Maternity Monday: Skinny Ankle Pants

These bestselling pants at Loft are an online exclusive and look like great skinny ankle pants if you’re looking for a maternity style like this for work. They come in navy and black in regular and petite sizes and are machine washable. When I was pregnant, Loft had some of my favorite pants, but where are your favorite maternity pants from, ladies? Do tell! Maternity Skinny Ankle Pants

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Building a maternity wardrobe for work? Check out our page with more suggestions along both classic and trendy/seasonal lines.


  1. Boston obgyn rec needed says:

    (Cross posting on regular site)

    Any recommendations for a Boston-area obgyn (individual doc and/or practice)? Strong preference for Cambridge/Boston/Somerville.

    Recently moved to the area and newly TTC so need a well visit soon-ish plus (hopefully) teeing up a good OB practice.

    • I see Dr. Samaha and the midwives at Harvard Vanguard Post Office Square (Boston). I would definitely recommend her and her team!

    • So, I only was only there for a few months before I moved out of town, but I really liked the Fresh Pond Women’s Health for the few OB visits I did, especially the nurse midwife I met with, whose name I can’t remember. She counseled me through a scary result from an anatomy scan a few weeks after I technically left the practice but before I had found a new one.

    • Strongly seconding Fresh Pond Women’s Health! Particularly Germaine Earle-Cruickshanks. And Mount Auburn is truly a fantastic hospital to deliver at. We moved shortly after I had my first and my biggest objection to the move was that future kids wouldn’t be born at Mount Auburn.

  2. Anonanonanon says:

    These pants are a bit too wide at the ankle for my taste… Or maybe a bit too long? I don’t know, something is off though. I have some gap maternity skinny ankle pants I bought after seeing on this site, and I’m enjoying them.

    • Mine are from 2015 but I had Loft skinny maternity pants that I loved so much I bought two pairs and basically lived in them my entire pregnancy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Now that babies are supposed to sleep in the parents’ room for a while, what do you do about middle-of-the-night diaper changes? Walk down the hall to the nursery to change baby? Set up a separate changing table in the parents’ room? Am I totally gross or naive to think I could just throw a towel down on our bed and change the baby there? We’re buying a co-sleeper, so baby will be right next to me and I’m really hoping to not have to turn on the lights every time she wakes up in the middle of the night – and even walking across the room to a changing pad on top of our dresser would require turning on the lights and a lot more disruption than just feeding and changing her in bed.

    • AwayEmily says:

      It may turn out to be less of an issue than you think…we followed the “only change her at night if it’s a poopy diaper” rule. Maybe we just lucked out but our baby rarely pooped at night. So you may not end up doing that many changes after all. Also with a newborn I needed more light than I thought I would just to get her positioned and latched properly. We got two of those amber nightlights and put one in our room and one in the nursery, and when she did poop we’d walk over to the nursery and change her there. No turning on lights necessary.

    • Um, if you’re gross, so am I. I had a changing pad that I would just put on the bed. I can tell you that we never had an issue in an entire year. I had a nightlight in the beginning and never turned on the light; after about 5- 6 months, she stopped needing a diaper change. Honestly, I think that a dresser/table would be both harder and more dangerous when you’re sleep deprived and dealing with a squirmy baby. Use the bed.

    • We used both the bed and the cosleeper, just threw down one of those water proof changing pads to contain any leaks. A towel would work too, but my kids were serious poopers, and the changing pad saved me from having to change the sheets.

      We also had a set-up on our dresser, my husband utilized this when he was in change of night changings (typically if the baby needing more rocking and I was getting sleep). But if I was just changing after nursing, then the co-sleeper or bed was used.

      The changing in the middle of the night phase was always really short for us, because they stop pooping at night pretty quickly.

    • We lived in a studio for kiddo’s first year. Kid slept in a PnP at the foot of our bed, and I had a foldable changing pad that I just unfurled and put on the bed when he needed changing. Slept with a nightlight the first…~6 months? and thereafter, stopped changing him at night unless he was poopy. It was a studio, so wipes and fresh clothes were REALLY close at hand, but you can use some sort of caddy on the crib.

    • Anonymous says:

      We did basket next to the bed with supplies – towel or foldable change pad, wipes, diapers, vaseline. Just changed baby on the bed. Purell pump bottle on nightstand if I was too exhausted to wash hands in the bathroom. For dirty diapers – Small stainless garage basket with lid – emptied every morning. Stick on airfreshener inside the lid.

      Early on I often nursed one side, changed diaper to wake baby up, nursed other side. Later on, only changed at night if poopy.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      nope not gross, totally normal :)

    • Leatty says:

      Just keep in mind that the changing pad may not always be enough. On several occasions, my daughter has projectile pooped or peed off the very long changing pad on her dresser. Once, she even got the lampshade (I wish I were kidding).

