Postpartum Tuesday: Rock ‘n Play Sleeper with SmartConnect

We loved the Rock ‘n Play when the kids were little — it was great for both boys, although they used them during very different age ranges. For J, I think it was 4–8 months, whereas H was pretty much done with it at 3 months. Ladies, if you don’t know this, the newer ones are controllable from a smart device, and you can save the settings your baby likes the most. I was just at a baby shower for a neighbor, and the moms were noting that the features like SmartConnect and the app really are essential for babies these days — who knew? The Rock ‘n Play is $78 at Amazon but is also available at a lot of other places. Fisher-Price Deluxe Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper with SmartConnect

Psst: Looking for more info about nursing clothes for working moms, or tips for pumping at the office? We’ve got them both…

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  1. app h8r says:

    Is is just me or is anyone else an app hater? It’s a bouncy seat, not a lunar lander.

    My phone ties me to work. My phone ties me to a tiny screen (after a day looking at bigger screens). I want to stop looking at screens. I have started leaving my phone at home if I am going on short trips on foot (I bring it in the car with me, but have started putting it in the glove box so it’s there for emergencies).

    I’m having to retrain my husband (OMG you didn’t bring your phone to the park that is two blocks from our house that you walked to???) a bit.

    But I want an unplugged more-manual life and not a more plugged-in life.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I’m with you. I have no interest in participating in the Internet of Things for privacy, security, health, and general quality of life reasons.

      • Spirograph says:

        All of this. I don’t use social media, and I go phone-less whenever I can. Every time we go on vacation, my husband and I argue about how many devices he wants to bring. There’s so much research on how devices and apps are designed to be addictive, and I just don’t need that in my life when I’m already struggling to find enough hours in the day.

    • avocado says:

      I am right there with you. My phone gets put away in the coat closet when I get home and does not come out again until I leave. We purposely bought a dumb TV and have agreed that Alexa will never enter our home. We didn’t have a video baby monitor. I don’t use social media. When it becomes impossible to buy appliances that are not internet-connected, I plan to disable WiFi and Bluetooth on all of them, although this strategy may not be workable because I suspect that manufacturers will start eliminating control panels and eventually we’ll have to start the dishwasher from an app.

      We avoid internet-connected gadgets and social media partly because we are trying to simplify our daily lives, and partly out of privacy concerns. I have a friend who said in front of her Alexa, while not addressing it directly, “We are running out of [food item]–I’d better buy some more.” The next day, the web browser on her work computer started displaying ads for that food item, which she had never searched for or typed anywhere. The ad trackers have also somehow connected me and my husband, so now he gets ads for specific items I’ve been eyeing at Nordstrom.

      On another note, how exactly does this rocker connect to the app? Do you really want a brand-new baby sitting right next to a bluetooth transmitter?

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        I’ve had my Facebook feed display ads for things I had discussed the day before with friends that I didn’t search and wasn’t related to anything I’ve searched (no Alexa present, just my iPhone in one case, in another I didn’t have my iPhone with me — but I think that was just a coincidence…). Very creepy.

        That being said, I love my Nest and being able to adjust the temperature of the house from a different floor (or the couch).

    • Yep! Convenient, sure. But the idea that an app for your rocker is essential? Please.

      I’m going to sound like a cranky old person but I’m so grateful that I had the chance to grow up in a time of busy phone signals and summer reruns when you actually turned off your TV and went outside to play – gasp – unsupervised.

    • I like the app for our Remi (basically a smart OK to Wake clock) but otherwise not so much. I do love the Rock n Play though.

    • The Rock n Play was essential for us. We could pick the whole thing up and move the baby from room to room when he was sleeping – didn’t have to disrupt sleep by picking him up and moving him from swing to crib to bassinet. Lightweight, easy to store, easy to travel with … it’s our go-to gift at baby showers.

      But the Smart features seem dumb and unnecessary.

    • I’m in the middle. I don’t put my phone away at night, and do love me some Facebook and Pinterest. But I am not interested in app-enabled baby gear. It’s a waste of money and totally unnecessary. I’m glad I had my baby before the Medela Sonata was the norm. We had the cheapest Rock and Play. And you know what, I enjoyed physically rocking my baby in it to take a nap.

    • Agreed that an app for a Rock n Play seems excessive, but I do love our Nest. When I travel I can check in on LO and see what he’s up to. If I hear him fussing from downstairs I can check to see if he’s awake or just making noise in his sleep.

      IOT and security is part of what I do for my job, so I’m both more paranoid and more reassured than most – paranoid because I know how scary it can be for a hacker to gain access and the damage they can cause, but reassured because I know how hard our engineers are working to prevent future threats.

      • I also do IOT, security, and privacy for my job, and I think on the whole it has resulted in me being cautious, but not super-paranoid about IOT. I am most concerned about the fact that the proliferation of IOT devices means that there is now exponentially more bots that can be used to launch DDoS and other cyberattacks. I also have some privacy concerns, particularly with startup-type companies, as those often don’t have well-established policies or in-house counsel and may want to mine the data collected by the app.

        I do think, however, that worries about your apps “spying” on you or your baby are misplaced. The big companies all have privacy policies that prohibit them from surreptitiously turning on your devices’ microphones or location tracking, and they would get hit with MASSIVE fines if they actually did that. Moreover, they don’t have to in order to accomplish what they want (to advertise to you – I guarantee that they do not care about the details of your conversations for reasons other than that). I highly recommend listening to Reply All episode #109, “Is Facebook Spying on You?” and the follow-up from that episode, which talks about the super-complex techniques that Facebook and other social media sites and advertisers use to figure out who you know and what products you might be interested in through your voluntary internet browsing activity.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      Amen! No Alexa, no screen time for the kids, no Ipad. I admit I look at my phone too much and my husband is even worse, so I need to work on that. I’m making a concerted effort to check out books from the library so I can read or work out after the kids go to bed.

      • app h8r says:

        The thing I hate is that if you look at your phone for one thing (random security code generator), somehow it takes you 10 minutes to click and swipe through things. I used to had a key fob that took just an instant.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Generally agree on yuck to apps controlling baby gear, but counterpoint on apps in general – parenting can be isolating, and single parenting a young child is incredibly isolating. My smart phone allows me to connect with other adults when I need to, in a way that is far more flexible than dragging a phone cord around the house (as I did as a teenager) and I’m not sure I could bear parenting without that ability to connect in short bursts with a variety of people who feed different parts of my psyche.

      • AwayEmily says:

        Yes! I think about this a lot when SAHMs get (to my mind unfair) flak for being on their devices while watching their kids. I’m not a SAHM and I don’t think you are either but I can very much empathize with needing adult contact when you are taking care of tiny children all day.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          The “alone after bedtime” part of the day can be so hard, and the “omg another tantrum how am I going to survive this weekend?” parts are so much easier when borne with another person. It’s one of the hardest parts of single parenting; not having another adult to laugh or curse or empathize with when parenting gets absurd.

