Finally Friday: Reversible Faux Leather Tote & Wristlet

This reversible tote is super highly rated at Nordstrom, with 778 positive reviews. It comes in the pictured black that reverses to the color of the wristlet, which they’re calling cognac, plus cognac/beige and black/silver. It’s only $48, so if you’re looking for a big tote, I think this one would be great. If you prefer a vegan bag, this fits the bill as well. Reversible Faux Leather Tote & Wristlet

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  1. Lilliet says:

    I know there is no hard science to support any of the woo of essential oils. But I did want to share, that especially with my young kids where you can’t just dose them up with Robitussin and hope for the best, this week was life changing. I channeled all the crunchy momma in me that I could and at night diffused a mixture of eucalyptus oil with tea tree oil and dabbed a few drops of lemon oil on my son’s sinuses and behind his ears. Maybe the two rounds of antibiotics just finally kicked the sinus and ear infection he’s been fighting (I’d been debating taking him back in). Or maybe after two months the green/yellow double barrel of snot had run dry. Or maybe the oils worked. Either way, after three nights of this my son is sleeping soundly and has no snot to wipe. For any other desperate mothers…maybe some hippie juju works. Also, you can just buy essential oil at whole foods or on Amazon.

    • FTMinFL says:

      I’ve been as skeptical as you, but my mom offered up an essential oil blend when I was miserable due to seasonal allergies + pregnant swollen nasal passages and I couldn’t take anything good. I was shocked how well it worked. I’ve been nervous to use it for my little guy, though, because of all kinds of conflicting safety information online. How old is your son? I’m not usually anxious like this, but I’m a biostatistician and there’s no good data!

      • Lilliet says:

        My son is 2–the eucalyptus is diffused into the air. The lemon is applied with a carrier oil. I tested tge carrier oil application on me first, then my son. I also figure eucalyptus in the air and lemon oil on the skin is no worse than two rounds of antibiotics that have done nothing!

    • I am also totally sold on essential oils. I use both peppermint and eucalyptus for my migraines, and lavender for sleep. Priceless now that I am pregnant and can’t take drugs.

      The bottles they sell at whole foods last FOREVER. I’ve been very happy with them.

      • Oh how do you use the lavendar for sleep? I’m up for anything that will help with my sleep.

      • Butter says:

        I used to use lavender for sleep (I would spritz my pillow before going to bed) and I loved it, but then my dog chewed the bottle and soaked everything and I need to take a few years off before I can go back to it.

      • I dab it on the inside of my wrists, rub together, and then rub behind my ears and on my templates (almost like putting on perfume).

        Note that if you don’t use a “carrier oil” (which is a scentless oil to dilute), lavender especially can be harsh on the skin – i.e., it stings. So don’t do it to a kiddo without testing a tiny bit and seeing how they feel.

        I only notice the sting if I were to put it directly on my face – the wrists, then behind ears, then templates order works well for me.

    • Anonymous says:

      I use essential oils personally and love them for certain stuff, but I’m just adding here that some essential oils such as eucalyptus and tea tree are dangerous for babies, even though a lot of companies recommend them. I’m really not sure at what age they become safe because I still have a young toddler, but I thought I would add that to the discussion.

      As someone who gets migraines from synthetic fragrances, I am so thankful they are so readily available now!

      • Lilliet says:

        As with everything, I’ve discussed the eucalyptus diffusion with my kids’ pediatrician. Diffusing dilluted oils was pediatrician approved.

    • Someone recommended eucalyptus oil to me for my baby, but then I read some stuff that you shouldn’t use essential oils on babies and you should wait until kiddo is at least 3 years old. This is my problem with essential oils – I can’t discern the good information from the bad information, nor can I get good information on how to dilute them.

      • Lilliet says:

        Yup. I diffuse the eucalyptus into the air.

      • Interesting – Vick’s contains eucalyptus (as well as the menthol that gives it its characteristic smell) and it’s definitely marketed for helping children. Plus as a an FDA-regulated product, it should have been thoroughly tested.

        Essential oils themselves (not in any other product) would NOT be FDA-regulated so I could definitely see the concern in using on small children.

        I guess to always be on the safe side, only use FDA approved products or ask your pediatrician! I didn’t know about the hormone concerns cited above, for example.

        • October says:

          Vicks shouldn’t be used on kids under 2. Also, I’m not sure how regulated it is by FDA…OTC products often have some leeway.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I love my essential oils – I tell my husband you have to believe to make them work. I use them occasionally on my kids and rub on the bottom of their feet – diluted with coconut oil. I use peppermint (diluted) on my temples for headaches, lavender on the bottom of my feet for sleep (or general calmness and on cuts or wounds), and a mixture of lavender and lemon and tea tree oil for sinus/colds. I use Doterra and love their breathe oil and breathe stick- which is a better smelling vicks in a stick format. I also use the OnGuard blend for immune boosting and diffusing in the house and it smells Amazing! I personally think they can cure symptoms like couching and runny noses and headaches but maybe not the underlying disease. But with anything, they work better for some people than others so I like to try the natural way first.