      My daughter sleeps in the PnP next to our bed, and I walk to the nursery to change her once she wakes up. Then I walk back to our room and nurse her in our bed with the lights on. I considered setting up a diaper station in our room (we have ones in the living room and nursery), but I need the short walk to wake me up enough to care for her.

      Also, talk to your child’s pediatrician about the recommendation that babies sleep in the parents’ room for the first year. My daughter’s pediatric practice discounted the recommendation and said it is really just for the parents’ convenience.

    • We did the changing pad on floor at night and bed during the day but at three weeks on Friday, we were at ikea buying a changing table which also provides some clothes storage (we don’t have a nursery)

    • Katarina says:

      We only ever used a towel on the floor, with no special changing pad or changing table. Towel on the bed would probably work okay, but I would not do it in the middle of the night, in case it made a change of sheets necessary. I was not able to get a good latch without significant light, at least in the early days, but I seem to be in the minority. I also could not nurse lying down for a little baby. I generally only changed poopy diapers in the middle of the night, but both of my babies almost always pooped while nursing in the middle of the night (and at bedtime).

  4. Just a vent this morning. Caught an illness from my daughter over the weekend. Went to urgent care yesterday but I’m still within that 24 hours of being contagious window and still have a fever, and, so as not to infect my office, I’m working from home. I’m getting lots done and available by phone and I’ve already gotten grief from one partner this morning about working from home. What do you want me to do? Infect the whole office? I’m probably more productive from here while sick than in the office potentially compromising others’ productivity. I give up.

    • mascot says:

      That’s annoying that he can’t respect adults being adults and being responsible. I’d probably mention “doctor’s orders” or something similar if he persists.

      • I would be more blunt. Say you’re contagious and thought it would be better not to infect the office.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      You’re nicer than me, if I was grumpy and sick I’d probably be like “noted, next time I’ll come cough on you”. (kidding… I think.)

    • ElisaR says:

      so frustrating. i came down with strep throat the day after thanksgiving and my boss made a comment later along the lines of “of course you were “sick” the day after thanksgiving”. i had a fever and couldn’t swallow water, jerk!!

      i don’t think you can win, but I agree with AIMS – tell them you’re contagious and want to spare them!

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Ew, why do managers feel like it’s OK to do that? If you really think an employee is “faking” sick, either A. they have the leave and are reliable and it’s not an issue, so don’t say anything or B. it’s actually a problem and should be addressed as such, not with a passive-aggressive “joke”

      • Yep I have a fever and can’t swallow anything. I feel terrible (better than yesterday though). Yet I’m still being pretty darn productive! Ugh!

    • I had the actual flu and worked from home for 2 days because I was deathly ill, and was still very productive and available at all times (other than the one hour I was at the doctor’s office) and got a passive aggressive comment from my boss about how they would really like to see me in the office the next day. The kicker is that this boss WFH 60% of the time.

    • I actually think people who make comments like this have poor character. He has trust issues, and is insulting his reports by making comments like this about them.

  5. CPA Lady says:

    What do you do when your child refuses to poop on the toilet, even though she is capable and should not be constipated? As in, refuses to poop at all and goes on a poop strike. She’s about to turn 3.

    • POSITA says:

      One option is to park them on the toilet with a screen (iPad, etc) when you know they have to poop and try to wait it out. Sometimes the screen will distract them from the fear.

      I’ve also heard that people can have luck having the kid practice pooping on the potty while wearing a diaper to get used to location.

      There’s also the old standby–bribes. Offer something the kid wants badly enough (toy, candy, experience) and see if you can persuade cooperation.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 to the practice pooping with the diaper on while sitting on the potty. Can move up to laying the diaper in the potty.

        Also diet – even if not constipated, softer stool is easier to pass. Avoid bananas/cheese/rice for a few days and encourage yoghurt and fluids and fibre

    • CPA Lady says:

      She will not sit on the potty for longer than it takes her to pee unless I hold her there screaming, which seems counter productive. I have offered her every bribe I can think of– candy, ice cream, toys, screen time, stickers. She eats so much fresh fruit I don’t understand how she is capable of holding in her poop. She has yogurt every day and is on miralax as well.

      Day five of the poop strike. She will not poop in a diaper either. She is just straight up refusing to poop or even try.

      I am at my wits end. Clearly. WHY ARE TODDLERS SO STUBBORN AND IRRATIONAL?

      • My friend’s son had this problem. Their pediatrician said someone needs to poop in front of him to show him it’s not a big deal. Luckily they had an older sibling.