          And agree about SAHMs – that trope is so old, I remember sitcoms in the 80’s riffing on the SAHM talking for hours on the phone (with the long cord!). At least with the smartphones, you can send a message, put the device down, and pick it up again after the tantrum ends/dinner is cleaned up/crisis is averted.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I really like Hands Free Mama ( I think that is the name) about a woman who suddenly realized her child was something like 3 and she had missed so much already. I try to keep my phone put up at home because my 4 year old goes insane when she sees a phone but I pull it out as soon as she’s in bed so I need to work on it some more. I quit Facebook and deleted my account then I realized I don’t get library notices, kids events, community events so I created a fake account with a slight variation on my name. I have no Facebook friends. And that has been amazing to not have to deal with Facebook drama.

    • biglawanon says:

      I am right there with you!

  2. avocado says:

    Can anyone recommend a brand of reusable, dishwasher-safe straws that are relatively narrow? We have some from Tervis, but they are very wide and taste plastic-y.

    • I have no firsthand experience, but I’ve heard people like metal ones you can get on Amazon. I have a Starbucks straw cup and have had good luck with that straw. I’ve seen that they sells packages of replacement straws. I’m not sure they’re dishwasher safe, though. The cup is not, so I just wash the whole thing by hand, including the straw. The ones that come with Take and Toss cups are very narrow and dishwasher safe, but they’re also very short. So that might not be what you’re looking for.

    • mascot says:

      I have the wide smoothie ones so my brand rec may not work. I’d put in a plug for silicone straws. Dishwasher safe, don’t take on the drink’s temperature, and much gentler on the mouth and teeth than metal/hard plastic straws

    • anne-on says:

      We use the metal ones, they don’t seem to get the dishwasher plastic-y taste. Etsy and amazon both had tons – wide, bent, short, etc etc.

    • avocado says:

      Thanks–I found some silicone ones with a cleaning brush on Amazon.

  3. I’m officially An Old. Back in my day, the Rock N Play didn’t even have the auto-rocker, didn’t even have a plug, we had to move it with our foot. It didn’t connect to anything, didn’t vibrate, and certainly didn’t have soothing music. We had to start that ourselves on a whole separate machine. And our babies turned out just fine. Now, get up and adjust the antenna on the TV, would ya?

    • Mama Llama says:

      My first is only 4, and her Rock n Play didn’t have any of those things. We had it next to the bed, and I would reach down with my foot to rock it when she fussed. It’s also only cost $35. Now I’m expecting another baby, and I wish I would have kept it!

    • My son is two and his RNP vibrated but that was it. I think there were other options but we were probably too cheap to spring for anything but the vibrating one. I am also team hard pass on the RNP with an app control.

    • My son is 8 months. His RNP vibrated and maybe has music that we never used. You can still buy it without all the extras. And I’ve gotta say I was SOOO impressed with the battery life on that thing. In three months of solid use, we never had to replace batteries.

    • Cookie says:

      My kid is just a year old and we didn’t have these features on our RNP. Still, I love it and the thing is a Godsend in any form.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup. Same. It did nothing but hold the baby at an angle. I’m pretty sure we never even “rocked” ours. But it worked through two babies (including one just this past year) and I loved it more than cheese in that stage of our lives.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      We first got the regular Rock N Play for our son (almost 2) and it’s only features were vibration and music, both of which we didn’t really use because they did nothing for him. We manually rocked that thing for naps and nighttime sleep and thought it would be genius to have one that autorocked for us. So we bought that one and it turned out that the rocking speed was just not enough for our son so we went back to our old trusted RnP and just manually rocked. At least our arms got a workout!

    • biglawanon says:

      Yeah, I never had a Rock n Play or Pack n Play or any of this kind of stuff. My youngest kids are 6 y/o, and it seems like things have changed a lot since then. Or we just took a simplistic approach. Maybe we didn’t know what we were doing. We also have very limited space. I don’t know, but our kids seem fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Apps? My first is almost 3, and we didn’t even have a Rock n Play!! /shrugs …we’ll live…

  4. One Mom's view on the RnP says:

    Just a word of caution on the rock n play: while we used it and liked it while we were using it, it is strongly associated with plagiocephaly (flat head) in infants because of the way babies’ heads lay in the sleeper. And my son did have plagiocephaly, corrected later with a helmet. (Cannot say causation–>data wonk here). I would just recommend using it as one surface for baby naps/sleep and not the only surface baby will lay his/her head on (so minimize long periods of time in rock n play).

  5. How do you night wean? My 7 month old wakes up between 2-5 times a night and I usually nurse him back down. I am quick to pick him up rather than let him cry because I am worried that he will wake up kid #1 and our cranky neighbors. We tried to have DH take over one night and the baby extra freaked out. I haven’t slept longer than 3 hours at a time in 7 months and can’t think clearly. Help!

    • I used and liked the Dr Jay Gordon night weaning method. We did it when #2 was a bit older (13 months if I recall correctly?) but it worked like a charm. Ahhh sleep!

    • Mama Llama says:

      This is how I did it. I was in the exact same boat around 7 months and losing my mind. I only wish I had done it sooner. Good luck!

    • I posted here recently about baby Pogo’s terrible sleep regression (months 4-5). I also followed the link Mama Llama suggests – timing the feeds and trying to reduce. However on night 1 I realized he was only nursing for like 2 minutes anyway. He just wanted me to soothe him back to sleep.

      Armed with this knowledge (that is, kiddo was not actually starving), we did some modified CIO. It sounds like that’s not an option for you, but that really was the only way to do it for us. Full extinction broke my heart, so instead we had daddy go in if he woke before midnight. Yes, baby freaked out – daddy held him while he cried, essentially. I slept in the basement with earplugs from 9-12 so I would be ready for the rest of the night. It took about 3 nights until we got him down to 2 wakeups (2ish and 4ish).

      He dropped the 2am naturally, and then dropped the 4am when I went away on business and was again confronted by daddy and the bottle. He decided that wasn’t worth it to wake up for. This involved about 20min of crying that first night.

      If your LO is actually nursing a decent amount of time, I’d go with reducing time of the feeds and see how that works. But for us it did unfortunately involve a little crying to get down to those 2 consistent feedings. Much much less crying to go from 2 to 1 (basically no crying I remember) and then 20min of crying from 1 to 0.

      HUGS. I had not slept more than 3 hours until about a month ago.

    • Shira says:

      When we started sleeping training, I spent extra time making sure day feeds were real feeds and not snacking, so I could be sure he got enough during the day.

      We did The Happy Sleeper on our ped’s rec and it was great. But it won’t be cry free.

      Another really helpful resource is the Facebook group “respectful sleep training/learning.” Their files have cliff notes on all the sleep training methods so you can figure out which one feels right for you.

  6. Turtle says:

    First time mom question of the day…

    Talk to me about what to pack for the hospital for specifically the labor part of my stay. I went to a childbirth class this weekend and they made me think about this. I have slippers, but what about bringing something to wear other than the hospital issued johnnies? Bringing my own johnnie via Amazon purchase that will fit me better than the hospital issue ones that I know were falling off my sister at her recent birth, for example? Bra or no bra? So many questions and I know it’s all personal preference. I’m shooting the dark. TIA.