    • rosie says:

      I like tea tree oil for pregnancy-related nausea. Either dabbed on my wrists or on Sea Bands, or in this skin ointment I found at Whole Foods. I think part of why it helps may be that it helps block out some of the many smells I pick up on and find gross right now.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m going to be honest here- I assume everyone buying essential oils is gullible and a bit slow. So I don’t know if you want to bring this up in real life.

  2. I use this bag as my laptop bag and love it. For commuting every single day for the past year+, it’s been great. Lightweight and simple and fits on my shoulder.

    I don’t use the wristlet so I can’t comment on that part. And the “vegan leather” makes me roll my eyes (just call it plastic).

    • I did own a vegan leather bag for 3+ years and it held up surprisingly well. The brand was Deux Lux. It did not feel like plastic, even though surely that’s what it was made of.

  3. anon anon mom says:

    I have a 2 year old and am 4 months pregnant with number 2. DH is super supportive and helps with many kid tasks and around the house, but his main duty is bedtime. Kiddo can be hard to handle at bedtime and it takes about an hour of book reading, teeth brushing, potty, etc. I handle pretty much everything else kid and house related, work full time, do 100% of drop offs and pick ups, buy groceries, cook, clean, yada yada, as we do not have any outside help. Lately DH has been complaining about his bedtime duties, which I understand because it is a pretty taxing task, but when he mentions it, I can’t help but feel unappreciated for all of the things that I do. How can I hear him and be a more supportive partner without keeping score? When he talks about wanting a break, I instantly want to rattle off my to do list, (which sometimes I do, but recently just start crying because hormones).

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      He needs to zip it esp since you’re pregnant. I would say, look, I know bedtime is hard. But what I do is hard too, and I feel like it’s not fair for you to complain that much.

      • avocado says:

        +1 to he needs to zip it. My husband does this too and it is just rage-inducing. He has gone so far as to suggest outsourcing “his” tasks, even though he has tons of free time and I am never finished with “my” tasks. If you really want to be nice you could switch off with him for a day just for a change of pace–maybe he cooks dinner and does the dishes while you do bedtime. But he really just needs to suck it up and deal.

        • My DH did this as well. So we switched for a full two weeks (one day is not nearly enough to appreciate the soul-suck of meal planning and grocery buying). Literally, he had to rearrange his schedule at work to be able to handle some of the dropoffs, and deal with not getting enough work done in the office so having to work at night after kids are asleep, but also needing to clean the table and wash the dishes.

          And then we had a “date meeting” where he begged for his old jobs back and our compromise involved taking some of mine as well, so it was more balanced.

        • Meg Murry says:

          +1 for trading off. I get that bedtime can be an exercise in frustration, but I think you *both* deserve a break.

          What if you were able to each take one evening a week off from your nightly duties? For instance, on Tuesdays nights you go to yoga/out to a movie/to the bookstore/straight home to go to bed/whatever and he handles all of pickup, dinner and dishes that night, and on Thursdays he goes out and does whatever and you handle bedtime? Or would he be willing to tackle a chore you hate during that bedtime hour (cleaning out the fridge and washing all the dishes, for instance) so you could pick it up? I agree that he is handling this badly, but I also get wanting a break from a draining kid task. But he would have to agree to pick up the slack from you for that time- no giving bedtime to you so he can kick back and watch TV for that hour.

      • Anonymous says:


        For reference, at that stage, my DH was doing bedtime nightly + 50% of drop offs/pick ups + buying groceries most weeks.

    • Lilliet says:

      I think just acknowledge to him that you know bedtime is really hard and intense. I traditionally don’t do bedtime. But I do handle almost everything else. When I do I see how hard it is–a very compact intense set of time–it makes me alpreicate that my husband does it 95% of the time. So maybe to help you hear him, think about it like that “thankfully you’re not also doing it.” It’s hard not keeping score. But morning out-the-door and bedtimes are just their own kinds of special hell. Make sure you’re getting support where you need it too. Assign him a new task or two. All relationships work differently, so I don’t think a simple “suck it up” response will work.

      Maybe suggest he do a bedtime “reset” with kiddo to make it shorter? When it gets unbearable we do a reset with the kids to help them understand their normal~1hr teeth+story+songs+whatever else saga is a gift they should appreciate. We start setting timers, 15min bath, 3 min for all teeth brushing, 1 short story (no doovers, no additional, mom/dad picks), 2 songs, kiss goodnight and gone, if they get out of bed at all door is closed and locked. These reset weeks make the 20mins also really intense buttheb they’re in bed, and it’s done. The kids re-realize when they’re able to pick out a book it’s a treat and they actually do it with purpose, etc.

      Also, remind your husband to being a beer with him!

      • Lilliet says:

        I think more succinctly, just acknowledge to him it’s tough. That should be enough for him. And maybe help him problem solve how long it is. Make sure you are getting the help you need to tol–especially being pregnant. You’re doing a great job!

        Also, he should *bring* a beer with him.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just came through this, having just recently had #2, and I’ve got nothing but sympathy. That said, could you perhaps trade some things a few nights? Tell H you’ll take bedtime on a certain night or nights a week, in exchange for morning duties and dropoff? Or some other specific task (are you cleaning while he does bedtime, could he do that instead)? I see both sides of this. Obviously you are doing more (that dreaded third shift of emotional labor we all discuss), plus the obvious pregnancy exhaustion. But putting a toddler down every night is exhausting, too. All the parenting lure makes it sound like it’s this magical last touch point of the day, but in my experience, everyone is drained and cranky and tension is through the roof. I think the key is not to rattle off the list as support for what you do, but offer to trade tasks for a bit.