      • Anonymous says:

        I had a poop striker, and I think the issue was stubbornness rooted in fear. Any threats, force, or other negative attention made it way worse. The more upset and invested I got, the more he held out. He is stubborn as can be, and then I think initially was and increasingly became legitimately afraid (and the more he held it, the worse the fear got that it was going to hurt when it came). It turned into a big “thing” in our house, and was awful. Honestly, “fixing” the issue required that I throw up my hands, put him in diaper at night, and gave him lots of fiber vitamins. Then, one day, he saw a friend do it at school and it was No Big Deal/Didn’t Hurt, and he got over it. That was what it took.

        To provide incentive, I probably would have gone to the toy store with him, and let him pick out one big item (we don’t usually go to toy stores or buy random gifts, so this would have been big), and then put it on top of the fridge where he could see it. Tell him he needs to go in the potty five times before he can have it — and do a daisy chain or something visual so he can see how many more times were needed until he could have it.

        Then — and this is extremely hard for me — I would have stopped “trying” to make it happen and truly tried to embrace the approach and attitude that I gave zero Fs where he put his poop. You go five times in the potty, fine – you get big incentive. You don’t, no big deal, doesn’t matter to me. I’ll help you clean it up, and we will celebrate any victories, but otherwise, I’m out.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ha – AIMS, I endorse that doctor’s orders :)

          Also, it was unclear, but my last two paragraphs are how i would have approached the issue with the benefit of hindsight (not how I actually approached the issue – which was actually a tearful, months long saga). I will say, I now have a fully trained 8 year old, and I’ve not thought of that dark, laundry-filled period of time in a long time :)

        • CPA Lady says:

          Okay, that sounds like a genius idea. I’ve been thinking about doing a sticker chart with a big reward at the end, but I think it’s too theoretical and she needs to be able to see what she’s working towards. I’m taking her to target tonight to pick out her present.

          Thank you!

          I also intellectually know I need to back off and chill out, but it pains me so much to see her in so much discomfort.

          (I have let her watch me go before. She then offers to wipe my bottom which is hilarious and awkward– I guess she thinks if I wipe hers, it’s just good manners to offer to offer to wipe mine? I told her she has to wait til I’m elderly.)

          • avocado says:

            If she is really uncomfortable, you could ask the pediatrician about trying the Pedialax liquid glycerin.

          • Anonymous says:

            Interestingly, my son also saw me and husband go numerous times, and it didn’t help. It took seeing a peer (and honestly, it was a younger kid, which may have helped).

            My chilling out advice is a do as I say — not as I do…..I was so anxious to help ease the discomfort that I invoked the help of a pediatric GI (b/c we were so worried about impacted constipation being the issue), and a therapist who specializes in this (again, it was over a period of months). I think it was just way too much pressure, and a BIG DEAL, and then he clamped up. literally. As he’s gotten older, I’ve seen that his personality is to figure things out on his own, in his own time (swimming, riding a bike, sports, etc.)

      • POSITA says:

        If the toilet itself is scary, you can also go back to a plastic training potty in the living room or kitchen. Maybe that’s less scary.

      • Anonymous says:

        If it makes you feel any better — this is common enough that I suspect that it’s because toilets are NOT ergonomic. Babies and diaper wearing toddlers get to poop ergonomically and then suddenly we demand they do it in a way that is actually physically difficult.

        I’d put kiddo back in diapers. Otherwise they are going to hurt themselves. And then, if you’re going to do the sit on the potty thing, make sure their feet are raised. Also, let kiddo see you / husband using the toilet often.

        There aren’t a lot of 12 year olds who aren’t potty trained out there. It’ll happen.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Honestly, do not push it too hard. Constipation can be a terrible cycle, if she withholds enough that her poops get hard. So yes to bribes and lots of fiber in the diet, but also if she really wants to poop in a diaper, I’d let her do that. She’ll get it eventually, and this is really really really not the hill that you want to die on. I speak from (painful) experience.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Kiddo has gone through this to the point of epic constipation, and the thing that helped most was lacing pear juice with Miralax once a day….it becomes almost impossible to hold it. After a few super easy episodes and lots of cheering afterward, it’s no big deal. Probably want your pediatrician’s blessing on the Miralax though. Afterward, fiber gummies every day and push pears, prunes, plums, etc.

      Also, second all the comments to just not get stressed about it. The more stressed I get about this, the more upset kiddo gets and the more she holds it….good luck.

    • I had a pee-striker (who was totally fine pooping) so this isn’t my jam. HOWEVER, I do know that when my kids are having trouble pooping, we go on walks and then they come home and poop.

      Could you take her out for an after work or after dinner long walk? Worst case she comes back tired and doesn’t poop. best case she poops. Other worst case is she poops on the walk ;) Maybe do it somewhere like a mall with lots of available toilets!

