms of our house. BUT in our kid’s room we have a $200 rug from Rugs Usa – it is a fake Moroccan rug and it’s perfect for his room. We know three other families with the same rug in different colors – so I highly recommend just going on that site and sorting by color and size and your price range. So many options.
I don’t think it’s available at Rugs USA anymore but if anyone else cares, this is the rug I know lots of people have in both boy and girl rooms. It’s on some other sites. https://www.nuloom.com/products/belinism18a
+1 on the RugsUSA recommendation. Ours is from there (it is not kid-specific, just a gray and white neutral-ish rug) and we get lots of compliments on it.
We got this one from overstock:
I like how busy the pattern is. We’ve luckily had very few spills/pukes/etc on the rug, but they’ve all cleaned up well and not been noticeable due to the pattern.
I’ve gotten several rugs from overstock and I’ve always been happy with them.
Might be too big, but we just bought the Holmstrup rug from Ikea and I’ve been thrilled with it. Super soft and comfy, and cool variations in texture that could be both soothing for parent and fun for baby. It’s much nicer looking in person than online, fwiw.
We made the mistake of buying a jute rug last year from PB and it sheds like crazy. So, there is my anti-recommendation for you.
I got a wool pottery rug barn secondhand ($30!) for the play area of our living room. Insane shedding it actually clogged our vacuum cleaner.
I have a neutral rug from Ikea in the nursery. It looks great, and I love not worrying about it if gets covered in poop, vomit, whatever, because it was inexpensive.
I would like for you to learn from my rug mistakes! If the rug is for your nursery, you obviously want it really soft. I did not have luck with wool rugs being very soft and instead ended up with a synthetic or viscose one from Safavieh. That’s been my favorite brand for inexpensive but still very thick and soft rugs. You can put a memory-foam rug pad under the rug as well and it is soooooooo soft. I would suggest searching overstock and target for Safavieh rugs in the color you are looking for. Once you find one you like, order the smallest size available (2×3 or 3×5) from Target so you can actually see the pile height and color in person. Target has an easy return policy and that’s what you are looking for with the sample. Then, if you’re happy, find where the rug is cheapest (often retailers will carry the same rug and the cost will vary by $100 – $500. Target is my go-to to order from because they price match, have free shipping and great customer service. Good luck!
pregnancy interview dresses? says
like the subject says – i’ll be about 14 weeks pregnant in a job interview and it is not easy to hide. I do want to not be super obvious about it, though. Any loose, non-sheath dress suggestions? Should I just do pants and a blazer instead?
Pants. And/or size up!
At this point, I had good luck with an a-line dress in 1-2 sizes bigger than usual. I think mine were from JCrew factory at the time, but I’m only seeing sheath dresses at the moment.
Ann taylor might have options;
An A-line dress, or pants and blazer.
That being said, I promise that your pregnancy is much more obvious to you than it will be to strangers at a job interview. 14 weeks is still super early, and even if you’re showing compared to normal, you’ll probably just look slightly chubby (as opposed to obviously pregnant) to a person who doesn’t know you.
Emily S. says
I interviewed at 14 weeks and wore a suit with a blousy/forgiving top (they didn’t have to know the skirt wasn’t zipped up all the way in the back.) (Also, I didn’t bring up the pregnancy, got the job offer at 5 months, started at 6 months, and worked until the day before I delivered, and it was fine! New boss was happy for me when I accepted and said I was pregnant all in one sentence. It can work out! Good luck!)
Ugh, I’m going to present a petition to the CEO of the bus company at a public meeting tonight. I’m super confident presenting academic stuff but public meetings are always a bit intense and awkward. We’ve already got quite a bit of online trolling over the petition and I worry that some of these trolls will show up in person. Trying to remind myself that I’m doing it for my family and families in our city.
As someone who attends a ton of public meetings, my advice is to prepare your remarks, start by introducing yourself, speak louder and slower than you think you need to, have facts to support your position, and close with a request for action and a thank you. I can’t imagine what bus petition is causing such a drama!
Thanks! I’ve got notes and am generally quite loud, but do speak fast so I’ll slow down. Oh gosh, it’s ridiculous. The bus company has brought in these fancy new buses that seat 100 people but to do so, they’ve removed one of the wheelchair and buggy spaces which is a massive problem in our city where both bays are often full. Apparently parents asking to be able to get to work, nursery, and the doctor is an unreasonable request.
You’ve got this! Internet trolls very rarely show their faces to real live people. And even if they do your position is reasonable and necessary. Good luck and good for you!
Looking for ideas on how to treat myself/feel better at the end of pregnancy. I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever (27 weeks) but still have so long to go! I have gestational diabetes on top of having hyperemesis so food treats are out. I get exhausted easily and already have a 2 year old to chase. Everything just feels like a slog these days and I feel down.
I highly recommend a prenatal massage if you can get one. Specifically one where they have the molded pillows that allow you to actually lay on your stomach. I did a prenatal massage where she just had me on my sides in order to get my back, but being on my stomach was so much better. Maybe try and find one at a fancy spa? That was part of my Mother’s Day gift last year when I was 34 weeks with twins. Massage, pedicure, and facial at a fancy spa that had this amazing waiting room where I could just sit in silence between procedures.
Patty Mayonnaise says
Totally agree on being able to lay on your stomach for a prenatal massage – for whatever reason, it makes a HUGE difference!
Prenatal massages do not agree with me. I got two (different pregnancies), hoping the first one was just a fluke, but both times lying on my stomach made me SO uncomfortable, hot, light-headed, and generally awful feeling. Even with the fancy pillow. I felt instantly better as soon as I was face-up, but it was disappointing because all I wanted was to lie down and have someone to rub my back!
Swimming /floating around in the pool and prenatal yoga were my friends.