    • Anon for this says:

      No suggestions, because I often have similar feelings (not pregnant, though – even more sympathies! Can’t outsource that at this point…), but a related questions – how does everyone have these conversations in a non-defensive way? And how do each of you calculate the total work? Every time I try to have this conversation it devolves into point-counting. I like the switcheroo method but know we would end up just eating frozen food if I didn’t cook…

      • Sarabeth says:

        We embrace the points counting. We’ve literally added up all the time that we each spend on childcare and housework, then rebalanced to make it more even.

        Also, maybe let there be frozen food for a week or two. Even if you can’t do it long term, do it for long enough that it forces your partner to acknowledge that 1) it takes more effort not to do frozen food, and 2) it’s more pleasant not to do frozen food.

        • I’m the Anon who did it for two weeks. One of the points we were arguing about was how hard it was to come up with different meals every night and how much food we wasted each week. So the two weeks was necessary to let him see that PBJ/mac & cheese/frozen dinners only get you so far before you want a “real” meal, which then takes effort and forethought and planning, and trial and error until you get the right combo of variety vs waste.

        • Anon for this says:

          Thanks, this is helpful. I think the key is going to be to actually sit down and count the points rather than doing it in the moment when I’m frustrated, which always ends up with my partner listing the things he does (which is a lot, just less overall than me) and being pretty defensive and us never actually accounting for the time.

    • ElisaR says:

      Sorry, no advice but lots of commiseration and sympathy – hang in there!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Can I come at it from a different angle? You and your husband have a lot going on in your lives right now. He may be feeling general anxiety about all that, and channeling it into complaining about bedtime struggles. He may also just be complaining because he wants that camaraderie of saying, “Yeah, we are both working so hard right now, but we’re in it together.” Unless he specifically is asking you to take on his tasks, I don’t think you should read that into his complaints.

      If it bothers you, maybe suggest that you’ve got a lot of anxieties and work right now too, and suggest that he find a different person to commiserate with on this. The whole rings of grief/burden – you can burden outward but not in toward the people at the center of the ring (i.e., pregnant mama).

      Also – I almost lost it at bedtime last night and wound up sobbing in my room for half an hour afterward. It may not take as many minutes of work, but the mental and emotional toil of bedtime is HARD.

    • Anonymous says:

      I get that bedtime can be a difficult task and he’s entitled to express that but you really suggest you deal with his feelings and the bigger picture now. Once you have kid #2, bedtime with only one kid is going to seem like a breeze in comparison and he needs to be equipped with the skills to deal with that and you as a couple need to be equipped with the skills to communicate about it.

      I thought DH and I had a strong relationship but our kid #2 has really tested it.

    • anne-on says:

      Also? Maybe just start ‘claiming’ more time as your own. I hate to wake up early. HAAATTTEEE it. So on the weekends I’ve been sleeping in maybe 30 minutes later than my husband/son. DH remarked one night that ‘he’s been handling mornings more’ and I responded, yup, I also make dinner from scratch/clean up/manage house stuff from 5-7pm EVERY WEEK NIGHT because he’s not home yet. He hasn’t made a peep about it since.

    • rakma says:

      So this was us over the summer: DH was sick of doing (sometines 2+ hours of) bedtime, I was pregnant and still doing everything I had done previously (though DH was taking on some of the dinner/dishes stuff) and then a bunch of random stuff happened (DD’s air conditioner broke, she had a summer cold, I don’t even remember all the factors) and DD went to bed with me in my bed every night for a week. By the end of the week, DH had a break, DD was feeling better and we brought back the bedtime routine.

      The routine has shortened since then, and we seem to be balancing a bit more now that the second baby is born. I don’t know if I’d suggest this, but maybe this is a ‘this too shall pass’ kind of thing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Y’all it literally took 2.5 hours from wake up to getting out of the house today. The kids woke up early so were over tired. We had to try on new shoes because one kid’s shoe had literally fallen apart so I ordered new ones from Zappos but didn’t have time to try them on last night. Other kid had a melt down because he wasn’t also getting new shoes. Melt down was exacerbated because we didn’t have his beloved lovey, and, as it turns out, all THREE backups had migrated to school. Neither could I find his second-choice stuffed animal. He wouldn’t put on his shoes, so I carried him in the snow to the car, where he screamed all the way to school. By the time we got there, he had taken off his socks. Older kid helped look for the socks on the floor of the car, and got kicked in the face by tantruming toddler. Older kid then punched toddler in the gut, and I screamed at him. One sock was never found, so we got to school with two tearful, snotty boys, one of whom was barefoot. I hope nobody calls CPS. Also, my husband has been out of town all week. Oy.

    • Internet hugs. I’ve had those days. You’ve just survived solo parenting for a week, you’re a rockstar. Plan some kind of relaxation incentive for you after the kids go to bed (sleeping? reading? mindless TV?) and count the hours until then.

