Nursing Tuesday: Modal Split Design Nursing Top

I had not heard of this brand, but this looks like an interesting sort of swingy, easy nursing top. I’d probably wear it more for travel, like a flight when you know you’re going to be nursing, but it’s also a flattering top to wear to work or beyond. It’s very affordable, and it’s available at Amazon with Prime and free returns. Smallshow Modal Split Design Nursing Top

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. I found big scarves and a regular easy to move tank top to be the best way to nurse on a flight. This looks terribly unflattering to me. My mom always wears shirts like this (although certainly not for nursing at this point in her life) and they always make her look 20 lbs. heavier than she actually is.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Agreed — this looks way too complicated for airplane nursing. My favorite for airplane/travel nursing was a nursing tank + scarf. Easer to arrange properly.

    • I wore layers- a thin spaghetti strap tank and a looser fitting lightweight shirt. Pulled up the shirt and down the tank, unclip bra and good to go with full coverage.

      This shirt looks like it would take me 15 minutes to sort out after the laundry.

    • Agree on both points, and I’m just not a fan of modal. It’s super soft, but looks shabby after a few washings.

  2. paging Cornellian says:

    If you still want the Medela Symphony accessory kit, email me at SpirographC at the mail of google and we’ll sort out the details!

  3. custody schedules says:

    Looks like DH and I are headed for a split. I’m trying to wrap my head around custody schedules for a 5 year old and 2 year old. Ideally I’d have full custody and he’d get a weekly overnight visit (Sunday/Monday) but I’m sure he wants a 50-50 split. Any suggestions? Does 4-3-3-4 work or is it too much change? Week on week off is too long for the 2 year old and I can’t bear the idea of not seeing them for a week.

    • I’m so sorry. The most common schedule among my friends is that the kids live with the custodial parent, and spend either one or two weekday evenings (either until bedtime or overnight, depending on the kids’ needs) and every other weekend with the non-custodial parent. It’s not a lot of time for the non-custodial parent, but it is stable and predictable for the kids.

      • +1 this is the schedule for every divorced family I know unless there are unusual circumstances such as addiction or abuse that results in a deviation. I have seen a couple divorced parents rock coparenting and function almost like married couples in that they have a general custody schedule, but work with each other’s schedules and accommodate the other’s and the child’s requests. I imagine it is difficult to do but the kids, as well as the parents, seemed to benefit from it immensely.

      • Step-Mom Here says:

        I’m sorry, that’s got to be really hard.

        Every other weekend and one evening a week (not overnight) was the schedule my now husband had when he was local and non-custodial, but that was over a decade ago and logistics would have made it hard for him to have overnights during the week.

        My understanding is that the courts are now more inclined to give dads close to 50/50 time.

        Has your STBX proposed any particular schedule?

    • AnonHere says:

      Some family members of mine recently separated. For now, the kids are in the house. Mom does morning routine and dropoff. Dad picks them up in the afternoon, does dinner and bedtime. The mom comes to the house at night (after kids are asleep) and dad goes to his place. They alternate weekends. Not sure if this is workable long term but it seems OK for now. Their kids are 6 and 4.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Sorry, that’s a tough situation. I think you have to decide whether you’re going to pick a custody schedule that’s developmentally appropriate for the kids, or one that minimizes parental conflict. Google “parenting time schedule court recommendations” and you’ll find several family court guidelines for parenting time, including sample schedules for various age groups. Last time I looked, the recommendation for ages 2-4 is to have one parent be the “primary” parent, and the child spends no more than 1-2 nights a week away from the primary parent. The non-primary parent should have regular, short parenting time with the child.

      In my family, it means kiddo’s dad feeds her dinner two nights a week and drops her off for bedtime, picks her up from my house for daycare drop off two mornings a week, and either takes her Friday night or Sat/Sun night (we alternate weekends). It works for us, but it would not work if there was conflict between us. It’s also terribly lonely to be the parent who does solo bedtime 5 or 6 nights a week. And kiddo’s dad was really angry when I proposed it, and he had to talk with a child development expert and see several different court custody guides before he would accept it.