Is there a particular type of book you love? one of my favorite treat-type things is to get a new mystery novel, go somewhere by myself (a cafe, the couch, the park, whatever place makes you happy) and just read.
I think we’ve talked about Jasmine Guillory’s rom com novels here before, yes? I haven’t read other romance novels, but these were such great pick me ups.
Long time lurker says
I had the gd too – it sucks but I will say I changed my diet for the better from that experience. In terms of coping, I got prenatal massages, did a weekly prenatal yoga class, did acupuncture, took a lot of baths, read cheesy romance novels, and did a lot of online shopping for baby clothes. Hang in there!
When I had hyperemesis, a massage would have made me vomit. YMMV.
OP here. Yes, I’ve had a gift card for a massage and haven’t done it for that reason. Now that I’m farther along it’s better but I still vomit at least once a day and am always lightheaded.
Solidarity. I’m also at 27 weeks, and I definitely feel like I should be done by now. Trying to plan out some pool time for the coming weekends so I can float around a bit.
What about prenatal yoga?
As much pool time as you can handle. Also, if you can get away for an afternoon or evening, go to a movie at a theater with the fancy reclining seats.
Oh, yes to the pool! Floating around in the pool was heavenly even with hyperemesis.
This is so funny because the massage was amazing, but a couple hours in a pool and I literally had trouble walking the next day. I was farther along (maybe 35-36 weeks) but it was like everything loosened up in the water and didn’t want to go back to where it should be. It wasn’t pain per se, but I truly couldn’t get around well for two days.
Monthly pedicures (if the salon smell is OK – it was for me) and regular fresh flowers that don’t smell – my personal favorite are peruvian lilies (alostremnia I think) because they don’t smell and last for two weeks at a time. I also had HE and the smells at the supermarket would set me off, so you might also treat yourself to grocery delivery if you’re not already.
Definitely pedicures and manicures on the weekends. I’m 28 weeks and thankfully I feel like it’s going quickly now, but I know I will slow down soon. Also have a two year old keeping me on my toes. Oh and make your husband watch the toddler so you can at least get one nap in on the weekends! I find just laying down for an hour, not playing on my phone or anything, helps a lot with the weekend exhaustion.
I’ve really been enjoying pedicures and manicures, especially when you pay extra to get a longer foot/hand massage.
I heard you on the no food treats, but what about just nicer versions of the food you can have. I don’t know the rules for GD, but I usually don’t spring for organic berries that often in the summer because they are still expensive. I’ve been having as many as I want this summer. Also I wouldn’t typically order steak at a restaurant because I can cook it reasonably well myself, but I’ve had a really good filet twice while pregnant and it was glorious.
The best thing I did in my 3rd pregnancy when I was chasing a 5 year old and 2.5 year old was hire a sitter for one hour every Wednesday evening when we got home from school/work.
Could be a sitter or mother’s helper.
I would pull in the driveway at 5:30, the sitter would meet us at our house and whisk the kids away to the park, to her house down the street, or into our backyard.
I would go in the house and immediately lie down for a nap.
At 6:30 the kids would come back, the sitter would leave, and I’d get up and we’d proceed with our night.
Best money I ever spent. I started it at about week 30.
Always Wednesday because that is when I’d feel most run-down and it was so great to look forward to.
In a similar vein, I set up gmail addresses for all three of my kids. I send occasional emails of what they’re up to, including funny things they say. I don’t do it as regularly as I like, but it’s nice that I can do it from anywhere and don’t have to keep track of something physical. When they’re older I’ll let them take over the account.
Same. I also sent monthly updates for the first year and updates every six months after that.
ooo I love this! I created an account for mine to link to his frequent flyer account, it never occurred to me to send things to it!
This is so cute!
Anon Mama says
Has anyone tried LeTote for maternity wear? Do they have good stuff? It’s a little frustrating that I can’t see their stock without signing up (or at least I can’t figure out how to). Any other maternity wear subscriptions I should check out? I’m mostly interested in business to business casual stuff, which is my uniform, but can be pretty expensive to buy.
I had a pretty good experience with stitch fix. I only kept one item but it was a workhorse I never would have bought on my own and was well worth the process to get. It really helps to have a pinterest board of your style for them to review (doesn’t have to be of maternity clothes).
Also – I got some great clothes super cheap on swap.com so you may want to check that out.
I liked Le Tote for maternity wear! It was great to be able to return things and get new ones since sizing and what fits changes so much. I also liked that you can review your tote before it ships. And the shipping is really fast; if I shipped a tote back on Friday I’d have a new one already on Monday, which was awesome for me.
Anon Mama says
Did they have a good selection of workwear? I’m not big on the “look at me, I’m pregnant” vibe that a lot of maternity clothes seem to have (bows and cut to highlight the belly), so I tend to wear loose and flowy non-maternity stuff as long as humanly possible.
They had a decent but not huge selection. I definitely am not one for bows across the belly etc. They had several dresses and a plain blank skirt that I re-ordered multiple times and I definitely came out ahead of buying all of those items. (Not to mention the fact that you don’t have to deal with the laundry/dry-cleaning.).
I considered using it post-baby but ultimately decided it makes sense for maternity but not regular wear.
I actually thought they had a terrible workwear selection. All of the dresses were above the knee, and every other piece of workwear clothing had some sort of weird element to it that made it either not work appropriate or made me feel not comfortable wearing it for work. For example, dresses all hit me above the knee, there were no workwear pants available any month I tried to get them and there wasn’t a single work wear shirt that didn’t have weird sleeves or some sort of weird feature (lace up sides, odd sashes, and so many cut outs/cold shoulder tops). I only found one or two things that worked for me to actually wear to work and feel comfortable in. I also was at the top end of the size range and often have to purchase skits and dresses in tall sizes for them to hit me at a length I feel comfortable in, so take my review with this in mind. I found two basic dresses with sleeves from the Amazon brand Daily Ritual that I wore a lot with different cardigans/scarves, a few pairs of pants at gap maternity, and tops on super sale at loft. If I had gone this route from the beginning, I would have ultimately spent less than I did with letote.