    • I know this is terrible, but I laughed out loud picture the older kid (because I assume he’s not that much older and no damage was done) punching the toddler in the gut. I’m so sorry. That’s rough. I hope your husband comes home today and your weekend gets better.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah I’ve gotta say I started cracking up all by myself on the sidewalk today, it was all so ridiculous that I had to laugh.

      • same – picturing the older kiddo being actually helpful, trying to get the sock, and then getting kicked in the head. Oh man.

    • avocado says:

      Hang in there–it’s Friday! If you can, treat yourself to something indulgent during the workday. A walk outside at lunchtime, a fancy coffee, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Aw, thanks, guys. I needed to vent, and my mostly childless coworkers just look at me sort of horrified if I complain to them about things like this!

      • Anon in NYC says:

        You’re almost done! Hang in there! Also, give the kids to your husband this weekend and tell him that he needs to either take them somewhere for a few hours or stay home with them and you’ll leave the house for a few hours. Then take a well deserved break!

      • Anonymous says:

        Haha, I do love that I work with so many other parents, because I have a good audience for stories like this. You’ve a great one, here. I’m sorry no one could appreciate it!

        I’m so sorry. I do promise you that at least one other parent has dropped off crying, snotty, freaking out children with no shoes ;) (PSSST – it’s me!)

    • Something’s in the water – my normally chill 2 year old threw a tantrum this morning for no reason. Ok, I did offer him a smoothie after he said he was hungry, which obviously was the WRONG food. Like on the ground, kicking, pulling, bawling. I can only imagine with two. Hang in there! You did great – everyone made it to school!

    • Oh man that’s a rough morning! I have done the drive to daycare with a screaming child who didn’t stop screaming from home to being handed off, and I could hear him still screaming as I walked out. And, I once left a restaurant with two kids with one sock still missing. Sorry to whoever followed us in the booth and found a random sock. You’re almost to the weekend! (Although as a parent, I’m not sure if that’s more a reprieve or from frying pan into the fire.)

    • Oh man! I hope your office feels like a sanctuary right now. Can you get a fancy lunch or coffee beverage as a reward for surviving and keeping your kids alive?

    • Wow! That’s quite a morning. If you can, copy and paste your post and save it somewhere. Your kids will probably think this is hilarious when they’re graduating from high school :-)

    • Anonymous says:

      I often feel like I deserve a medal when I finally get in to work every day. Especially with the snowy commute. Pushing a stroller over snowy sidewalks should be an Olympic event. Here’s to PJs and no shoes at least half the day tomorrow!

    • Posts like this really make me lean towards being one and done…

    • anne-on says:

      Oof, that sounds brutal. Can you make tonight an easy dinner (take out/frozen food/PBJs) and movie night? YMMV, but mine always speed through bath/teethbrushing if afterwards they get to watch a movie in PJs. And mommy gets to cuddle with clean, silent kiddos and drink tea…or wine…

  5. My 4 year old has developed the most annoying baby talk habit. It started when his little sister started talking, and now he constantly wants to mimic her style instead of speaking the way that he obviously can. For example, instead of saying “Can I have some more juice please?” like he used to, he now waves his cup around and says “juice! juice!” like she does. We’ve tried telling him no, making him stop and ask appropriately before getting him anything, ignoring him completely, etc., but nothing seems to work. Any suggestions?

    • shortperson says:

      i would ignore it and let him act like a baby. i.e. get the juice without comment. he’ll probably get tired of it soon.

    • If ignoring hasn’t worked, would he be receptive to being a good example for his sister? Tell him he can help her learn to talk better?

    • “I can’t understand you when you talk like that.” and then ignore. My nephew went through the same phase and got over it.

      He also went through a phase of talking about himself in the third person that was soooo annoying.

    • Anonymous says:

      My 4 year old is doing this too, and we have no baby for him to emulate. I guess I should be grateful he’s no mimicking the cats.

      • Ha!! My 4 year old is doing this and is also pretending to be a cat. Started at school, and makes me irrationally annoyed. I’m largely ignoring it.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Have you tried praising the crap out of him anytime he does anything “like a big boy”? Or “oh, I like how you asked for that so politely!” For instance: putting on his own shoes, using the potty, etc. Point out all the things that he can do because he’s a big kid that babies can’t – go on the big slide at the playground, watch tv when baby sister is napping, use scissors, eat XYZ, whatever. Play up the “you’re a big kid and that’s awesome!” aspect, and ignore the baby behavior or give a quick “ask politely” request.

      Or on the flip side, I have friends that used the “if you are going to act like a baby, I’m going to treat you like a baby” trick that worked after a day or two of making the big kid go down for a nap when baby did, putting away the big kid toys and offering only baby toys, laying him on the changing table instead of standing to get dressed, etc.

      Am I correct that your husband is a SAHD though? The two of you need to be 100% on the same page with your strategy, whether that be to just give the juice but ignore the talk, to not give juice until he asks politely or “like a big boy” or “like I know a 4 year old can” or whether to go full out 100% “treat you like a baby”. Otherwise you can spend all weekend trying to break the habit only to have your husband revert during the day when he gives in and just gives him the juice to shut him up. Not blaming your husband for this – the opposite – saying if you try a strategy that isn’t going to work for him when he’s alone with the kids it won’t last, because kids can see through that quickly and will wait you out until you crack.