    • I don’t know what to tell you but mine is 4 and counting and does the same thing. She just asks for a diaper when it’s time. I’m waiting for a referral for a behavioral specialist from my pediatrician, because I know she’s not constipated. It’s total stubbornness/fear. By the way, we went for five days before offering her a diaper, and then she pooped 4 times in two days, so it was OK in the end (but taught me that she will win the battle).

  6. Reporting back on our camping trip:

    – Camping with friends (6 adults, 3 kids aged 1.5-3) was a great success. Kids entertained each other, adults got to hang out and chat.
    – I left DH in charge of our food and it went perfectly: fancy ramen + veggies, cheese, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate, s’mores to feed a small army, and enough snacks for 3 kids (because if one kid has a particular snack the other two have to have it as well). Food functioned like a potluck and so we also shared tater tots, hot dogs, fruit, etc.
    – We’re used to hike-everything-in camping trips (pre-kids) and forgot that with drive-in car camping, you can essentially bring your entire house. Pillows, blankets, Coleman stove, camp chairs, seriously everything. Bring it all.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      So glad it went well! Yes, drive-up camping is the way to go with kiddos, and like you said, bring the world!! (We do a 6 person tent and air mattresses for the 3 of us!)

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds awesome! So jealous. I let DH grocery shop for our trip and it was a disaster. He basically bought hotdogs, beer and pasta. We had to make a grocery store trip on the second day of our vacation.

  7. I developed a nasty case of mastitis last week, which sucked and had me in bed with a fever and body aches for almost three days. I’m back at work today and feeling totally recovered except the affected boob is still plugged up and I get random stabbing pains. I’m doing every suggestion I can find to clear the duct, but in the meantime, any tips for reducing the random pain, or at least for not reflexively grabbing my boob at work when this happens?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I’d try massaging it regularly. Do you have an office where you can close the door? If not, I’d just make more regular trips to the bathroom!

    • Advil for pain and lecithin for the clog – 3x/day until it goes away and then 1x/day for prevention. Feel better!

    • Lots of Motrin. And to actually clear the clog: drinking so much water, sunflower lecithin, and pumping on all fours for a gravity assist. The all fours thing was what finally cleared my most painful clogged duct post-mastitis. I’ve heard that if you can convince your spouse to suck it, it can help clear the clog if the baby won’t latch. I do not have that brand of husband so pumping on all fours it was. Ugh it hurts so much, I am so sorry.

      • Knope says:

        Ha my husband is definitely not that kind either! Baby is latching fine but hasn’t managed to clear it yet (there are actually multiple plugs, ugh. Pretty sure it was cause by a pump part that got warped in the dishwasher). I tried “dangle feeding” this morning but baby was not cooperating for more than a few mins. Will try pumping in that position and the lecithin though – thanks all!

  8. My oldest is just starting preschool, with no “hot lunch” option, and has a classmate with a severe nut allergy. We switched to sunbutter (one of the few foods she’ll eat reliably is PBJ) and look at every label before we send lunch to school. However, this morning I just realized our bread also has nuts in it! I didn’t even think to look at bread! (So clearly didn’t look at EVERY label.) I quickly switched out the lunch for today, but I feel bad that I sent it twice last week, and will run to the store tonight to get nut-free bread.

    My husband is frustrated with this – basically our house needs to either become nut-free as well, or we need to keep two sets of food, so we have nut-free foods to send for lunch. We’re struggling to come up with lunch ideas in the first place, since we’re new to packing lunch. He was annoyed that lunches aren’t provided for preschool, and he thinks this nut-free requirement is just making it harder than it needs to be. Like me, he’s happy the school takes allergies seriously, but he’s frustrated and feels forced to follow a diet that he didn’t choose and isn’t applicable to anyone in our house. I’m sure he’s just venting and picking the wrong thing to complain about, but anything I can say to gently suggest he reframe this in his head? (He didn’t say this around my daughter, nor would he ever.) Or is there another solution that we’re missing?

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Can you clarify the extent of the nut ban? Is it “no nuts” or “no products that may have come into contact with nuts during processing” because there’s a big difference. I stressed over this in one of my son’s preschool classes and found out they just meant no actual nuts or nut butter, but it was OK if bread was manufactured in a facility that may also have nuts, for example

    • First, he needs to understand that you get what you pay for. Unless you live in a tiny city, there are plenty of preschools out there, and many provide hot lunch. Those also tend to be more expensive. You picked this one knowing that they didn’t serve lunch, so you can’t really be mad about that.