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s a johnnie? A gown? I stayed in my hospital gown until about 24 hours post-birth. Honestly during birth and immediately after you’re going to be covered in so many bodily fluids I wouldn’t have wanted to wear my own stuff. I’m very tall and hospital gowns don’t fit me super well but all I was doing was lying in bed so the fit of the gown was pretty much a non-issue. On the second day it was nice to change into a nursing nightgown and robe I had packed but it wasn’t essential, I could have stayed in the hospital gown and I didn’t do much walking in the hospital because I was still in quite a bit of pain from the delivery.

      I would definitely pack a couple nursing bras. I was wearing those by the end of my pregnancy for comfort, so I wore one while I was in labor and then changed into a different one afterwards.

      Don’t forget flip-flops for the shower if you’re squeamish about showering barefoot.

      In general, I didn’t use most of the stuff I packed including incontinence underwear (the giant hospital pads were more comfortable to use in the hospital and by the time I went home a normal pad was fine), socks (the hospital provided thick socks with grippy bottoms), food (couldn’t eat until delivery and then we ordered in/family brought us food), n*pple cream and br*ast pads (hospital supplied them), nursing tanks (bra + hospital gown/nightgown was easier) and sweatpants (stayed in hospital gown/night gown). The hospital supplies everything you need for the baby until you leave to go home, including diapers, wipes, blankets, hats, a swaddle and formula if you choose to use it.

    • I think it is really hard to know what will appeal to you in labor, but FWIW: When I was in active labor I could not have cared less about what I was wearing. I was induced and I’m not sure if they would have gone along with anything but a gown. I can’t remember if I had on a bra – maybe, until I spent some time in the shower? When I was wearing a gown and trying to be modest (e.g., not in active labor) I generally had on 2 – one on the front and a second backwards to cover up the back. If you are planning to labor for a while at home I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Spend that money on a nursing nightgown or something for post-birth.

    • Jeffiner says:

      I hated the hospital gown and took it off and wore my own. For actual labor I was allowed clear liquids, so I had some Gatorade and Jello to snack on. We had a massage stick for my husband to use on my back and hips. An external battery and charging cords for my phone; I had music playing during labor.

      Afterwards, I had my own nightgowns and nursing bras. It was such a pain to keep the hospital gowns on. I also vastly preferred the incontinence underwear to the mesh panties for holding the pads and ice packs. My husband brought me my pillow from home, and that helped me to get comfortable enough to sleep some.

    • A power strip and phone chargers. My delivery room had one available plug, on the opposite side of the room from me, behind a big cabinet. We’d made several trips to the hospital for pre-term labor, so DH was prepared with an extension cord, a power strip, and multiple phone chargers.

    • I brought a simple black robe, yoga pants, and nursing bras/tanks, and was really grateful to be able to change into real clothes 24 hours after giving birth (I also stayed in the hospital robe for the first 24 hours). I brought the fancy Depends and my own ice packs and MUCH preferred them to what the hospital provided. I also brought Colace, which I started taking the moment I gave birth. I would second bringing a pillow from home. I brought stuff to take a shower and all my makeup, and was happy to have both so I could take a shower and feel human again (and also not look like roadkill in some of the hospital photos).

    • avocado says:

      I brought a two-piece swimsuit for laboring in the tub. The nurses were surprised, so I don’t know what people usually wear in the water–hospital gown? nothing? There were a lot of people in and out of there, so I was much more comfortable with a swimsuit.

      The only other things I cared about having during labor were zofran (the hospital wouldn’t provide it but let me take what I’d brought with me–I had hyperemesis) and our awesome doula.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nothing, I think, based on the bl0gger birth stories I’ve seen. Or maybe a bra but no bottoms.

    • nuqotw says:

      Your favorite clear drink, and a lot of it. I brought a case of San Pellegrino sodas.

  7. Betty says:

    Second snow day in less than a week (both 12+ inch blizzards). I can’t even keep track of when the last day of school is anymore. I’ve locked myself in our bedroom to work and turned on a movie downstairs for the kids. Anyone else in the same spot?

    • avocado says:

      Yep, with a kid who has her second case of the flu this season despite being vaccinated. I am actually hoping our two-hour delay turns into a snow day so there is no school to miss.

    • Yep. We’re only on a 3 hour delay down south but between the flu for kid, sinus infection for me and multiple snow days, it has been a rough Feb and March.

      • Hi, team Greater Boston area. I spent the morning being a pretend SAHM (‘pretend’ because I have no responsibilities, having made today’s lunch last night; and also because my work projects have stalled pending client feedback). It was all fun and games until I got a work email and kid refused to nap (@!*$ daylight savings time!).

        • Betty says:

          It was wonderfully peaceful until an issue blew up at work, and the four year old decided that she NEEDED to be with mommy. And she kept saying “mommy” every 30-45 seconds while I was trying to email a member of the Board.

          And yes, I’m in the greater Boston area too!

    • I am so over this snow. Incredibly lucky that my daycare is always open (in-home just down the street), so I’m getting plenty done, but I’m terrified of losing power for the second time in less than a week. Again, super lucky to have family nearby who don’t seem to lose power like we do but packing up baby Pogo and all his accoutrements and schlepping around in a snowstorm is not high on my list of favorite things to do on a Tuesday.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Same here – I think we’re in the same general area, Betty (greater Boston). Daycare is closed today so my husband and I took shifts this morning. It’s nap time now so we both get some peace and quiet to work for a few hours. It seems like March has been way worse this season than both Jan and Feb for snow days.

      • Betty says:

        Yes! Greater Boston area! March has definitely been worse than Jan/Feb for snow days. Somehow snow days in March are demoralizing while they are festive in December and cozy in Jan/Feb.

    • team boston ‘burbs here too. We had a week of stomach flu followed by a week in which we had THREE snow days (massive power outages), and here we are with another one.

    • Turtle says:

      This may out me, but Team Boston (inner burbs) here, too. Nearly 8 months pregnant and I wiped out on some black ice on Friday morning after the last nor’easter. Ended up spending 5 hours in the L&D triage Friday night as a result (everything is fine, thank god). I think I jinxed us for all of March as I kept saying how easy the winter was and how grateful I was for it as a pregnant lady waddling around. Enter: March :-/

      At least we haven’t lost power … yet… jinxed again?

      • Oh no! Glad you’re ok. And SHUSH, don’t jinx it! The snow appears to be falling harder once again…

  8. I know some variation of this pops up every few months, but here goes. My 14 month old (previously great sleeper) has started to wake up every night wanting a bottle. It’s pretty clear she’s hungry and not waking up for other reasons. I think I’ve seen others suggest peanut butter or honey on here but I’m not sure that would work for us. DD has oral motor issues so eating is a challenge as is and I don’t think she could handle the texture. Tips to keep her sleeping longer or more full?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Is something like cheese or avocado a problem? Or a cup of whole milk? Maybe a good pre-bed snack. Also, maybe talk to your pediatrician about this one, but there is toddler formula. I’ve never used it, so I can’t speak from experience, but it could be a good alternative.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Baby may be going thru a growth spurt, so good news is it’s probably temporary!