      • Yeah, that’s probably part of the issue – not that he’s doing it wrong, but that neither of us have committed to anything. I need to talk to him and agree that we’ll do something consistently.

      • Anonymous says:

        We went through this with my 5-year-old step-son when we moved in together (my daughter was 2) and it occasionally comes back. Step-son first gets ignored. Then, if he does it again on another occasion, we say, “oh, are you a baby like [step-sister]?” And he’ll say “goo goo ga ga yes!” (Even though she’s now 3 and speaking in full paragraphs). So we say, “ok, hi baby! let’s go put on your diaper and go down for a nap!” We’ll pick him up, carry him to the bathroom (where we have a couple leftover diapers — the 3yo is potty-trained now), and then carry him to his bed. Lights off, door shut, and we leave. Sometimes he just needs the physical aspect of being held, sometimes he needs a break from the family. A few weekends of this, and step-son is basically over pretending to be a baby. The biggest thing, I think, is just zero reaction from us beyond “oh, babies get XYZ and don’t get ABC big-kid things.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Fascinating — there’s a whole psychology of group dynamics that whoever has the most power in the group will lead speech patterns (ie you find yourself talking like your annoying boss). Oh family dynamics!

    • Anonymous says:

      “I’m sorry – I can’t understand you when you talk like that. Can you ask again in your regular voice?”

      Repeat as often as necessary.

      Also, it is some sort of weird developmental phase. As other have said already, kids without little siblings do it, too.

  6. whitney says:

    I posted last week about the depths of sleep deprivation with a newborn who will only sleep in arms and the slippery slope into PPD. Just wanted to let everyone know we are still alive and kicking. The next day brought new challenges – we were without power for four days. I went from focusing on sleep to focusing on keeping warm. It was humbling. We made it through.

    The baby is still sleeping in arms but we were able to experiment with cosleeping and I hope to try again soon. We are entering the phase of increased fussiness and I find myself getting frustrated. Still, he is an easier baby in someways than my first and for that I am grateful.

    I have help for another 5 days and thanks to everyone’s recommendations, I am looking into a postpartum doulas for after that. I am also taking comfort in being able to read this baby’s cues in ways that I never could with my first who was colicky and very high needs.

    I have a feeling I will be turning here often for support. Your input was invaluable that day. I am so grateful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for the update. Don’t hesitate to post again.

    • Hang in there. Baby who won’t sleep anywhere but your arms and no power for days? If everyone is alive you are doing amazing! Don’t hesitate to reach out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh man, that is rough. Thinking of you and glad you are reaching out for more support.

    • Anonymous says:

      Glad to hear this. I know cosleeping has a bad reputation in some circles but we’re only human and humans have to sleep sometimes. Much safer to plan for the fact that you might/will fall asleep and set up a safe environment than to pretend like you can stay awake forever, sitting on the couch with a baby in your arms and then have the baby slide between the cushions when you invariably doze off.

      Support in the form of a post partum doula or anywhere else sounds great! Good for you for reaching out.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Glad you are doing ok, you’ve been on my mind! I have lots of friends in your city, so I’ve been getting all the reports about lost power, etc. Glad it’s back on for you now.

    • avocado says:

      Wow, you are superhuman to survive four days without power with a new baby! Glad to hear you are looking into a postpartum doula.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Glad to hear you are doing better (or at least coping with it better).

      One other option that’s not a fun one but might be most available/affordable than a postpartum doula is to basically go nocturnal and then get help for the daytime hours. That’s what I wound up doing with my second son – I’d pretty much stay up all night with him and let him nurse on demand and plop him in the vibrating baby seat next to me when he finally dozed off for all of 20 minutes. Then my husband would wake up and take an early morning shift with the baby so I could eat/shower/nap, and when he went off to work various aunts, grandmas, cousins, neighbors, etc would come hold the baby so I could at least sleep in 2 or 3 hour stretches until my husband came home. The ONLY things I did for those few weeks were take care of the baby, feed myself (things like PB&J or scrambled eggs, not much in the order of real cooking) and order household necessities on Amazon Prime while the baby nursed. On really good days I managed to throw in a load of laundry, etc.

      It wasn’t exactly easy to keep that kind of schedule, but it was a lot easier to find people willing to come rock and hold my baby for a shift sometime between the hours of 10 am and 9 pm than it was to find someone willing to come in the middle of the night. So any of those people that have said “just let me know if there is anything I can do” – tell them to come some night after work, bring dinner, and hold the baby so you can nap.

      Hugs. It gets much much better in just a few short weeks.