I’m 6 feet tall and I found multiple work appropriate (for my very conservative office) dresses that hit me below the knee. Fwiw.
I used them successfully for my last month of pregnancy a few years ago. I grew out of all of my maternity wear the same month the weather changed to warm. I suddenly only had too small, cold weather maternity clothes and it was 95 degrees in April. I was able to affordably borrow enough items to get me across the finish line. I wouldn’t have wanted to depend on them for my whole pregnancy, but it bridged a big gap.
How long did it take for your period to return after having a baby? I am bfeeding my 7 month old and am anxious to have another child soon because I am in my late 30s. My period hasn’t returned, and I’m wondering if I should end bfeeding early to encourage ovulation.
For my first, it took 7 months, and I bf’ed until he was 12 months old. For my second, I bf’ed for about 7 months, and my period returned at 11 months post partum. YMMV.
CPA Lady says
You may be able to cut back on b-feeding without quitting entirely — nurse in the morning and evening and supplement with formula in the middle of the day. My period came back when I was doing that.
If you want to be pregnant now, yes stop nursing. It’s not perfect birth control but there’s a reason our grandmas relied on it to space out babies!
9 months while almost exclusively bfeeding.
Totally depends on the woman. Some women get it back at 3 months while breastfeeding, some need to completely quit nursing all together. Each woman seems to have her own “set point” while breastfeeding; I got it back with both my kids at 14 month pp. Ending breastfeeding would most likely spur ovulation within the next 1-2 months; it’s your call if you would be comfortable ending the nursing relationship with your first this early. In your shoes, I’d prob plan to nurse a couple more months and wean at a year. There’s a decent chance your cycle would come back in the meantime!
I think it depends a lot on the individual. Some people’s come back immediately and some take longer. With both my kids, my period didn’t come back until I dropped all daytime pumping (at around a year for both kids). So yeah, I agree with CB, try scaling back a little bit and seeing what happens.
oops I mean I agree with CPA lady. I guess now I know where my toddler gets her complete inability to distinguish between letters.
My period didn’t return until about two months after I stopped breastfeeding, both times.
For me, around 8 months. I was still breastfeeding 4-6 times/day but I had stopped pumping at work around 6 months and of course baby was eating some solids. I also had a thyroid issue (overactive) and resultant weight loss that can suppress your period. I can’t really say if it was dropping the mid-day pump or getting my thyroid under control and regaining most of the lost weight that caused my period to return.
Good news is my periods are super light and pain free now! I’d heard so many horror stories and I was really pleasantly surprised by how great postpartum periods are. (I am 16 months pp and still nursing, although baby obviously gets most calories from solids. Perhaps they will get terrible when I fully wean.)
Each time, mine was around 14-15 months, after nursing for 12 months. You are making your own calculation, obviously, but there are medical reasons that make getting pregnant so early after having one baby less than ideal (not a deal breaker, but maybe talk to your OB).
+1. My OB strongly encouraged me to wait 18 months before TTC again. I realize plenty of people ignore this (or there would be nobody with 2 under 2), and maternal age seems like a good reason to push this boundary. But 7 months is so soon! Your risk of delivering prematurely will go up significantly if you conceive so soon after the first.
Also around 14 months. The day I went from pumping/nursing 4 times a day to 3 times a day, I got my period back. It was like clockwork. So this goes to say that you may not need to stop nursing altogether, but just decrease frequency. Everyone is different, of course.
Also, having had 2 under 2 (23 months apart), it’s now great but the first two years were so so so tough.
For me it was 4 months both times…basically right after I went back to work and started pumping (as opposed to nursing full time). Anecdotally, I had my first two 13 months apart and experienced no issues with my second pregnancy. I spoke to my OB about it and she said that the risk of closely spacing the pregnancies wasn’t something I really needed to worry about, but that baby 2 might be smaller than baby 1. (She was – 7.5 lbs vs. 9 lbs – but by no means low birth weight.). I actually liked having the two close together so much, that I’m expecting baby 3 in August, so they’ll all be 13 months apart (26 months between the oldest and youngest). Right now I’m super-excited…ask me in six months if I have regrets! FWIW, I’ll be 35 when my 3rd is born, so my (lack of) spacing is motivated by age.
Mine returned at 6 weeks while exclusively breastfeeding with the exception of a couple bottles when son was in the NICU. Sigh.
Me too, same after 3 births. Also have been menstruating every 28 days since I turned 11, you can set a calendar by me. Sigh.
Hmm, after kid 1 I got my period back after 11 months (nursed till 19 months) and was regular. After kid 2 (who is currently almost 9 months), it came back after 7 months and has not been regular so far.
It’s (obviously) up to you, but in your shoes I would not stop nursing. I was exactly where you are when I was 38, so let me tell you my experience before I explain why I feel that way: I continued nursing my first until she was a year, as planned; no period. After I weaned, we started TTC immediately, but it was still a few months before I got my period back. I got pregnant again after only a few months but miscarried (thanks again for the support I got here at that time). A couple of months later, pretty much as soon as we started TTC again, we conceived our second, who was born the same month I turned 40. And I also nursed her until she was a year.
So of course you can take my advice with a grain of salt because, well, lucky for us that everything worked out the way it did, but now that we do have our two girls, I’m very conscious of keeping things equitable between them. (I’m sure this is partly because I have an older sister myself!) So although I don’t think I realized this fully at the time, in retrospect I’m extremely glad that, despite my advanced maternal age (eye roll), I didn’t stop nursing our first early in an attempt to have the second. I realize this is very much bound up in how much value you place on b-feeding, but just putting it out there to help you think about how you may feel if (when!) you are eventually the mother of two.