      • Marilla says:

        +1. Around the same age my daughter used to wake up hungry. I just rolled with it and gave her a nighttime sippy cup of whole milk and/or a banana. Eventually it turned into waking up to play and then I stopped the midnight/3 AM snack and she went back to sleeping through the night.

    • Momata says:

      My oldest was in the 1st percentile for BMI at that age and our pedi told us to give her the [email protected] “Grow and Gain” shakes. If you just want a big slug of calories before bed, that might do it. But I would talk to your pedi.

  9. pumping room says:

    We have a pumping room (newish) that was set up for one person. Over the coming year, many people may be needing to use it daily.

    Am I thinking that this is not likely to work well with >3 people needing to use it multiple times per day (and it has a refrigerator in it, which means that your supply / pump / parts may be tied up in a locked room when you need to leave for the day)? And all your stuff (if you don’t have an office pump and a home pump)? [There is no sink and no plumbing easily added to the space.]

    And that scheduling may get a bit dicey as people get stuck on calls, have late starts, deal with forgetting something, etc.?

    Also almost all users will be first time moms, so they don’t really even know what they don’t know yet.

    I always used my locking office and ice packs back in the day for me.

    • Are you borrowing trouble here? I’d let the people using it figure out the schedule that works best for them. And maybe that means making some accommodations like giving pumping moms keys to the room, creating an internal shared calendar for the users, rearranging the furniture or adding a screen to make it more private if a door does get opened, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Honestly, it sounds like your pumping room is completely fine. Granted, I work in government so I am used to a not-great pumping experience, but it’s not actually hard to create a schedule, distribute keys to people as necessary, and to just deal with no sink/plumbing in the space. Only thing I’d suggest is to make sure there are paper towels in the room, so people can clean up as needed.

      For my org, one central person handled the schedule, so the returning mom would contact that person and ask for their preferred availability. In an ideal world, they’d get that schedule, but sometimes they could be ~1 hour off per session. If a person has a late start, or is stuck on a call, or forgets a pump part, that’s on them.

      • pumping room says:

        If it’s not obviously doomed to fail, it’s fine. But my recollection of pumping is that at first I HAD to pump as soon as I got in, then every 3 hours thereafter (and if it got to 4 hours b/c of a call or something, I was going to be in trouble). And I always had my computer with me.

        The room locks from the inside with a bolt, so the getting locked out risk is real (which people may just learn the hard way) if someone is in and using (in which case, I can’t imagine having to disengage / get interrupted).

        I think with >3 users, the schedule complexity thing will be a real challenge (and I, for one, would not want a communal setup as I envision them being (sort of a pumping cube farm)).

        The only “solution” I thought of was that if there are >3 users, we might want to have a second room when we have 3-6 people with kids <1 at the same time. The second room thing might be a help (esp. if on a floor closer to those users).

        • Our headquarters (larger office, more pumping moms) has the cube farm type set up. It weirded me out at first to be able to hear other people pumping, but it was fine – I mean, we’re all there for the same reason. I didn’t think anything could be more depressing than our pumping room, but the cube farm (basically they used those temp walls like people in NYC use to make a 1 bedroom into 2, lol) was so bleak.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m the govt poster from above. My office had 30 minutes slots starting as early as 7am and stopping at around 5 or 6. There were more than 3 people using the same room (not at the same time). People signed up for slots as needed. So if you knew that your last slot was at 4:30 and then you were going to go home at 5, you packed up your stuff, put the bottles in your cooler, and then just took it with you. Or if you had to pump as soon as you got in, you signed up for the slot at whatever time that was (8, 8:30, 9). Sometimes you’d find that as people needed to use the pumping room less, there was more flexibility in the schedule so if you got stuck on a call and couldn’t make your slot, you could just show up and the room would be free. Or sometimes not, and then you’d have to wait longer. But if you divide the ~9 hours in a work day into 30 minute slots, there is more than enough space for >3 people to pump 3x a day, if they wanted to.

    • I would say 1 room per 3 people is the max that would be comfortable, and you absolutely need facilities to add it to Outlook so people can block time. But my office has this exact setup (one room, one fridge and no plumbing).

      However I’m the only pumping mom currently and I’ll be done pumping when the next woman starts using it. We’re also a small enough site that I know all the other women pretty well and I would be totally cool with someone grabbing their stuff from the fridge if they needed to while I was in there. It’s also not unheard of to put your pumping stuff in the common fridge, so that could be an option if someone doesn’t want to risk needing to leave and their stuff being tied up.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you’re borrowing trouble. It’s three people. They’ll be able to speak to each other and work this out just fine.

      • Anonymous says:

        What if it’s 6? There is something in the water where I work.

        • If it’s more than 3, coordinate with all the women who will be using it (create an email chain so it’s easy to email the group if you need to change your previously scheduled time slot or something). It’s doable, for sure, but definitely requires close coordination. And see it as a bonding experience – you’ll be in the same boat as the other women!

  10. The fridge in my office pumping room does not get used for the reasons you mentioned. Similarly, I wouldn’t store my pump in there if there was any chance I’d need it elsewhere. This was easy enough to work around for me.

  11. Pumping says:

    My daughter is nearly 9 months old, and I am over pumping. I only pump once a day at work for roughly 45 minutes, but I am so tired of sitting topless in a cold room twiddling my thumbs while a machine goes to work on me like I’m a dairy cow. I am trying to give myself permission to stop pumping and to switch to formula for daycare (but BF am/pm/weekends), but I feel so guilty. I know it is silly – fed is best, formula is fine, etc., but I can’t help but feel selfish for wanting my time back.

    • Mama Llama says:

      Stop pumping! Stop right now, today! You matter. Your time matters, your comfort matters, your dignity matters. You have done a great job giving your child breastmilk! Your daughter will be absolutely 100% fine drinking formula at daycare.

      • Mama Llama says:

        For an extra pep talk, read this twitter thread

        • Anonymous says:

          I envisioned taking my pump out to a clearing in the woods, cuing up my Office Space soundtrack and beating that sucker with a bat.

          This is the best thing I have seen in a long time.

        • Anonymous says:

          This is amazing. Thank you for sharing.

        • Carine says:

          I love this!! I have pretty much decided to combo feed and not pump at all when I return to work after this third baby but I still feel a little guilty not even trying and going to formula sooner than with the other kids. This makes me feel better! Thanks for sharing – I am bookmarking.

          • Anonymous says:

            Do it!!!! I pumped for my twins but have already decided that I. will. never. pump. again. Kiddo #3 (which we desperately want but may not be able to afford) will be combo fed for sure.

    • Anonymous says:

      Judging moms are going to judge. And man are they good at it!

      I was in that batch of 70s kids who were nursed for a month and IMO I am fine. I pumped for way longer than I wanted to the d*mn pressure on the interwebs / hippie grocery store places / competitive insta-mommying.

      Love your kid. Feed your kid. Take care of yourself.

    • Stop! You’ll be so much happier. You’ll suddenly have more time (both from less pumping, less washing parts, less managing storage space, etc) and you’ll feel sane. I had a really hard re-entry to work and once I stopped pumping, everything fell back into place. Formula isn’t bad – it’s got everything your kid needs and is specifically developed for that.