  7. (x-posted on main site)

    Hi ladies,

    I posted a few weeks ago about dealing with low supply for breastfeeding and having to supplement my first baby. Baby is now 5 weeks, and I was hoping my supply would have increased by now, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case (despite working with lactation consultant throughout and doing all kinds of things). Have been doing triple feeding (i.e., nursing, supplementing, pumping) every 3 hours or so around the clock and am exhausted! We’re also dealing with bottle flow preference/nipple confusion to boot, so nursing at the breast isn’t working most of the time. I’m thinking of just going to pumping exclusively whatever I can and giving her the expressed breastmilk via bottle all the time, rather than trying to nurse, since it’s such a struggle to get her to nurse most of the time (we’re talking wailing, crying, screaming bloody murder, etc.). But worried that my already super low supply is going to tank even more if I cut out nursing. Wondering if any of you have thoughts to share? It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for sure. I know she will be fine if we stop BFing but I also really want to make it work somehow! TIA mamas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Glad you recognize she’ll be fine if you stop BFing. Because she will. Why do you want to make it work? Is it so she has BM? Is it so you can feel the closeness of nursing? If it’s the former, and you want to EP, I’d recommend a hospital grade pump and giving yourself permission to stop whenever the cons outweigh the pros.

      • Mom shorts that aren't mom shorts says:

        ^ This was my post. FWIW, I didn’t have supply issues and BF’d my kids/pumped at work and I must say, holding them and giving them a bottle (which I did occasionally, esp if timing was such that I had just pumped) made me feel so close to them whereas lifting my shirt to BF was my zone out/iPhone time, since their head was buried in my chest.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Maybe try the triple feeding only once or twice a day? That would let baby keep practicing, but also let you get off of the terrible cycle where you never get a chance to sleep.

      Also, have you been using an SNS system? If not, that can help by combining two of the steps. But it is more parts to clean.

      If what you need is mostly permission to stop trying, then by all means you have it. Get some sleep.

    • Caveat that I don’t actually have a child yet…

      This sounds exhausting but you seem in good spirits for what you’re going through. I would try to make it work EPing for maybe the length of your leave, but make peace with the fact that for your sanity formula might be the way to go. If you can EP + supplement for a few months, that’s better than never getting any br*stmilk at all (that’s the attitude I’m taking!!)

      Can you have someone else handle some feedings while you’re on leave so you can use that time to pump, and thus have more time in between feedings? This might also allow you to add pumping sessions, would should help with supply.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you have a hospital-grade pump that you’re renting? That made a huge difference for me.

      • Anonymous says:


        I got zero milk with anything else. I posted a longer reply on the main page.

      • avocado says:

        +1 to hospital-grade pump. Pumping on one side while nursing on the other is also worth trying if you haven’t already.

        Most importantly, it’s okay to know when to say when. I stuck it out through less severe feeding issues and in retrospect I often wish I’d listened to my instincts and just gone the EP route. You have put in heroic efforts so far and if you have a strong feeling about what’s best for you and your baby, whatever that is, just go with it.

        • avocado says:

          Also–since you are worried about supply, I actually found that my supply was higher when I was pumping more and nursing less. I wouldn’t assume that cutting out nursing will hurt your supply.

          • Anonymous says:

            My supply was also better when I was pumping more and nursing less as well, which is not the conventional wisdom. I think it helped that I just wasn’t as stressed about the triple duty when shifted to pumping more and it made a big difference to my supply.

          • Meg Murry says:

            +1 to this. If part of the issue is that baby has a tongue tie, poor latch or otherwise just isn’t a very effective nurser, 20 minutes of pumping may very well yield more milk than an hour of attempting to nurse with a baby that just doesn’t get it.

            My oldest could never nurse, and once I just stopped trying to put him to the breast and gave him what I could in a bottle and just focused on pumping and getting some actual sleep, I felt so much better mentally. I know the common advice is to nurse/pump every 2-3 hours, but for me getting at least one solid stretch of 3-4+ hours sleep every 24 helped so much more with my supply (and sanity) than the triple feeding ever did.

            It also helps to shift your focus from the absence of formula to the presence of B-milk. Any bit of b-milk you can give is great.

            My oldest was 50-50 pumped milk and formula, because that’s all my body would produce. Which was actually kind of easier in some ways, because I was just able to leave formula for daycare and Grandmas and only serve b-milk at home and not worry about it being spilled or wasted or forgotten on the counter, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      So I read that the real issue/benefit for babies is to get SOME amount of BM. That there isn’t actually a huge difference between babies who are exclusively br3ast-fed and babies who are supplemented with formula. For me, nursing was awful until baby was about 3-4 months old, and then we ended up nursing til she was over a year, because we could. I would encourage you to keep trying, maybe once or twice per day, at the b00b, but otherwise, please give yourself permission to stop whenever you’re tired. A happy, healthy mama is so much better for your babe than a stressed out, unhappy, distracted, exhausted milk-maker. No judgment at all, no matter what you choose!!

    • I did this for about a month when my son was 4 weeks-9 weeks, which was right after he had his tongue tie clipped and he couldn’t get enough milk from me. At 9 weeks, we went to visit my parents and my mom (who had been encouraging me from afar to keep doing this) realized/told me it was crazy and we went out and bought formula. So then I switched to nursing +supplementing with formula at each feeding (I still pumped occasionally, but not every time). Life got SO much better. At around 3.5 months, baby figured things out and I was able to drop the supplemental formula until around 9-10 months when my supply started to drop and we needed to supplement again.