This seems kind of silly. Your kids don’t even have to know how long you nursed them. I think there are good medical reasons to wait a while longer, as someone noted above, but doing so in an attempt to make everything perfectly even between the siblings doesn’t seem like a very logical reason, since that will be impossible to keep up through their lives. Also, if she really cares about doing everything the same, she could always wean the second kid at 7 months too.
I guess as a counterweight, I had fertility issues with my first (premature ovarian failure, pregnant at 36, birth at 37) and knew we’d have trouble getting pregnant again. So when my first was 8 months old, I had my AMH levels tested again, they were dismally low, and I went to see a repro endo at 9 months. They told me to wean within 6 weeks to get started asap with IVF again, which we did. I was just turning 39. After five rounds of IVF, we gave up and used our one frozen embryo from three years prior. Got extremely lucky and got pregnant from that embryo. All that said, I can’t imagine having had our kids closer together. They are 24 months apart, and it’s TOUGH. I wish we had waited a bit longer to try the frozen embryo, but I was worried it wouldn’t work and that we would then start a long route through donor eggs or adoption, and I didn’t want a gap of more than 3-3.5 years. Still, every woman has to make her own calculations and you’ll survive if they’re close in age (if you had a c-section, I would make sure the births are at least 18 months apart)! Good luck!
I have 3 under 3.5, all three c-sections and wouldn’t change a thing. If OP feels ready to conceive again, all the more encouragement for her!
And for data, period came back at six weeks three times. I exclusively pumping with a little formula here or there as was convenient.
My OB strongly advises waiting minimum 12 months (preferably 2 years) between delivery and getting pregnant (so kids would be 19 months apart) for C-sections to give the scar time to fully heal and knit together before you start stretching it again.
Anon in NYC says
Nursed/pumped exclusively for ~15 months in total. Got my period back at around 5 months. I really think it just depends on the person.
This is kind of my pet peeve, but you’re not nursing “exclusively” unless your kid consumes nothing but breastmilk. Kudos to you for nursing/pumping that long – there are great benefits to it- but assuming your child started solids before 15 months (which I’m guessing is the case :)) you were not exclusively breastfeeding for 15 months.
This is also my pet peeve, especially when “exclusively” is thrown into conversations where it’s really not necessary! I combo-fed since birth (literally, baby got formula day 1 in the NICU) and still didn’t get my period back until I stopped pumping (baby didn’t nurse) at 11 months.
You need other things to worry about. Gently, you’re projecting your own insecurities by this comment. When someone says exclusively pumping at 15 months we all know what she is talking about.
+1. The amount of time someone spends breastfeeding is not an attack on someone who didn’t/doesn’t/stopped breastfeeding.
I weaned when my son was 2 and EBFed for 6 months, so if you think this comes from a place of insecurity, you’re way off the mark. And I certainly don’t think I’m superior to anyone who used formula. We all have fairly trivial things that annoy us – this is one of mine because it’s a really inaccurate way of describing what she did. Exclusive breastfeeding means bmilk only (and there are vultures where it is common to EBF much longer). Words have meanings,
Sorry if that offends you.
dc anon says
Exclusively pumping means something different — it’s b*feeding only by pumping, no direct nursing — and that is not what the poster said. IMO “exclusively bfed” is something to describe the baby’s diet, which can have to do with production, which in turn could impact your hormones & cycle (in ways that will vary for everyone of course).
Yeah, I sort of read Anon in NYC not as claiming she EBFed for 15 months, but that she had ‘pumped exclusively’, which to me merely connotes that she did not direct latch at all for a certain period (not that her baby was only getting breastmilk and nothing else).
I don’t think it’s what Anon in NYC meant (I read it as GCA did), but it bugs me too when I see it on my fb bfeeding group because some of those women are nuts and trying to feel superior about it. No, your 2 year old is not EBF. If he is, I’m calling CPS.
For my first, my period didn’t come back until a month after I weaned (at 11 months). I weaned for that reason, good luck!
I’m in your shoes, only kid is 9 months. I’m weaning now (1 session per week) since my period has not returned. I had my first via ivf and we had a preliminary meeting with our doctor, in which she said she could medically induce a period. Worth a chat with your gyn, imo.
My period didn’t return until about 8 weeks after I stopped breastfeeding, so I was roughly 15 months PP. I started to get a little concerned about how long it took to come back, but now I wish it was still gone. I mentioned it to my OB who wasn’t concerned but told me to check back with her if it didn’t come back by 12 weeks post-breastfeeding.
7 months, exactly a month after my daughter stopped night feedings. I think that 10 hour stretch of no feedings kicked it off. I BFed 13 months total with a regular period after that. But I have friends who didn’t get a period until they total weaned even if they were down to one session a day.
UppaBaby Minu- any thoughts? It looks great for what I need (city living, have to fold it up and leave it in the lobby of my building and it needs to not take up too much space, walking to day care) but I don’t see a ton around Brooklyn so I’m wondering if there’s a down side I’m missing? I’d get the newborn converter.
I haven’t seen one in the wild but it does look great, although does it lie flat in the stroller mode? Even at nearly 2, we use the lie flat mode all the time. I used a CityMini GT with the newborn kid which is a similar price range and format. I do love the one handed steer.
I have the Minu and LOVE it. I chose it generally for the reasons you did – I needed it to fold small for storage at home and at daycare, and we metro commute to daycare, so it needed to not take up a lot of space on the metro at rush hour.