      I haven’t looked at older kids much; the “nights away from primary parent” goes up as the kids get older. I’ve heard anecdotally that a good schedule for older kids is the “2-2-5-5” schedule in which a kid gets 2 days with one parent, two days with the other, and then 5 days with first parent and 5 days with second parent. It sounds confusing, but basically it means that kids get long blocks of time with both parents and both parents get the certainty of the same nights “off” each week so they can make evening commitments.

    • custody schedules says:

      Thanks all. Lots of helpful ideas. Finding the best fit for the kids needs and DH’s strengths (great hands on parenting but zero ability on logistics/scheduling) will be a challenge but hopefully we’ll all be happier in the long run.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Interviewing a new assistant:

    I am interviewing a young lady for a position as a legal assistant tomorrow evening (we’re having a dinner meeting, how about that!). She will function primarily as my sole legal assistant. I work primarily in transactional law (estate planning) but have some court appearances, etc.
    This young lady has never worked in a law office before, but has come very highly recommended as intelligent and quick to learn.

    What are some good questions to ask during this interview? What are things to look out for? All advice appreciated!

    (I also posted on the main site but I’m a mom and this group likely has more collective experience and wisdom.)

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I would ask for concrete examples of:
      – learning new systems (your digital and hard copy filing/document management systems, for example)
      – communication skills (has she had previous jobs where she had to talk on the phone a lot, if that’s something she’ll be doing for you?)
      – ability to work independently (you want to assure yourself you can give her a large task, rather than have to ask her to do each step one by one)

      When I worked at a small firm I hired a bright high schooler who came recommended as a quick learner, and she was a delight. Honestly, there was a lot of work at the beginning (especially re: phone calls, as she was almost paralyzed with phone anxiety), but she was a pleasure to work with, and ended up being an essential part of our team.

  5. anon for this says:

    Preface: I am not a lawyer and this is not in any way, shape or form, legal advice.

    Having interviewed a number of judges, family law attorneys, and mediators as part of my job, I can tell you that a commonly recommended starting point is not what you want your parenting time schedule to look like, but what your shared goals for your children are. “I want to maximize my time with the kids” is a personal goal for your own benefit, not a shared goal, and not a goal for the children. Once you have a common set of goals, you can work together with your attorneys to develop a parenting plan that achieves those goals while also fitting the logistical realities of the situation.

    If abuse or an imbalance of power is not a concern, you might want to look into collaborative divorce. There are pros and cons and I have not actually worked with collaborative divorce, but the concept sounds much more appealing to me than mediation. Depending on the state and program, mediators may not have much formal training or relevant life experience, may be poorly supervised, and may have a predisposition to force concessions rather than building consensus. Attorneys are also able to suggest alternatives that might never occur to the parties, whereas mediators are not likely to do so.

    • anon for this says:

      This was intended as a reply to custody schedules above.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I think your advice is relevant only in high-value divorces or very contentious divorces…in most divorces, attorneys have a de minimis role because they are so expensive and there aren’t sufficient liquid assets to pay for a lot of attorney time. I met with my attorney twice; once to help sort through the asset division, and once to advise me on parenting time and whether to waive alimony. Those two meetings cost me close to $800. If the couple is able to work together and don’t have complicated assets or financial issues, they should be able to do just a consult with their own attorneys and then collaboratively fill out the paperwork (most courts have a DIY electronic divorce system available), and then a judge signs off on the arrangement.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are so lucky. I’m 5 months in to divorcing an abusive narcissist and my assumption is our combined legal bills are well over $200K. It’s been horrible. Just had to vent.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This has probably been asked before, but how did you decide when you were ready to have kids?

    I feel like there is always some compelling reason not to do so (first it was because I was getting my masters,, then it was paying off loans, now my husband is in residency, and then I’m sure there will be some new reason not to).

    I’m 29, most of my friends/colleagues are starting to have kids but I just…am not ready. I, and my husband, would like to have kids, but I don’t think I am ever going to wake up with “baby fever.” At some point in the near future we will just need to start trying and I’m interested in how others figured out when to do so.