    • Cookie says:

      If you don’t feel good about it, stop. You have permission to stop pumping. Your kid will be fine with formula. Better, actually, since his mom will be happy.

      Happy mom = happy baby.

    • I went through this exact same thing. I am here to tell you that it is normal to feel guilty beforehand – I felt that way every time I cut out a pumping or nursing session for my son. I truly believe it is hormones/instincts that drive it, like there is some innate drive in us that says “you have to feed your baby! do it! make that milk!” But I am here on the other side to tell you that once you give it up, you WILL NOT REGRET IT. Seriously. Power through the feels and you will feel only relief when you’re done pumping.

    • I strongly believe mama knows when it is time to stop. I would ask if you’ve been feeling this way for a while or if it is new? If it is new, you might give it a week or so to see if you still feel the same way. I’ve also read that some kiddos start whole milk around 10 months. You might talk to your pediatrician to see when the earliest you can start is and use that as your stopping point, then you don’t have to waste energy deciding on a formula and all that. You might feel better if you knew you had a hard stop date.

    • Anonymous says:

      When I am in charge of the Olympics, I will make competitive pumping a sport.

      I was so, so happy to be done. No regrets! I night nursed for a while afterwards and that was fine, too. And nothing was better than being done, done, done!!!

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      The day I stopped pumping was easily one of the best days of my life. Go ahead. I commend you for knowing your limits.

    • I had an easy time nursing – never had an issue latching / producing, etc. All of that said: I quit nursing at 8 months because we wanted to go on vacation to the Caribbean and I was not bringing that damn pump and I wanted my b**bs to fit in my bathing suit again. If that’s not the most vain reason for quitting nursing I don’t know what is, and I felt GREAT about it. You have done an awesome job, and the minute you don’t want to do it anymore, DON’T! My baby did just as well on the Costco brand formula and was as happy as can be, and I got to finally enjoy margaritas at the pool without trying to calculate how many hours it had been since he nursed. This is just as much about your happiness as the baby’s. Formula is great, and I’m assuming if you’re on this site you have access to clean water, which is about the only argument I have ever heard that is legit to nurse instead of give formula.

    • CPA Lady says:

      You aren’t stopping breast feeding, if I’m reading that correctly, right?

      Did you worry that the benefits of breast feeding would go away when you started feeding your daughter solid food? Because it may help to think of adding formula in the same way. Formula doesn’t make breast milk stop “working”.

    • mumumum says:

      NO ONE IS GIVING OUT ANY PRIZES FOR BREASTFEEDING. So, just do what is going to work best for you.

      I weaned at 4.5 months because I was fed up with pumping (and have not regretted that decision – resuming some control over my body and my schedule was awesome) and you’ve already doubled that! My sister was off work for a year with her baby and weaned at 7 months because she was just sick of breastfeeding. There weren’t dramatic extenuating circumstances, we just wanted our boobs back. Parenting is a lifelong exercise is self-sacrifice so you need to make a conscious effort to write yourself back into the narrative and think about what’s going to work for you as well as what’s going to work for your child.

      • Mama Llama says:

        “Parenting is a lifelong exercise is self-sacrifice so you need to make a conscious effort to write yourself back into the narrative and think about what’s going to work for you as well as what’s going to work for your child.”

        Amen to this!!

      • Amen to all of this! (And especially to ‘no one is giving out prizes for breastfeeding’!)

        I pumped for 13 months (!!?!?! WHY) because I’d been freaked out by the lactation consultants about combo feeding reducing my already-never-quite-sufficient supply. LIES.

      • Yes, but on the flipside: parenting is a marathon and pumping for one year in the grand scheme of the life of a child is not a long time. I look at it as a sacrifice I’m willing to make right now, but you should always do what is best for you and your family (NEVER what’s best for anyone else’s family). If you don’t want to do it, don’t. If you do, then do. The only person you need permission from is yourself.

    • biglawanon says:

      I stopped pumping (earlier than you) for similar reasons. I was really depressed and stressed. My mental state went from a 0.5 to 9/10 in a matter of days.

    • stop! now! I stopped at 8 months with my first and was guilt ridden. In 2 weeks looking back it was the best day of my entire pregnancy. WIth my second I stopped pumping guilt free at 6 months. I nursed on demand until 9 months and then was combo formula and milk (ped said it was fine) until 11 months then full on milk.

  12. AlsoAnon says:

    I feel like I’ve exhausted my research, so now I’m asking for help. I am looking for a second convertible car seat four our 1 y/o. It will go in an old vehicle with no LATCH connectors. The seat belts also do not lock off well, so I’d like something with a built in lock off. I am also looking for something with side impact cushions, since this vehicle doesn’t have side airbags. Nice to haves include: cup holder, washable cover, and sliding 5 point harness, so I don’t have to move the harness into new slots as he grows. Not too concerned about price, but I’d like to take advantage of Babies R Us’ coupon offering this week. TIA! PS I realize the real answer is to buy a new vehicle, but you’ll have to talk to DH about that.

    • We love our Britax Clicktights. I have an advocate and hubby has a marathon. We both like the advocate a lot better. The marathon is really difficult to tighten on our child. And the advocate has increased side impact protection, which is something you want. No clue how it works with the coupons. Ours came from Amazon.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Can you link to the coupon? We need a new one, too, and I always kick myself for missing the savings events.

      • AlsoAnon says:

        You can get 15% off online without a trade-in item by visiting their web site. To get the full 25% off, you need to take an item to trade into the store itself. But it’s not just car seats! They take bases alone (I confirmed this in store yesterday) and other baby items. The full list is also on their web site. I’d link but I’m afraid of mod.

        • Thank you!

        • Also, definitely price compare at Amazon. The Britax Advocate, for example, is 350 at amazon and 450 at toys r us. So, you save about 12$ by doing the trade-in, but maybe worth the time you save by not having to go into the store (and selling/ giving away your base instead).

    • We love the Nuna Rava, which is designed to be used with the belt path rather than the LATCH (I think similar to the Britax clicktight mechanisms). Easy lock-off with the belt path. Easy to tighten the straps, sliding (no-re-thread) harness for height adjustments, cup holders that collapse if needed, LO is comfortable, and it even looks nice! Oh and machine washable removable cover. Can’t say enough great things; we have one in each of our cars.

    • oil in houston says:

      we have the nuna pipa and love it

  13. FloridaFTM says:

    Does anyone have a SNOO? We’re considering getting one but are wondering if it’s worth the price tag..

    • I have a coworker who had it for his baby who is now nearly 11 months. They loved it. However, IMO, I think they just have a really good sleeper. She had zero trouble once they moved her to her crib. He admits that they really have no way of knowing whether it truly mattered to have those features. That said, they loved it and would buy it again. I wouldn’t ever be able to justify the cost for something that would be used for such a short time. But I’m cheap.

    • I ordered during their after holiday sale and got it nearly half off. I set delivery for June 15, near my due date. This is not helpful I realize but they have a great return policy for 30 days after delivery. If I get it and it doesn’t work for us I will return it. Kati Heifener on insta has one and I followed her and her journey with it and it decided to buy based on that and reading many reviews. I am cautiously optimistic. I dont trust reviews much anymore since so many are paid/sponsored.