We didn’t get the newborn converter (it wasn’t out yet when we needed it, but I used a snap n go with carseat and was very happy with it and would use it again – we aged out of that at 6 months and started using the Minu). The Mesa carseat can also be clicked in to the Minu. I feel like my kid wouldn’t have been happy in the newborn kit at 6 months, but she was a small 6 month old when she started sitting in the Minu.
I think you see more Cruzes and Vistas because they’ve been out longer (Minu only launched 13 months ago). People with 2 kids/hopes of 2 kids close together go with the Vista. And the Cruz seems more ‘status-y’ than the Minu. With the Cruz and Vista you can also have you kid rear-facing, which you can’t do with the Minu. This was’t a problem for my kid, but it could be for some.
Only drawback is the annoying way it reclines. It also has a smaller underbasket but that was an easy trade off. Overall very happy I chose it and I highly recommend.
Nanny Plus says
I’m currently pregnant, and my husband and I are working to figure out childcare arrangements for after the baby is born. Right now, we’re looking at (long term, not immediately – I’ll be taking a decent maternity leave) potentially some sort of nanny + au pair, nanny + daycare situation. We need childcare beyond the usual daycare hours (especially in the evenings – both of us have travel and after-work event heavy jobs). We can comfortably afford it (I know we’re lucky there), but there aren’t a lot of resources out there talking about how folks have done that. Has anyone here? Does anyone have any tips of other things I should be thinking about out sourcing? Our approach for the years before school starts is basically going to be to outsource as many things as we can. It doesn’t make sense for either of us to step back from work given our long term earning potential, but we know we’re going to have to spend a lot of money making this work in the short term.
My dream is day care + au pair. If money is no object and you have no time, I’d want a housekeep. Multiple days a week, all the cleaning and laundry, cooking as well.
I don’t have much advice but CONGRATS on the baby and it sounds like you’re thinking about this in the right way. The podcast best of both worlds talks about this a bit — one of the hosts is a doctor, as is her husband, and they have a nanny + daycare. that kind of seems like it might be the best option for you, especially if you could find a nanny who would be willing to do some housework/shopping/etc while the baby was at school.
+1. If the nanny could start a couple of hours before daycare pick up and tidy/laundry/prep dinner etc. that could work out well.
I have daycare + au pair. We thought about getting help specifically in the evenings from a nanny, who could also clean up and do other chores, but we figured (a) that was hard to find and (b) an au pair gives more flexibility. I have more kids, one of whom is in elementary school. You may end up with more childcare than you need, but it sounds like paying for more hours than you use is not really that big of an issue for you. I have house cleaners every week. In an ideal world would have outsourced a bit more housekeeping stuff, but our current solution works pretty well — we figured having more help and flexibility with childcare was ultimately more of a stress relief than having a perfectly run household.
i would do daycare + au pair/live in nanny + housekeeper. this way you have flexibility if kiddo is sick. the nanny + au pair or two nanny combo could work, but if your nanny is sick or has some kind of emergency or quits you are kind of stuck, whereas assuming you choose a good day care, it is likely always there, so can be more reliable in that sense. Since you both travel and have light night events it seems like you need the flexibility of having a live-in. I don’t know the precise requirements for what house stuff an au pair can do, but I would think also a housekeeper to do your laundry, cleaning and other chores around the house. i don’t know where you live, but anything you can have delivered or even have someone else take care of (groceries, meal planning, dry cleaning, etc.) you should have someone else do. it doesn’t sound like you or DH likely eat a lot of meals at home, but at some point your kiddo will begin to eat solids. i would also plan for some of this help to start during your maternity leave so you can get into a good routine. You and your DH are amazing for both having such high powered careers. I couldn’t hack it, even without the kids. good luck!
If finances are not an issue, I would go the daycare + Nanny/personal assistant route. The chores I would outsource to the nanny/assistant would be:
collecting, sorting, shredding mail
dropping packages/returns at UPS etc.
monitoring household inventory and adding things that need to be restocked to your list
scheduling cleaners, handyman, cable guy, furniture delivery, etc. and quality checking the work after they leave
other errands (buying cards for when you give the daycare workers their christmas gifts, etc.)
It will probably be easier to find someone willing to stay on longterm if you have more hours to give them, so combining the assistant/nanny responsibilities would allow you to provide those hours. Plus it sounds like your evening needs would vary, so evenings when one or both of you are home she could help with meal prep and light housework (wiping down the high chair, loading the dishwasher, wiping down the counters, etc.)
One thing to keep in mind when throwing daycare into the mix is who will watch the baby when he/she is inevitably sick and can’t go in to daycare. You would need to have a backup nanny or an arrangement with your “evening” nanny/au pair that they work additional hours in that scenario. Remember also that au pairs are capped on max weekly hours. Many of the double high-powered high-earning couples I know (NYC) with small children have two full time nannies for this reason (one works say a 7-4 shift and one works 3PM-whenever).
This was part of the reason we decided on daycare + au pair (I’m the 11:27 commenter). If a kid is sick, we have the au pair around as backup during the school day, and we adjust her schedule to make sure she doesn’t work too many hours during the day or for the week total (e.g. we give her the whole weekend off, cancel evening plans or whatever to make sure she isn’t over-stretched)
I think it’s a great idea to think ahead like this! We have local family that we use for the role of “extra help”; kiddo is in daycare usually 7:45-5:15, and we require that extra help anywhere from 1-3 times a week. When one of us is travelling or has an evening commitment, my mom will come over to help out during dinner/bath time. Usually she does the babysitting while the parent who is home does the mail sorting/cooking/dishes/laundry/etc, but this is partly because she’s doing it gratis and is the grandma, not paid help – but also because we are particular about things and would rather do the chores while she handles kiddo.
On the rare occasions where we both can’t be there at all in the evening, she can do pickup for us and handle everything. She will also do ‘gap childcare’ – one of us needs to leave to go someplace, and the other person won’t be home in time to relieve them (usually stuff where kiddo is already asleep).