      Second, I think he is overreacting. Your house doesn’t have to be nut-free. He can still eat nuts. Your family just needs to take the 10 seconds it requires to read labels before you put something in your child’s lunch. You don’t even have to read all of the ingredients; you just need to look at the bottom where it will say CONTAINS: [peanuts and/or tree nuts]. Also, is it possible that you’re confusing the allergen with the “Made in a facility that processes nuts” label? While some children with severe allergies can’t eat products made in the same facility as nuts for fear of cross-contamination, I’ve never heard of a child with an allergy so severe that it could be triggered by having lunch at the same table with food made in a facility that processes nuts (but that doesn’t contain them).

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I think you and he are just feeling frustrated because this is a new thing. New school and packing lunches is challenging. Once you find your groove and identify products that are nut free, this will not be hard. And really, as you both recognize, this kid has a severe allergy — you’re not being asked to turn yourselves inside out because someone is opting out of white foods. You don’t need to maintain a nut-free household. I’m sure it’s not too much of a burden to buy a second loaf of bread for school lunches. And I really don’t think you need to keep two sets of food unless you’re eating nuts with every meal and snack.

      FWIW, we bought a thermos so we can send our kid to school with hot lunches. She will reliably eat beans or pasta, so it’s an easy option. The school has plates and bowls and they will put her food on that. You can ask if that’s an option – it opens up more avenues for lunch!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      It always breaks my heart when parents take that approach to nut allergies – think about if it was your kid. The parents of that kiddo probably live with their phones always on them, in case there is an allergic reaction and they have to rush to the preschool or hospital. It’s terrifying. It’s not that big of a deal to avoid nuts, if the alternative is risking a kid’s life.

      It will get better as you figure it out – is there refrigeration at preschool? If so, consider skipping processed food (which has a bunch of ingredients, not all of which are listed clearly) and just send meat, cheese, veggies, and fruits. I usually cut up leftover meat from dinner, add a cheese stick or babybel, then include two to three fruits and veggies (dried and fresh), or beans/rice/lentils/quinoa if your kid will eat those. As you do this over time, you’ll find a bigger array of acceptable foods. But it’s OK to send a pretty limited diet at first.

      • avocado says:

        I am supremely annoyed not by nut allergies themselves, but by schools’ sometimes illogical reactions to dealing with them. For example, my daughter attended an elementary school that allowed peanuts in the lunchroom but not for classroom snacks, put kids with nut and peanut allergies at a separate table in the lunchroom, and required all kids to wash their hands before returning to the classroom after lunch. This policy was reasonable and balanced the interests of all children, including kids with allergies and kids like my daughter, a picky eater who struggled to stay on her growth curve. One of my daughter’s teachers, however, assigned her to sit next to the kid with the peanut allergy and then humiliated her in front of the entire class for eating peanut butter at lunch. She came home in tears and declared that she was never eating peanut butter again, and spent the rest of the year obsessed with the ingredients of her snacks and lunch. Not cool and not helpful to the kid with the allergy.

        Then there was the kid with a known peanut allergy in a neighboring district who ate a peanut at school, went into anaphylactic shock, and died because her mother had failed to provide the school with an EpiPen. That o

        • avocado says:

          Somehow this posted before I hit the button. Last line was supposed to say “That one was 100% the responsibility of the child’s own parents.”

          • goldie says:

            Did the child who died also have a father (who would have also been responsible for any epi-pen provision)?

          • avocado says:

            Actually, no, as reported in the news.

    • avocado says:

      The nut-free thing drives me insane too. On a practical level, you do not have to make your house nut-free–just keep nut-free foods for school lunches. If you are worried about keeping two types of bread, you can keep the nut-free bread for school in the freezer and make sandwiches on the frozen bread. The bread will defrost by lunch time, even with an ice pack in the lunchbox.

    • Anonymous says:

      Making lunches are a huge PITA. I’m dreading back to school season. But, once you get a good system set up, it doesn’t have to be so painful. You don’t need two entirely different sets of food. Keep a bin in the pantry/cupboard with kid’s lunchbox, nut-free bread, sunbutter, and other little kid lunch foods like goldfish. That way all your lunch supplies are together and easy to access.

      For lunch ideas – bowtie pasta, ritz crackers, wheat thins crackers, cheddar cheese slices/pieces, grapes/cherry tomatoes, hummus with veggies or crackers to dip, pita pinwheels spread with cream cheese and lettuce/ham and rolled up etc. When I make crustless quiche or pancakes on the weekend I save some for kid’s lunch as she will eat both cold. If you can send warm things, use leftovers from your suppers too.

      In terms of talking to your husband, acknowledge his frustration and appeal to his empathy. How would he feel if that was his kid? He would appreciate that other parents were careful. And gratitude for only have to deal with this challenge at lunch times and not three meals a day.

      Signed, Allergy parent of kid with dairy/fish/peanut/chickpea allergy who attends a school with no tree nuts policy – huge pain because nuts are a key source of protein for her.