      *Its also the baby item this FTM has spent the most money on thus far and that includes any single nursery furniture item.

    • Also the resale market for them is pretty good which gave me confidence in being able to sell after use.

    • biglawanon says:

      We only used cribs – no bassinet of any kind. Seemed duplicative.

    • Strategy Mom says:

      Just listened to a podcast where Ashton Kutcher raved about this thing non stop – made me REALLY want one

  14. Can we compile a list of what in life can be automated/outsourced in order for a mom with a very heavy workload to spend more time with her kids? For context, I’m a biglaw mom of three: a preschooler, a young elementary schooler, and a baby. I’m going back to work from maternity leave soon. My husband works full time but in a less demanding job. I’m at a stage of my life and making a level of income where it makes sense to throw money at things (within reason), although I do have a concern about my kids seeing us paying everyone to do things for us. Baby and preschooler will be in full day daycare, and elementary schooler will probably be with his grandmother in the afternoons after school.

    My current thoughts are that we should get a meal delivery service (Galley, perhaps? We live in the DC area), a grocery delivery service, and perhaps that I should hire a housekeeper/assistant to come by for an hour or so each day to do random chores or run errands.

    What else can I do to cut out the admin/chores side of life to focus on spending time with my kids?

    We’re playing with the idea of hiring a part-time nanny or au pair, but would rather find ways to outsource the non-childcare parts of life first, if that makes sense.

    I know this has been discussed before, so if anyone can point me to where I can find other posts, I’d appreciate that too!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      A full-service housekeeper who will empty and reload dishwasher, do laundry, change sheets, and clean would be my vote. That’s probably more than an hour a day though.

      • +1 At one point, I looked into finding a housekeeper who could: clean once a week, do the daily tidying (fill and empty dishwasher, wipe down counters, sweep), keep the laundry going and folded/hung up, make dinner and pick up the grocery order once or twice a week. I think it could be done in 20 hours a week. I think your list is pretty good, I just find that managing all of those service providers can take some time so I think finding one person who’s willing to do all of that stuff would be more efficient.

      • +1 I’m in a LCOL area and we have a bi-monthly cleaning service who only cleans, but they offer the other services as well, so I imagine you could easily find one in DC.

    • Galley sounds amazing, btw. We tried Blue Apron and the fact that you still have to cook and clean up really negated the convenience for me.

      If you have any outdoor spaces, a landscaping or lawn maintenance service.

      Housekeeper/admin sounds amazing but I’m curious to hear if anyone has made that work. I don’t personally know anyone who has hired such a person but I 1000% see the appeal. Some friends have their nanny do light housework and anything related to kiddo (such as cooking for them), but that’s written into the nanny’s contract.

      My only piece of advice is the more you outsource/more people you ’employ’ (whether actual employees or not), make sure you and your partner have regular communication to stay on the same page. I’m thisclose to scheduling a weekly meeting for husband and I to sit down and go over scheduling, pay, and open issues. It really is like you are running a small business sometimes and I don’t want to let something drop because one of us was told something and never communicated it to the other.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        We have cleaning services in my MCOL area that will add laundry, sheet changes, and dishwashing services for a fee. They probably wouldn’t do the admin stuff.

      • Katala says:

        In my neighborhood, there is a woman who calls herself a “concierge” who will do all the admin stuff. You give her keys to your house and she keeps a schedule of things like when your other service people come by, when your air filters need to be changed, if you’re on vacation and need mail brought in, etc. etc. She’ll also do things like drop off donations, pick up packages/drop off returns, probably pick up grocery orders. She is basically your admin that you buy in 10-minute blocks of time. There must be someone like this in the DC area!

    • AlsoAnon says:

      No advice, but following. I didn’t think anyone existed who does daily chores like laundry and dishes.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Another life-changing admin hack – think carefully about which pharmacy you use. I had been using one that required a drive, and was always late filling my scrips so I would have to wander the aisles for 20 minutes each time. I switched to one that was a couple blocks from work (and only a mile from my house), and is so prompt it’s scary – I swear I saved several hours a month back when kiddo was getting all the daycare germs.

      Other hacks – dry cleaning pick up and drop off, preferably to your house not your office. A gym with daycare on site. Plan to eat take-out or delivery a few times a week. Get the kids used to “easy” routines, like the same easy thing for breakfast each day so you can eat with them instead of prepping food, or a rotation of outfits so the older ones can dress themselves easily.

      • I found that going to a mom and pop pharmacy vs a chain makes a huge difference, at least in NY. I never have to wait, they deliver, they’ll rush my order if I have crying kids or am in pain.ive gone this route at several different pharmacies as I’ve moved and the difference is always amazing.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are in NOVA and use Territory for meal delivery. Love it. We also outsource most of our laundry: Nanny does the kids’, husband sends almost all of his out. We only do mine at home because I’m allergic to most detergents and we haven’t found a service that works for me. Kids’ laundry is actually a great deal for sending out, because places usually charge per pound of clothes, and their clothes are so small (especially my baby’s!). We have biweekly cleaners, which I’d love to bump to weekly but we can’t quite swing that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Outsource kid and household laundry – I have two kid hampers in the hall, one for lights, one for darks. And a third hamper for sheets/towels. Run the loads back to back on Thurday nights (one load lights, one load darks takes care of kids clothes. Cleaner comes on Friday – folds and puts away all kids laundry, changes bed sheets and puts dirty ones in washer, vaccums and washes main floor plus extras that vary like this week she vacuumed out the sofas and vacuumed the mattresses (kids have asthma). I have her fold the kids clothes konmari style so the kids can see their options when getting dressed in the morning.

      Also – automate dry goods delivery – I use walmart because I don’t like amazon – diapers, shampoo, wipes, rice, pasta all come at set intervals. You can also have someone bring the items into the house and restock the soaps/wipes etc.

      As for your concerns about kids seeing – I’m very clear with my kids that everyone has different jobs and no job is more or less important. Daniel Tiger has a good episode on this. ‘Everyone’s job is important, everyone helps in different ways’

      • +1 on automating dry goods. I have Amazon dash buttons for most of the regular household items (toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, laundry detergent). I am the keeper of the dash buttons and make the order when needed. It takes about a second and I only have to think about it once.

    • mascot says:

      Weekly cleaning is really helpful for us (includes changing/washing sheets). Other than wiping down the kitchen after cooking and cleaning up an occasional mess, we spend zero time a week doing any cleaning. There is some general de-cluttering that varies based on how good we are at picking up after ourselves during the week. We are a family of three so laundry isn’t impossible. I’m in a rut about meals right now and need to simplify. It’s not the planning or the shopping or cooking so much as it is the combination. I like to cook so I have to resist the urge to plan new fancy dishes to try on weeknights. I need to come up with set menu options that we can pick and choose from and preferably ones that my husband can start dinner on without a lot of instruction.

    • totally get your concern about your kids seeing other people do everything for you. My DH grew up in a house with a live in nanny/housekeeper and honestly, he was never responsible for anything around the house. Dirty laundry on the floor – no problem, the housekeeper will pick it up, etc. DH agrees that his parents should’ve required more from him and his siblings because it is much harder for him to change his habits now. One thing I remember reading about the Obamas while they were in office was that even though there were plenty of full time housekeepers in the White House, their kids still had responsibilities (whether or not that is true I do not know).