I love having someone flexible like this, and because it’s family it works out. As others point out, with regular help they will probably want more hours which makes more sense to give them standing duties.
If you live in an area with a lot of couples like you, there’s probably a high end staffing agency you can discuss your needs with.
With your needs, I’d look for redundancy in case the kid is sick (and can’t go to daycare) or the nanny is sick or the nanny quits. Long-term professional staff will serve your family’s needs better than having to select and train an au pair each year.
Having a housekeeper who could cover for the nanny in addition to housekeeping (obviously, not doing housekeeping and childcare at the same time) would be awesome. In my area, such a person is hard to find, but may be easier if it’s possibly a very long term job (carrying you through middle/high school).
In your shoes, I’d do maybe daycare + nanny for pick up + housekeeper for taking care of the household/daycare sick days and closures.
I think your best bet would be two nannies or nanny + daycare to start. Au pairs aren’t trained to watch babies under a certain age and they aren’t allowed to do overnight care.
Are there any academics in year that can comment on being on tenure-track with little kids? I am finishing my Ph.D. next year and I am debating whether to go on the job market this summer or try to delay things (by getting a postdoc) until my youngest is older. My youngest is almost 1, and I am pretty sure I am done having kids.
I’m an academic but in the UK so our system is pretty different but I’ll try and offer some thoughts. I submitted my PhD 4 weeks before I gave birth and defended at 4 months old. When I came back at 6 months, I went immediately into a 3 year postdoc. This was ideal because it didn’t have any teaching built in – I think it would be hard to take on a tenure-track position with a full-on teaching load and a kid starting daycare. But I think it took me time to settle into this being a mom thing, you’ve already done that.
I’m not, but my husband was a tenure-track assistant professor when our daughter was born and got tenure when she was 2. Feel free to ignore this if you feel it’s not helpful because men are treated differently. I definitely understand that sentiment, although I will note that because of his flexible schedule my husband has taken on a primary parent role and he was home with our daughter for an entire year while I worked (his institution gives a year off teaching and a year delay in the tenure clock for all new parents).
I would go for the TT job now, if TT jobs are possible in your field without a postdoc. In my husband’s field (and I think academia in general), getting a tenure-track job is way harder than getting tenure. He was really lucky to get a tenure-track job at a top 25 institution – he was the one of only two students his year from his excellent PhD institution to get a job this good – and his work so greatly exceeded the minimum tenure guidelines at this school that he not only didn’t take advantage of the tenure clock delay, he got tenure a year before he normally would have even without the delay. As I’m sure you probably know, getting a tenure-track job has become so much more competitive since the recession and there are a surplus of excellent PhD grads for every TT opening. However, most institutions (with the exception of very elite places like MIT and Stanford) still expect to tenure the vast majority of their assistant professor hires, and tenure standards have crept up much more slowly than the hiring competitiveness has. Like I said, my husband is at a top 25 institution in his field, and I think the last time someone didn’t get tenure there was almost 20 years ago. So getting the TT job is way more difficult. Also, you can always apply to both and see what you get. I see no downsides to applying for TT now.
Just as a side note, a full year off teaching is way better than standard academic parental leave. One semester is more typical, and it’s not paid everywhere.
Yup, I realize a year is generous. I do think a paid semester off teaching is become increasingly standard at research institutions, at least from his friends’ and classmates’ experiences. Also, in his field, postdocs teach too, so teaching wouldn’t really be a big factor in determining whether to go for a postdoc or TT. But I realize that may be different in the lab sciences.
What field are you in? Husband is an academic in STEM field, finishing his PhD now, and feels starting a TT job with kids already in the picture (we have 2 and are done) is easier than starting to have kids while trying to get tenure.
Definitely apply now! By the time a TT job started in fall 2020 your youngest would be 2, right? I don’t think that’s going to be substantially harder than waiting a year or two (and honestly, the way the academic job market is at the moment there’s no guarantee you’ll land a TT job your first application cycle anyway, so don’t put off trying!).
Also, in my STEM field, postdocs aren’t necessarily easier that TT positions in terms of work-life balance. Yes, you’re not usually teaching or trying to start up a lab, but you often have more hands-on responsibilities in the lab, which don’t always nicely line up with daycare hours.
I have two kids, both born on the tenure track. If your field is competitive, I would apply for both postdocs and tenure-track jobs next year. Maybe be slightly picky about the TT jobs, but the job market is so overcrowded and fickle, I would go ahead and apply to any job that looks appealing.
Also, not sure about your field, but in mine it’s reasonably common to apply for TT jobs and postdocs at the same time, and then negotiate to defer the TT job to take a one-year postdoc. R1 places will usually let you do that, SLACs may not (because they really need someone to come in and start teaching). Worth thinking about, if you can find a postdoc that won’t require you to move twice in 12 months.
Finally, keep in mind that it’s not going to get *that* much easier as your kids get older, particularly beyond the first two years. My older kid is aging out of daycare into public school next year, and I anticipate it being much more of a hassle to deal with all the snow days, in-service days, etc. So unless you get an 18 year postdoc, I’m not sure it matters all that much.
Also an academic spouse here. We had our first child during DH’s post-doc and he got a TT position when our first was 1.5. This probably depends a lot on your field but in my experience the postdoc years were hardest, even though the workload was ostensibly lower. Much of it had to do with the perpetual dread of the job market, having to constantly be “on” in terms of networking, publishing, conferences, etc., plus the horror that is the TT job market itself. If we could have skipped the post-doc and gone straight to the TT job we would have in a heartbeat. Now that he’s in a TT job (pre-tenure, still) he is so much more present as a parent and spouse for all the reasons mentioned above.