      • mascot says:

        Agreed that it will get easier as you get used to the routine and her palate and tastes expand. The food above are good. Also, hard boiled eggs and greek yogurt are two easy sources of protein assuming you aren’t dealing with egg or dairy allergies.

    • Thanks everyone!

      The school has not clarified whether it’s actual nut products or made in a facility – nor have they clarified what happens if a child does bring a nut product to school. They just keep repeating that they take this incredibly seriously. I assume they’re still working out the protocol and procedures themselves, but we’re trying to err on the most cautious side until we get more details.

      We eat a lot of nuts (we’re mostly vegetarian due to a different health issue – very limited meats eggs and dairy – and use nuts as an option for protein and healthy fat sources) so we’re doing a lot of research to try to identify alternatives for our daughter’s lunches and make sure we have those on hand, but one week in, are still learning to look at all the correct spots to identify hidden nuts.

      Both of us are hugely sympathetic to the child and family with nut allergies. As I mentioned, we’re happy the school clearly takes this seriously, and obviously don’t want to do anything to cause that family any hardship. The parents are placing a lot of trust in the school and its parents to keep their kid safe, and we are taking that seriously. This isn’t coming from a lack of empathy, but a frustration in the additional effort (much more than “10 seconds to read the label”) that it requires from everyone in the school. It’s not heartbreaking to acknowledge that it’s a difficult transition for families who haven’t had to accommodate this diet in the past, and are having to integrate it with their own family’s restrictions, at the same time trying to adjust to packing lunches in the first place.

      We’ll work on keeping a separate bin of nut-free foods just for lunch, work on getting my daughter to reliably accept additional food options, and I love the idea of keeping the nut-free bread in the freezer so it will last longer. Keep the suggestions coming!

      • My kid’s preschool is nut free and doesn’t allow food manufactured in a facility that processes nuts. They considered–but it didn’t materialize– mandating no home-made foods.

        It was super annoying for the first 3 months. We made it work and my kids are HUGE nut and nut product eaters. Find a brand of bread that is safe. We just buy that kind now (it’s all the same to me). You might need to buy different brands of the same thing (eg. trader joes breakfast bars are processed in a facility that has nuts; nutrigrains are not). Fruit and cheese are fair game. Yogurt (go gurt when you want to be a hero). applesauce. if you find yourself out of bread that is safe, YAY it’s “sample day” just like at the grocery store! Look, i’ll pack some toothpicks and you can eat your meat and cheese with them! Lots of cookies and snacks are fine. When in doubt, make something (if that’s your thing) and send it in for her.

        My kid actually hates sunbutter, so we do PB&J at home. Sometimes we can trick her with a sunbutter and jelly sandwich but it’s rare. We eat almonds by the handful at home.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I’m sure you could find a list of commonly available nut-free brands or products online.

        Something that I found helpful when packing school lunches is to free myself from thinking that my kid needs an “entree” and adopting more of a bento style approach. So a container of fruit, hummus with red bell pepper and cucumber, and crackers is a perfectly good lunch for my 2 year old. Another idea is greek yogurt (maybe coconut yogurt if you’re avoiding dairy) with nut-free granola. You can buy individual guacamole packets too, I think. My daughter also used to like frozen veggie burger patties (until she didn’t). Maybe give those a try, if you haven’t already!

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      You don’t need to get rid of all nuts in your house. Just make sure little one doesn’t bring nuts to school. Yes it can be annoying, but most schools have that rule IME.

    • POSITA says:

      Can I commiserate? My husband is also very irked by a similar rule at our preschool. Prior to this year we were at a daycare where they provided lunch so it was a non-issue for us. I think his biggest issue is that the rule doesn’t have any context for him. Nuts weren’t a recognized and common allergy issue when he was a kid and he hasn’t been around kids since (except ours). His knowledge of kid issues is straight out of 1984.

      I keep reminding him that (a) nut allergies are now really common and probably affect more than one kid at our preschool, (b) even a trace amount of nuts can cause a reaction, (c) a reaction can be incredibly serious, and (d) if it was our kid, how would he want other parents to behave? He’s now heard the arguments, but he’s still a bit annoyed. I think he’ll eventually get there; he’s just catching up on the past three decades of nut allergy developments. It’s literally shocking to him. (Yes, he has lived in a kid-free bubble.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Just a quick thought re your husband – it’s ok to feel frustrated by this. Nothing I have read in this says that he wants to ignore the rule or flaunt it, just that he’s frustrated. We go to a preschool that provides lunch, but I would be frustrated too. I would adapt, but it’s ok to think it’s annoying and difficult. I know other people have to accommodate my family’s wheat allergy (celiac). It’s a different level in that others are able to eat it, but I get that it’s one more level of planning and difficulty sometimes. And it’s ok to be frustrated.