      Even if you are outsourcing some things to free up YOUR time to spend with your kids, that does not mean your kids cannot still have some chores/responsibilities. They can still set the table, clear their dishes, put their things away, etc. Granted, this does involve you not spending all of your extra time with your kids doing fun things since you will have to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to do, but it sounds like you aren’t looking to get rid of your parenting duties.

    • shortperson says:

      our housekeeper comes 4 times a week and does all laundry, dishes (godsend when we are in pumping/bottle days), all cleaning, groceries put away when we get them at the right time, collapses boxes, takes out trash and diaper trash, brings garbage to curb and back in, makes beds, refills soap, unpacks when we get home from trips, tidies, brings the baby to the car when i’m shepherding big one and their stuff, etc.

      • mascot says:

        If you don’t mind, where did do you find such a person and what’s the rate for this?
        My mom grew up in a small southern town and they had a housekeeper for years. It sounds really helpful.

        • shortperson says:

          friend of a friend recommended. we are in a HCOL (not VHCOL) area and pay $20/hour on the books so we pay taxes on top of this. she spends about 18 hours per week. we have had subs when she is out of town and have looked on CL etc and are confident we couldnt get anyone decent for less than this. she does not speak english but my husband speaks her language.

    • Knope says:

      I love Fresh Direct for grocery delivery, but they have many pre-prepared meals as well (including both fresh and frozen).

    • Legally Brunette says:

      We live in DC as well. Here’s what works for us:

      – Wash and fold service for laundry. We use Rinse but there are many competitors. They will pick up and drop off. Especially helpful for kids’ clothing since you pay by the pound.

      – Mother’s helper hired from AU (you can also try GW, Georgetown, etc.). She comes to our home every afternoon to unload and load dishes, sweep, clean breakfast dishes, take out garbage/recycling, fold laundry (in case we don’t do Rinse that week), and roast veggies for dinner. She then goes to daycare to pick up kids and brings them back. You can’t expect the level of polish with housework that you get with a professional cleaner, but having someone deal with at least some of the housework (esp. our pile of dishes) makes life 1000% better.

    • Chiming In With a Late Reply says:

      Our part-time “nanny” (jane of all trades would be a better title) comes to our house a few hours before we come home and does the laundry, tidies the kitchen, empties the dishwasher, starts dinner (simple stuff), sets the table, runs errands, will pick up kids from daycare if we ask her to (we take transit back and forth) – basically all the miscellaneous home and kid stuff we would do if we weren’t working. I’m still figuring out how to best maximize her time and the house still isn’t quite as clean as I would like, but I almost wept from the joy the first time I came down after putting the kids to bed and didn’t have to spend an hour plus cleaning up from dinner. We pay $18/hr for 15 hours a week in a MCOL, but we used a nanny placement agency to advertise/interview candidates so there was also a somewhat steep upfront cost (worth it us for us to have someone else do the search and the diligence).

  15. Cribs? says:

    What’s a good cheap option for a second crib? When my 3rd is born my 2nd will be 23.5 months (not that I’m counting down til 2…). My oldest was out of a crib at 18 months but the second lives her crib and I’m not booting her any time soon!

    Newborn will be in the bassinet for a couple weeks, longest we’ve ever kept a baby in a non-crib was 6 weeks. Do we buy a second crib now (baby is due late May)? Wait until baby is here to see if toddler wants to sleep in the Big Bed? Plan on baby camping in the pack and play/bassinet for >6 weeks?

    If the answer is but another crib, any good recs? This is our last kid and the new one would go to baby since toddler loves her crib and mattress. No need to swap that.

    FWIW I think toddler loves the firmness of a crib mattress, so could do a toddler bed….but that’s just a short term fix. My older one couldn’t wait to start sleeping in a big soft bed.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My IKEA crib held up beautifully.

      • Marilla says:

        Yes, my tall 2 YO is in an Ikea crib and she loves it, it’s totally cozy and big enough for her and only $100 for the frame (plus mattress, we bought the 2nd priciest Ikea option).

      • Sabba says:

        Loved my IKEA Gulliver, believe it was about $100.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I got the Davinci Kalani on amazon for around $200. My kid slept in it til she was over 3. It looked nice and I had zero complaints during the entire three years. It’s currently on sale for $179.

    • Carine says:

      We’re in the same boat and planning to keep 2yo in the crib, use the halo (up to 20lbs, which was right at 3mos for my second), then pack and play for the baby for a bit. If 2yo is still happy in his crib and I need to move baby from the pack and play (likely before 6mos), I will probably just go with an IKEA crib, like NewMomAnon. I’ve heard good things.

  16. vs. Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker? says:

    Any opinions on the Rock n Play vs. Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker?

    • What purpose do you want this to serve? Obviously this is somewhat kid dependent, but for me the rock n play wins, no question. We had the RnP and also borrowed the swing from a friend and my daughter spent a ton of time in the RnP and was fairly neutral on the swing and sometimes really just hated it. It takes up a ton of space, so that was also really annoying for us, though may be less of an issue for you if space isn’t at a premium. The other great thing with the RnP is it makes a great travel crib if you need to go on an overnight or need a place for baby to nap at a friend’s house. We also had the pack and play but it was much more of a PIA to pack and bring than this. I also didn’t feel comfortable leaving baby unattended to nap in the swing vs the RnP. So for me, it’s a no brainer. For just the swing purpose, I ordered the Bjorn bouncerwith my second, which takes up less room. But that said, my friend’s son only slept in the swing for the first 6 months so my guess is she consideres it indispensable.

    • We had 3 RNP and a super expensive swing (that we thankfully borrowed) and used the RNP every day and never once used the swing.

  17. Question about nursing bras/tanks sizing. My chest hasn’t grown that much throughout my pregnancy, though my belly is huge (twins), so I haven’t had to purchase new bras yet (3rd trimester starts next week), though i’ve also just been trying to spend as little $ as possible on maternity clothes, and maybe could use 1 or 2.

    For nursing bras, do you buy them in your pregnancy bra size your pre-pregnancy bra size? Similarly for nursing tanks – I am guessing it will take some time for my stomach to go down, do nursing tanks have space built into them for a bit of a belly (i will definitely NOT be one of those people whose stomach is flat again after two weeks), do I buy the size I would need if i wanted to wear them during my 3rd trimester, or more of a 2nd trimester size or pre-pregnancy size? If it helps, I’ve been wearing Medium sized tanks/tees for the most part throughout my pregnancy and can still fit into some non-maternity flowy blouses, but am starting to get quite big and will probably have to switch to a size Large in a few weeks.