My husband and I are both on the tenure track, with two kids (now 3 and 1.5). I agree with what everyone says — go on the market widely now, including both TT jobs and post-docs. If you get a TT job, TAKE IT. The other thing to consider is the emotional/mental/monetary cost of moving. I’ve moved three times since grad school (this is my third and hopefully final TT job — my husband and I work at different institutions and were trying to get within driving distance of each other) and in many ways the moving put much more of a dent in my tenure progress than kids have. If you get a post-doc you’ll have to move a few years after getting it — and that might be even tougher if your oldest is in kindergarten. So yes, like most of the other commenters here are saying, post-docs should be a fallback if you don’t get a TT job, not a first option.
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I am in the fortunate position to where I feel like I would be able to get a TT job (have been extremely lucky with getting major grants and getting several super high impact pubs in the last couple of years), although I guess I could be wrong since I know the process is cray competitive. My hesitation with taking a TT job is that I would like more training with a postdoc, and would appreciate feeling somewhat relaxed on postdoc (since I think I have gotten enough pubs / grants in grad school to where I wouldn’t need to publish like crazy, just continue at a normal pace), but the standards for tenure seem higher. But interesting to hear that getting tenure might be easier than getting a TT job, so maybe in some ways postdoc may be more stressful.
I think I will take everyone’s advice and apply for both, and see what happens. I really liked someone’s idea about getting a TT job and then trying to delay it for a postdoc, so I could get my training without risking not getting a TT job later on. I am in Psychology if that changes things.
Any tips for keeping a 4 year old happy on an approximately 8 hour car trip? She’s done long trips before and been alright, but not with me. In theory at least, I’ll be working on a laptop the majority of the trip. I’m OK with her watching the Ipad for a while, but I’d prefer that she doesn’t do that the whole time.
I don’t think you should plan to be working on a laptop. 4 is little, and she needs entertaining, and sitting next to mama in the back seat while mama works on a laptop just isn’t great. We’ve had lots of luck with coloring, books on tape, board books, and little toys like pipe cleaners. And then just tons of questions and I-Spy and singing.
Yes, this! My child loves audiobooks and has been listening to them since she was three or four. We’ve driven DC to Colorado several times and even when I pack toys and art supplies and games, she mostly just listens to audio books. She started with the Little House on the Prairie series, and also loves Ramona books and How to Train Your Dragon.
Also podcasts, but those don’t last as long.
I used to do long road trips with my son around that age, and here’s how I tackled it:
-Leave early in the morning while it’s still a little dark. Give her glowsticks/glow bracelets to play with.
-Hand her a light morning snack when that fun wears off
-2 or 3 hours in, find a rest stop and eat a breakfast you packed at a picnic table. Only has to take about 15 minutes but makes a world of difference in their attitude
-Hand her an “activity” (magnadoodle, etc.), let her amuse herself for a bit (you’re around halfway done now!)
-New activity (here’s a cookie sheet with magnets, make stuff with the magnets or spell words if they’re letters. now use the magnets to hold color wonder paper in place on the cookie sheet and color for a bit)
-Bathroom break, gas, pick a snack from the gas station (how exciting!)
-She eats her snack for a bit, maybe revisits an activity, hopefully there was a car nap somewhere in all of this
-Turn a movie on the ipad for the last 2 hours.
Since you left early, you arrive at your destination early-mid afternoon!
Your encouraging exclamations really made me laugh.
Yes to all the suggestions above, but since you’re planning to be on the laptop, if DH is driving I’d have him handle this more like a solo trip with you cocooned in the passenger seat with noise cancelling headphones. If you guys can do that I bet you’ll be able to get a fair amount of work done. I’m assuming if you’re planning to work literally on the road it’s pretty important or time sensitive so hopefully he’ll be supportive!
How can they possibly treat this exactly like her DH is taking the kid on a solo trip? Her kid is 4 and has eyes, so she will know her mom is there.
No need to be hostile.
Well, in my defense I didn’t say it would exactly be the same. Sure kid will know mom’s there but some kids are capable of understanding mom can’t always attend when present. I’m sure she wouldn’t completely ignore the kid, but no one had mentioned how the other driver could be involved, and if she has urgent work to do I think it’s reasonable to expect DH to take the lead. But it’s just a suggestion!
Yeah, we’ve had times when we’ve had to say (for work-related or health-related reasons) “Mama is here, but she can’t answer your questions or help you right now; if you need something you will have to ask Dada instead.” Granted, we weren’t in a car at the time but it generally worked well even with our 2.5/3 year old. I’m sure kids vary and not all kids would accept this but could be worth trying if yours is a rule-follower!
Yes exactly. Plus it’s terribly unsafe to be using a laptop in the front seat with an airbag.
I use my laptop in the car all of the time. It’s not that much bigger than holding an iPad. Is it ideal? No. But I don’t think it falls in the category of “terribly unsafe.” Sometimes working in the car (as a passenger, of course) is necessary.
I don’t think it’s terribly unsafe for the human, but it’s very risky for the laptop. Cars are way bumpier than airplanes and I killed two laptops that way (both Macbooks, which are supposed to be really good quality). FYI.
DH, Kiddo, and I went on vacation last week. Our flight was canceled, and we were taking a cruise, so we took an unplanned, 10-hour road trip (and back).
Plan to stop a lot. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and cleanliness of the public rest areas, and it was well worth the time to let Kiddo run around for 5 minutes after going potty. We also stopped for one “real” (non-fast-food, non-chain) meal each day. It extended the total trip time but gave everyone a much-needed break, and we were able to get some “real” calories into Kiddo and ourselves.
Before our vacation, I bought Kiddo some new activity pads. Thank goodness for those. The Melissa and Doug scratch art pads were the biggest hit, and he also liked the magic pens. I like these better than coloring because they have just one tool, and Kiddo tends to drop crayons when he’s switching colors and then get upset about not having the crayon he wants until we stop. YMMV.