    • Our kids are also in a nut-free school that is also meat-free and shellfish-free. In addition, a kid in my son’s class has a sunflower seed and sesame seed allergy. We are SO limited. I have a good eater, thankfully. Like others, you will get into a routine. I have a chart on our fridge of lunch options (main + veg+ fruit) and snack options so that I don’t have to think much. We keep a loaf of school safe bread in the freezer. Other go-tos are cheese/crackers, tortellini, rice/beans. And a bento-style lunch box does make things easier.

    • I sympathize with you and your husband. Of course the school and other parents should accommodate children with nut allergies, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. My 2-year-old’s daycare provides a hot lunch and generally has a “nut sensitive” environment, which means don’t bring in foods containing tree nuts. But this year, there is a child with a severe peanut allergy in his class. We can’t allow Kiddo to bring any food from home (fine with us), and the kids have to wash their hands immediately when they arrive at school (also reasonable). But Kiddo is 2–when he eats peanut butter, it gets everywhere, and he loves using his hair as a napkin. Given the seriousness of the allergy, at least as far as it’s been explained to us, we avoid giving Kiddo peanut butter or obviously peanut-containing foods for breakfast and even for dinner/evening snack if we don’t plan to bathe Kiddo afterwards. It isn’t that much of a hardship, but it’s one more thing to remember, and at this age, any change in routine, like what Kiddo has for breakfast, isn’t easy.

  9. Ugh, I just have my first experience spilling pumped milk all over my lap. Having done this for a year with my first and 9 months with my second without incident, I am completely unprepared and have no backup outfit. Do I need to change? Am I going to smell bad?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      If you have the luxury of staying secluded in your office, I would soak it with several rounds of clean water to dilute the milk. You will probably smell by the end of the day, but it won’t be a true “sour milk” smell.

    • Do you have a store nearby where you can pick up a “backup” pair of pants?

      If not, you can probably stick it out, depending on how many more hours you have of work. If you have 4-5 hours, you’ll probably be fine and not smell too badly. Once you get beyond that, you’ll get a smell but can probably mask it by not sitting right next to someone and not moving around too much. If you’ve got more than 7 hours, you probably can’t do much to hide it.

      Signed, I once fell asleep (!!) while pumping and spilled all over my lap.

      • Redux says:

        Oh man, the falling asleep! Speaks volumes. This is hard.

        Thanks everyone. Luckily it is a cool day…

      • ElisaR says:

        Just because this made me laugh: I TWICE started pumping (half asleep) without the bottles on and pumped right into my lap.

        • ElisaR says:

          of course this was at home and I did not ruin any work pants :)

        • Redux says:

          The sleep deprivation is real! And in the time of your life when there are so many tiny details. Like, oh, attaching bottles. Whoops.

  10. Gaga's Mom says:

    Blah, anyone want to commiserate with/comfort/advise me?

    I feel like I haven’t seen my husband in forever. I see him all the time – live with him in fact! – but for the past two weeks we’ve both been sick, and now kiddo is sick, and it’s a bajillion degrees and everyone is cranky and there’s no date night in sight… I dunno, I miss him. Is this just a thing that happens?

    • It’s totally a thing that happens! I feel like my partnership with DH couldn’t be better, but in the midst of dealing with home/work/kids/life, we haven’t done anything fun together in … several weeks? A month? I dunno, it’s been awhile. He’s ramping up into a busy season at work that involves a lot of weekend hours away from home, so that’s going to add to the pressure. I’m planning to make a concerted effort to talk about something OTHER than home/work/kids/life. We’ve also used at-home date nights to get us through stages like this. It does help when you’re feeling a little disconnected, even though nothing is really wrong.

      • Gaga's Mom says:

        Thank you! It’s weird because I don’t love him less or appreciate him less or anything (also he’s been looking really hot lately) it’s just like… we haven’t really connected in a while. Maybe I’ll suggest that we watch a movie together at home after kiddo is in bed – something to do together at least.

      • Yep. I think it helps to just cuddle a bit before bed even if there is nothing beyond cuddling. It means you reconnect a bit and gives you a moment to talk with no distraction.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Yup. My husband and I jokingly refer to this as “two ships passing in the night syndrome.” We’re scheduled and both all hands on deck, all the time, but we didn’t leave any room in the schedule for us (it’s just constant passing off of children, work issues, attempting to find time to work out, trying to eek a little downtime out of a weekend day…). Saturday night we fed the kids separately and got takeout sushi for just us after bedtime. Had sushi and wine and just sat together at the counter and ate and gabbed, like before we had kids. And it was exactly what we needed.