      All that to say – what you’re doing is exhausting and you can’t do it forever. Take steps to make life easier for now, whether that’s switching to EP+supplementing exclusively, or still trying nursing once a day, or nursing+supplementing, and get some rest. And realize that it’s not necessarily binary – just because you’re making a certain change now, it doesn’t mean things won’t change again as baby grows and changes.

      This is hard. Give yourself permission to stop doing this and try something else, whatever that may be for you.

      • Butter says:

        +1 to baby figuring it out around the 3-3.5 month mark. I went through hell to make breastfeeding work (blame my commitment to it on hormones, have nothing against formula), and did the triple feed thing for 6-8 weeks as well. Also dealt with tongue/lip tie revisions, nipple confusion, supplementing, and ate all of the oatmeal and twenty different kinds of tea. I was desperate to figure it out before I went back to work – either to get breastfeeding right, or to switch to formula. But I didn’t make my timeline, and it ended up being fine. Right around when I went back to work kiddo figured it out, started doing what he was supposed to, which caused my supply to increase to adequate (never more than adequate, but adequate enough to not have to supplement until I chose to, several months later), and the rest is history.

        Mama, this stuff is hard. And you’re in it right now. Hugs to you. By all means stop if you want to stop. But I do think some babies take some time to figure it out, and anecdotally that seems to happen often around the 12-15 week mark, so if want to keep on, I’d encourage you to try to get some nursing in each day until you get through that period. It doesn’t have to be every session, but I think it’s a good reminder/practice session for baby if your goal is eventually to nurse without pumping when you’re home.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I would not blame you if you stopped BF. It’s so hard!

    • I was where you are. It’s tough.
      Your supply likely HAS increased, but baby is eating more now than even a few weeks ago. The pumping output is not necessarily indicative of supply, especially since you are nursing before pumping.
      Eat way more than you think you ought, drink lots of water, and if you can muster any extra pumping (perhaps with a freemie or even just hand expression), then do it. Note: I suggest extra pumping not for the sake of collecting output, but to keep your body feeling like it ought to generate more.

    • Thanks so much everyone for all the advice and support! It’s also helpful to hear about everyone’s individual experiences and anec-data. I think the reasons I want to continue BF are (1) it’s “best” for baby, and (2) I’ve found I really like the physical closeness of baby nursing at the breast. Re (1) I realize (being formula-fed myself), that baby will be A-OK with formula (and I’m grateful that our LC flagged her lack of weight gain and suggested we supplement pretty early on, so she’s gaining weight well now), but I’ve been surprised at how emotional I feel about stopping BFing! I think we can blame the hormones… (as Butter pointed out above!)

      No SNS since I’ve heard mixed things about efficacy and whether baby will take to it, and I just haven’t been sure I want to introduce another wrench into our routine.

      I’ve already been moving toward not militantly trying to force nursing at every session, so I think I’ll continue in this vein and just keep some nursing in each day, both for supply purposes and also since I enjoy it.

      • empresria says:

        This is probably too late, but I had low supply and for awhile I nursed and pumped and supplemented. I hated it. And my son was a great nurser. I just didn’t make much milk. I kept it up for four months (even after I had to cut out dairy due to his protein sensitivity). He got about 20% of his ounces from breastmilk at the peak. I was devestated and mourned my inability to produce for awhile. At four-ish months, we switched totally to formula (which we can afford to do) and it has been a huge relief.

        My life is way easier. My body went back to normal (more so anyway). I felt better and am happier. And my son is perfectly healthy and happy and developmentally normal. And we are on to other challenges as he just won’t eat solid foods…

  8. Mom shorts that aren't mom shorts says:

    I’m looking for mom shorts that aren’t mom shorts. I have a squishy stomach, and really muscular thighs (so on the thick side). I’m thinking something with some elasticity in the fabric without going full on elastic waist would be best. I’ve seen some flowy/hippy/trendy elastic waist shorts but those aren’t my style. My thighs don’t do well in more than 3-5″ inseam. Any suggestions?

    At least one pair of jean shorts would be great, and some other materials too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not elastic, but I’m a big fan of the J Crew factory shorts.

      • CPA Lady says:

        Same. Particularly the side zip ones. They put out a couple per season usually. I also like old navy’s drawstring waist linen shorts.

    • avocado says:

      Athleta has some cute elastic-waist linen shorts that are more structured than the typical elastic-waist shorts, with real pockets.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Have you tried skorts? Athleta’s skorts have been my go-to summer apparel. I can’t stand shorts fabric riding up between my thighs or the buttons digging into my stomach.

    • Anonymous says:

      Last summer Boden had some good basic shorts available in different inseam lengths. I personally was looking for longer shorts, but they had shorter ones too. Maybe worth a look?

  9. Anon in NYC says:

    I just need to let out a silly gripe about something. DH seems to be physically incapable of getting out of bed before me in the morning. So if I snooze for an extra 30 minutes we all run late. Like this morning. Yet LITERALLY the second I got out of bed, he hopped up and went into the bathroom. And he seems to be in denial about what time our kid actually wakes up. She used to wake up at 7:30, yes, I get that, but that was MONTHS AGO. Now she wakes up at 7:15. You can’t set your alarm for 7:22 and think that that’s fine!!

    • Anonymous says:

      1.) I would murder your DH for this behavior.
      2.) Set all bedroom clocks 10 minutes fast and don’t tell him.