My kid won’t pay attention to a full audio books, but I had some podcasts with shorter kids’ stories loaded on my iphone. We listened to a few “Circle Round” stories instead of reading books before “bedtime.” (We arrived at our destination around 2:30 a.m, so we had “bedtime” after stopping for dinner.)
Sleep. Since we were driving so late, Kiddo slept the last 4 hours of the trip to Florida. He voluntarily took a nap for a couple of hours on the way home too.
Music. When Kiddo wasn’t sleeping, DH and I listened to music we like, as long as it wasn’t super inappropriate for a 4-year-old. Kiddo had his activities in the back, and I think having some upbeat music for part of the trip really helped everyone’s mood. Also, hilariously, Kiddo told us he really liked Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” :-)
Save the iPad for last. Once they’re bored of the iPad, nothing will entertain them. That said, he played games and watched stuff on the iPad for at least one-third of the return trip (but none of the trip there).
So Anon says
I’m going on a business trip next week where it is 6 hours of flights each day plus a two hour layover. I’m traveling with two of the execs in my company. I need brain candy to read on the flights. I’ve recently read Dumplin and Puddin, which I adored. I’m listening to Michele Obama’s book. Any recommendations?
Loved the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy for brain candy reading.
+1. Those were my last three airplane brain candy books.
Irish Midori says
+2 I snort laughed all the way through all three books.
I thought The Vanity Fair Diaries was both very fun and inspiring.
Emily S. says
Eleanor Olephant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. Funny, bittersweet, and a quick read.
This has definitely been asked but I can’t find it! – Stroller recs? My LO is 8 months old and we’ve been getting by with babywearing + a Bob for longer walks, but he’s getting heavy and I’m wanting a more portable stroller.
We have a Chicco Bravo which I love for everyday use. The hard handle makes one-handed folding a breeze. If you’re looking to go umbrella, I have a MacLaren Triumph that lives in my car (a gift) and my husband swears by the Summer Infant 3D light, which lives in his car. I just bought (but have not used yet) the Joovy ultralight jogging stroller for offroading use – we are not runners by any stretch of the imagination, but I was looking for something manageable that would handle outdoor unpaved surfaces better than my Bravo. Testing it out this weekend at some wineries.
We have the Chicco ultralight or whatever their umbrella stroller is. They’ve improved the sun shade in recent years. Can still use it with my leggy two year old. FWIW I keep this in the car and then use the BOB in our neighborhood or anywhere hilly/bumpy. It’s 17lbs so not super light, but I don’t have back problems. The BOB is getting a little hard for me to load in and out of the car cause I’m 28 weeks pregnant.
If you want light/portable, the Zoe strollers are great.
We had the uppababy cruz but that was a lot to lug around, so I wanted to test more portable strollers in person. We went with the mountain buggy nano. Super portable (folds small enough for airplane overhead bin, which is irrelevant because you can gate-check strollers, but is nice to fit in a car trunk), easy to adjust the recline level, has ample storage underneath for such a compact stroller. The only drawback is the sun shade is fine but not great. Otherwise, 100% recommend. I have stick arms and detest schlepping things but even I can hold the baby and this stroller at the same time.
We have an Uppababy Cruz and a Babyzen Yoyo – I highly recommend both. I think the Yoyo would be better for your purposes as it folds up and is very light.
I’m in lawyer and my office is very generously throwing me a baby shower next month. Specifically, one of the big rain making partners is hosting it at her new house. I don’t work with her and I am not in her practice group (and some very bizarre things would have to happen in both of our practice areas for us to end up working together, ever), but she knows who I am more than just a face she generally recognizes (buts she would never just stop by my office to chat). She is not hosting the shower out of some mentor/mentee relationship, rather she just really likes hosting parties, gets very excited about associates having babies, and wants to show off her house. My ask is this – what is a good hostess gift to get her, a woman who can literally buy herself anything she wants (and does buy herself all sorts of things)? I am going to write a thank you note, but I also want to get her something. I think wine is out of the question – both her knowledge and budget far exceed what mine could ever hope to be. Also, since we’re not very close, it’s not like I have some secret inside knowledge of particular things that she likes. I don’t want to miss the mark, but I also don’t have a lot of connections to her such that I feel the need to knock it out of the park with this gift because otherwise it will directly impact my career. Budget would be $100 or less (unless you all have an idea of something perfect that is more than $100). thanks!
Oh man this is a tough one. You want to have at least some emotional resonance with the gift — so if possible, I would get her something that allows you to get a little personal in the card. So, if you get her a big box of fancy chocolates, the note could say “this is my favorite type of chocolate to reward myself with after a victory at work. Given your success rate, you will probably be eating a lot of chocolate soon! :-)” Or if you get her a cashmere blanket, a note that says “My sister got me one of these a few years ago and it’s become a treasured possession. Hope you feel the same!” Basically, the idea is to show that the gift isn’t a random item you picked out, but rather something with *meaning.*
What about a floral arrangement delivered to her home the day after the shower? I think $100 is a bit low for a cashmere blanket, unfortunately. If she enjoys hosting, a gift I have given in the past is a “kit” with monogrammed napkins – either disposable or embroidered. So maybe a bottle of tequila, two bottles of high end marg mix, some fancy bar salt, and a pack of bar napkins with her name or monogram printed in the theme of the kit.
A potted orchid.
Maybe her secretary would have some ideas? Like maybe she goes for massages at some place or something her secretary might know about? If that fails, fancy chocolates would be my advice.
Strategy mom says
Diptyque fancy candle
My rec for the mountainbuggy nano is still in moderation, but I will mention if you are tall it might not be great. I’m 5’4″ and have no issues but my husband is 6’1″ and kicks the wheels when he walks directly behind it.