      • I love our sushi and wine nights. They’ve happen so frequently in the last six months that DH is a bona fide regular with the people who handle the takeout orders!

    • This may not work for you, depending on your work location, but Mr. AIMS and I work relatively close to each other and just try to reconnect over lunch every other week or so. It’s nice to have a meal out without worrying about a toddler, even if you are watching the clock because you have to go back to the office, and it’s something to look forward to during the week. Sometimes it seems too hard to find the time during busy periods at work but surprisingly I find myself more productive on the days that I make plans to go out for lunch vs. those days where I just sit at my desk all day.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Ugh . totally a thing. I hate it, but it’s difficult to deal with. I don’t want to “force” together time because it puts pressure on it, and honestly once the kid’s in bed I want time to unwind/decompress alone (read what I want to read, watch what I want to watch, play around on my phone) and he’s the same way. Then, we’re tired. It seems like it ebbs and flows, things will calm down and you’ll find some time.
      I do find “gardening” with him does actually make me feel better when things are like that.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Yeah. Here for commiseration. Sigh. My husband travels a ton for work. He’s been gone about 70% of the time for the last five months. Usually it’s rough but okay. We video chat when he’s gone, and when he’s home things are fine and pleasant and we take good care of each other and he makes sure I have some time off.

      But man. Last week just blew. It was debacle after debacle. He was home for almost a whole week and it just sucked and we were so disconnected. His work computer broke and he was horribly stressed out and grumpy but somehow still managed to 1. be all over me when I just wanted to have quiet time alone (fine, I’ll do it, but ugh), 2. go play cards with his buddies, and 3. ditch our kid on me 10 minutes after I got home and go work on his computer until it was kiddo’s bedtime. And then was a grumpy PITA on our last morning together because we couldn’t find each other for 20 minutes at the farmers market and he jumped to the conclusion that I had just ditched him and our kid to go buy chicken on a stick by myself (which, after last week would have been well within my rights, IM JUST SAYING). Then gave me a really mopey apology about how it sucked that he was in such a terrible mood our one week together in the middle of 6 weeks apart.

      I just try to remember that everything is hard right now and we’re all doing the best we can, even when “the best” is kind of mediocre sometimes. Date nights are few and far between, but we’re going on a trip, just the two of us, in a couple of months. I think that will be nice.

      • ElisaR says:

        oh the realities of life….. (thank you for making me laugh with the chicken on a stick bit though)

  11. avocado says:

    Phew!!! After our fantastic after-school program with transportation to sports practice abruptly decided to stop serving the middle school less than two weeks before school started, I have managed to cobble together another after-school program for non-practice days + a carpool for practice days. The new program is not as awesome as the old one, but it will be cheaper and she won’t spend much time there anyway so it should be all right.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Oh thank goodness! I felt so bad for you, I would’ve lost my mind if our before/after school plans fell through, especially because ours covers teacher work days, early release, etc. So glad it worked out!

  12. rafaga says:

    Does anyone have recommendations (books or otherwise) about what to do when your toddler (almost 2.5) tells a loved one (grandma) to go away? I am just wondering whether we are supposed to look past this behavior and accept it as a normal developmental phase or whether we should be using this as a teaching moment of how to be kind to other people …

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • Strategy mom says:

      in a similar situation with my 2 year old, I tried saying I’m the boss and you don’t get to tell me what to do and it backfired. now he tells everyone he’s the boss…. ha. so no ideas here, just commiseration

    • mascot says:

      This sounds pretty normal to me. 2.5 year olds don’t have a great vocabulary and have an even worse grasp on manners. So “go away” could mean anything from I want to play something else, I want to play with someone else, I’m over-stimulated, I’m tired, I want grandma to stop doing what she’s doing right now and instead do ___. Any number of things. Or maybe she really is asserting her independence and boundaries and realizing that she can make people move with her words- the power is intoxicating, right? I think the key is that the adult doesn’t get insulted or force the interaction. I’m going to miss playing with you kiddo, but I’m going to go over here and read this magazine now seemed to work. If kiddo was trying to physically move grandma or saying mean things to grandma, then add some additional discussion about not hurting feelings, not pushing, etc.

    • My almost-2.5-year-old Kiddo tells me to go away pretty frequently. I think mascot is correct that it’s a combination of small vocabulary and lack of manners and empathy. I try to give Kiddo the positive words I’d like him to use–depending on the situation, it might be “Excuse me,” or “I need space,” or “Alone please,” or “I want to play on the couch,” or “I want to play with Daddy.” This often requires me to guess/ask him whether X is the reason he wants me to move. Sometimes I honor his request, and sometimes I stand my ground, but either way I keep my tone neutral and don’t show him I’m upset or my feelings are hurt.

    • rafaga says:

      Thank you for the responses — this is helpful!!

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