    • Mom shorts that aren't mom shorts says:

      Daylight alarm clock? Or just a lamp on a timer so the room is super bright at wakeup time. If you like this, you can even switch out the lights witch for the overhead light to something programable through an app.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Haha, love the ideas. It’s really not that terrible most days, and honestly he’s such a great partner/dad that I am not going to do or say anything about it because I have my fair share of annoying habits too. Like waking up in the morning and drinking coffee while he empties the dishwasher and feeds the dog. It’s just sometimes really annoying.

    • Marilla says:

      My husband is incapable of getting out of bed before the last possible moment (which involves me waking him up multiple times between when his alarm goes off and when he finally gets out of bed, which gives him 5 minutes to get dressed and come downstairs to take over baby duty so I can leave for work – he does drop off every morning which is awesome). Except for the one time he SPRANG out of bed at 5 AM for a ski trip…

    • Ha, I am your DH. Except when I set my own alarm (on my phone, on my side of the bed) – for some reason, if it’s DH’s radio alarm that goes off, I don’t get out of bed until he does. My argument is that it’s so cozy and warm and he’s snoozing too!!

      That said I am much faster/more efficient at getting ready than he is, so I’m always out the door first regardless.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      My husband does this too! He even has the gall to tell me “it’s wakeup time!” *while he still lies in bed.* Never once have his feet hit the floor before mine… except when I am sick and he lets/makes me sleep all day. He’s not a monster, he just has this annoying habit. (And also does all the lovely things I hear you saying your guy does. I’ll take it, over all.)

  10. Anyone know if Pea in the Pod is good about returns? I bought a pair of AG maternity jeans in-store on Wednesday, and today is the first day I’m wearing them and the elastic/spandex part has already ripped. Do I stand any chance of getting them exchanged/replaced? I’m kicking myself for not getting them at Nordstrom.

    • My experience with them was so bad I only ordered once and never again throughout my pregnancy! FWIW I loved my maternity jeans from H&M. After buying expensive ones that I never wore, I wore H&M like 5x a week throughout my pregnancy. Best $25 buy!

    • Kindergarten boy says:

      Ditto on bad experience. You should try but their return policy is so bad that you should be prepared to fight. And definitely buy any other expensive maternity clothes from Nordstrom.

      I really hate the virtual monopoly pea in pod and its sister brands have on physical maternity stores.

    • rosie says:

      Have not tried, but you might as well. I have been pleasantly surprised by the ease with which some retailers will exchange items that are defective like this (including Target). For future, I think Macy’s has PitP, so if you see something you want from them, you might be able to buy through Macy’s to have a better return experience if needed. My maternity jeans are from Gap (skinnys, full panel, on sale) and Target (bootcut, side panel)–have been happy with both. And if you did not know (I didn’t), you can place one order online from Gap & Old Navy and they both count toward the shipping minimum.

    • Yeah, I think their policy sucks. I just bought some things from them, but I read the policy and realized I basically could not return anything.

      That sucks, honestly, because I”m wearing a pair of AG jeans a friend lent me (so she wore through her whole pregnancy) and they’re amazing! The panel part definitely has some loose threads I’ve had to clip – is that what you mean? It’s still totally functional though, and the actual jean part has held up very well.

  11. ATLien says:

    What are your tips and tricks for first trimester exhaustion at work? I’m only 6 weeks now and feel like I’m about to pass out at my desk.

    • Anonymous says:

      1. Muscle through because it will likely pass soon.
      2. Short walks in the sunlight.
      3. Close your office door and nap if at all possible.
      4. Go to bed as early as possible at night.
      5. Let (make) your partner take care of everything to do with running the household for a few weeks. Gestating is hard work that there is no way to divide up!

      Good luck!

    • Kindergarten boy says:

      Yes to all the above and emphasize going robbed early every night. If that means 7pm do it – your body needs it even if it seems ridiculous. Good luck!

    • Anonymous says:

      Double check that your iron levels are okay. If you’re even borderline anemic it could make you exhausted. (I had third tri borderline anemia that knocked me out every day, until I got a rash and a random extra blood test. Rash went away, but the blood test revealed anemia. I took an iron supplement every other day and it saved me.)

    • Anonymous says:

      I may have crawled under my desk and cat napped ;)

      Just do the best you can. Even though the nausea stuck with me well past the 1st trimester, the fatigue really did improve.

      Depending on your office/manager, if you have a job where being sluggish for that long can’t be hidden, consider confiding in someone. I’ve found that news comes with great relief. (A prior manager at the time of my first pregnancy actually thought I was looking for a new job. She was SO excited to find out that I was ‘just’ pregnant).

    • Whatever part of the day you feel your best, do your work then. I felt great in the morning but got progressively worse after lunch (when my ‘morning’ sickness kicked in) and was useless after 2pm. I tried to either shift my day earlier, or just really focus hard to get more done before lunch.

      No amount of snacking or walking helped me feel better. I just made peace with being useless after 2pm and that alone un-stressed me quite a bit.

  12. Macademia says:

    I know you asked about shorts, but here is what I live in in the summer:

    I have them in 6 colors. After I lost some weight I bought them all again in a size down.

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