    • Anonymous says:

      For nursing bras, your size after your milk comes in will probably be larger in the cup than your pregnancy size. The band size is likely to be the same in early post-partum as late pregnancy, although it might go down to pre-pregnancy pretty fast. IME there is no good way to shop for nursing bras until you are actually nursing. Get something verrrry stretchy and accomodating of multiple sizes in advance – like the Bravado wireless – and then plan a shopping trip post-partum. I’m very busty and droopy – G cup not nursing – and wanted underwire nursing bras very soon after giving birth so YMMV. Nursing tanks are generally forgiving since they are stretchy, but I’m not sure there is any drawback to sizing up. It will be so refreshing post-partum if you have new clothes that are slightly too big.

    • I was similar – my chest got a bit bigger immediately and then stayed relatively the same – and I just got stretchy bras on amazon until everything settled. Funny thing it didn’t get too much bigger even after the milk came in so I ended up just buying nursing bras for the clip on/off convenience , not size, but it’s hard to predict so with no. 2 I still did the stretchy amazon bras.

    • With my first pregnancy, I had to get bigger bras twice and was using a band extender at the end. I lived in nursing tanks for the ten weeks I was home. I had one stretchy wireless bra that offered no support, but otherwise I waited until about 7 weeks pp and just ordered a ton from Nordstrom and only kept the ones that fit. I was a 36g and really found that xlarge nursing tanks gave sufficient support for casual trips out, but the Bravado tanks have bra sizing and were the best for support.

      I’m almost 25 weeks with twins this pregnancy and just recently bought bigger bras (38h) but I’m hoping that nursing bras from last time work out. The Bravado tanks have already run out of tummy room, but the rest are fine, so I think most are meant to accommodate a pp belly. You’ll probably be fine with medium or large for the tanks.

  18. Just wanted to share this with people who may appreciate it: the woman I supervise has given me a list of things she wants in order to stay with our nonprofit org long-term. She’s in a mid-level position and has worked here for 2 years, and there’s no real advancement potential unless I leave due to our size. She doesn’t seem to get that she has very little leverage to negotiate. In addition to asking for a 30% raise (ha), she also gave me a list of “maternity care” wishes she wants the org to agree to, even though she is not pregnant. She’s 30 and getting married in a few months. I know having a baby is something she wants and she’s just trying to plan ahead, but it’s a bit much. More to the point, her plan is hilariously unrealistic, IMO – she plans to take a month off (we offer a month paid leave), and then in the second month, she will be working from home 3 days/week with no childcare. With a 5 week old baby. In fairness, this is the kind of thing I thought was feasible before I had a child too, but it was hard to keep a straight face when she presented this to me.

    • Marilla says:

      Yep, WFH with no childcare is unrealistic and you should let her know that most companies require documented childcare arrangements for employees working from home. But please don’t be smug and contemptuous of her very reasonably trying to push for something better than the terrible situation most working moms in the US have. And definitely don’t go tooting your own horn that she gets a month off… a month is nothing in the life of a newborn/recovery from childbirth.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1. I would be more shocked by the request for a 30% raise than the bargaining for maternity leave policies.

        • Marilla says:

          Yeah, 30% is silly unless she’s backed it up with evidence on what the actual market range is. But there’s nothing wrong with non-pregnant women (or men) advocating for better policies to support working parents.

          • She has said she could be making that if she left us, which is likely true but it would probably involve a promotion. But I also know I could replace her with someone making the same amount she does. And she is paid better than some peers at the same Manager level within the organization. We work at a nonprofit arts organization, and there is a lot of competition for poorly paid jobs in this field. And our organization is financially strapped this year.

      • PS – we offer more than 1 month leave, just only 1 month paid. Anyway I would wholeheartedly support at least 3 months paid leave for all new parents, but I also have limited power here.

    • shortperson says:

      i could have done that with my babies. they slept a lot and nursed for hours, so i could have done computer work while feeding them if the timing was flexible. actually i did — i did a bunch of online CLEs. you just never know if it’s feasible until you see the baby you get.

    • Only a month off? LOLZ. I work for a 12-person, five-year-old startup and will get 4 weeks paid family leave and 8 weeks off unpaid. The rest of her ask does seem somewhat unrealistic, though. I haven’t had a raise in two years (again, we’re tiny and focused more on growing the business right now than sharing the profits), but I get tremendous location flexibility.

    • Yeah, I’m struggling because on the one hand, I believe she is doing the right thing by asking for what she wants and asserting herself; she’s just going about it in a way that feels naive to me. I certainly don’t feel smug about 1 month leave or think it is adequate – I had no paid leave at all when I had my son (working elsewhere), and my husband was unemployed, so it was not a fun time. I’m mostly just frustrated because I know that I am not going to be able to get her what she wants, and as a supervisor I would like to keep her: she is really great at her job. But she’s vastly overestimating her negotiating power. NO ONE at this organization is allowed to routinely work from home. I’ve conveyed that, but it’s not sticking. She also wants me to “support her” in finding another job if we can’t give her what she wants, like by serving as a reference. I did tell her she really should not tell me if she is actively job hunting, because that is basically an invitation for me to start trying to find a replacement before she is ready to leave.

      • Marilla says:

        So I guess the question is, if she’s a great worker and you want to retain her, what can you do to meet her halfway? I agree she sounds a little naive, but in a way she’s also just being straightforward with you in a way some managers would really appreciate. Do you have the ability to push for more WFH flexibility (like once a week instead of daily?) within your org? Can you offer flexible timing – come in early and leave early? Or maybe you do just support her job search by offering really glowing references, and if there’s such demand for jobs in your field don’t worry about replacing her until she’s given notice and don’t pull the carpet out from under her while she looks.

        • +1 to this. If budgets are tight and she’s already paid at roughly market rate, what else is in your power to offer her? Is it time for your organization to consider greater WFH flexibility for all? (Consider that no one’s commute would be affected by snow days and people might be more productive if they got an hour’s commuting time back!)

          • + 2. It is 2018, if it would be possible for her (or anyone in your office) to do their work from home, why not accommodate WFH. It is a great way to retain employees without having to offer them more money. Not suggesting she should work form home every day, but other than no one currently does it, is there a security reason that ppl can’t work from home? This doesn’t really make sense to me.

        • Strategy Mom says:

          My boss let me work 50% when I came back to work but told HR I was at 75% so I’d get benefits and comp. And her boss was cool with it (our multi billion dollar company’s CFO did the same thing for her years ago). Is it totally kosher, no, but no one is going to get in trouble for doing it and it was her way of getting creative and finding a work around for a policy that is BS. Your company only gives one month, and clearly she needs the pay or she would take time unpaid/wouldn’t be floating the WFH arrangement. Maybe you can’t give her a 30% raise or promotion, but maybe you can come up with other ways to support her and do something from her that you didn’t get yourself. I will remember what my boss did forever, and will be a better employee for it! And she managed just fine without me while I was out.

  19. Paging the mama yesterday with the 3-week-old who was asking about ways to interact with her new baby. Let your baby lay on your chest as much as she wants as her tummy time. The time FLIES by, and before you know it, she will no longer fall asleep on your chest. As to what you can do during this time, memorize every single moment of every single day with her. The quiet moments you have with her during your maternity leave will likely be your favorite when you look back on your maternity leave a year later.
    A new mama who struggled to bond with her baby during those first couple of months, but who is now very much in love with her one year old and would love nothing more than to go back in time and just look at my newborn more.

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