    • Cornellian says:

      I thought a lot about what I wanted my life to look like in 20 years, since kids have such a long time horizon. At your 50th birthday, do you see yourself retired? with college-aged kids? elementary school kids? no kids? By 50 I hoped to have kid(s) that were old enough to fend for themselves. I’d like to be out of my high-pay high-stress job and doing something more leisurely. I’d like to be visiting family in Europe for a month or two at a time. So, for me, I didn’t want to be having kids after, say, 34. If I wanted to start parenting later, I was pretty sure I’d want to be looking for an older child

      Obviously fertility can be tricky, and there are no guarantees, but I think people focus a lot on freedom in their 20s and not freedom in their 40s or 50s or 60s. I don’t want to be 50 and tied to a nine-year old, honestly.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1. My husband is in a career where he travels internationally 3-4 times per year, often to new places. By the time I’m 50ish, I really want the freedom to start traveling with him on many of these trips without being tied to a child’s school/activity calendar. We only plan to have one child so when I was 32 we just decided it was time even though we didn’t feel “ready.”

      • +2. We wanted to have (at least) high schoolers in our 50s, which meant our last kid needed to be out by the time I was 35. We wanted two, roughly 2-3 years apart, so we decided to start trying at 30. Thanks to a couple miscarriages both times, my youngest was born 2 months after I turned 35, and they’re 3.5 years apart. I consider that close enough to the plan to be perfect for us.

        I was NOT ready to start trying at 30, but I knew I wanted kids someday, so I was okay with proceeding anyway. For me, I wasn’t ready even when I got pregnant the first time, but then the miscarriage made me realize I really did want kids. We tried again and luckily the second pregnancy stuck. Then I had 9 additional months to really prepare mentally for it.

        Of course now I love my kids and I think our timing was perfect. But it was sort of a story of roughly planning, allowing room for hiccups along the way, and just trusting it would work out (as in, I’d feel ready by the time I actually got to the delivery room) in time.

    • I got baby fever around your age or a little older (no interest in kids before that).

      At some point you just have to decide what your life priorities are. If it includes having kids, then you do that, and you have to be accommodating on the other priorities (career, money, free time) – involves a leap of faith to some extent that you can manage those other priorities around your kids. If the number one priority is career, for example, then it’s possible kids will never happen. Maybe a little too simplistic?

      • +1

        I don’t think this is too simplistic. This is how I think of it. Kids aren’t for everyone; they pretty much de-prioritize everything else for … years.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I wanted to have my first before I was 35. So we worked backwards from there. I felt “ready” when I felt like we were reasonably financially stable (not perfect, but in a good situation), that we were responsible enough to keep a baby alive, and that a baby would be “fun.” But I never had baby fever. Even now when I have an awesome kid and I am 98% sure that I want a second one, there is a small amount of ambivalence about the second that makes me question myself.

      • This almost exactly describes me. After we got married in our late 20s, I knew I didn’t want to be much older to start having kids. We were reasonably financially stable, responsible enough, and I knew our relationship was solid, so the timing just made sense. I turned 31 a few months before giving birth. But no, I wouldn’t say I ever had “baby fever”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep, I wanted my first to be a “advanced maternal age” pregnancy so 33 it was! It took us a year to conceive and I wished we’d started a bit sooner since I’d like another, but not until this one’s a bit older.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          That’s one of our struggles too – in an ideal world I’d wait another year before trying to have a second for a lot of reasons, but I’m not getting any younger.

    • For some of us, I don’t know that we ever feel ready. Much like Cornellian said, I mostly considered the big picture of my life as well as the lifestyles of folks who are older than me with family structures or life circumstances that I admire. Raising children can be a very, very short season of life in the scheme of things.

      My husband and I always said we would talk about having kids when we turned 30 but the combination of folks around us having children, the aforementioned long-term view and a fear of fertility issues caused us to start earlier. We had our first when I was 29, our second and last will arrive in a few months when I’m 31.

      I didn’t feel ready for 1 but everything worked out. I don’t feel ready for 2 but I believe the same, it’ll work out. I feel very blessed to have children. Getting caught up in life circumstances will result in never having children.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wasn’t ready for kids at 29 – my husband and I got married that year. At about 32, we had a conversation where we discussed whether we wanted them at all and determined that we did. He asked for a few more years to work on his career full blast, so I did the same. We regrouped at 35 and took a couple of months to really analyze what we wanted for the future, much like Cornellian’s time horizon. I also read a lot of stories about being childfree and on the fence. When I came to the final decision, I knew that I didn’t want to be 50, 60, 70 with no kids. I also knew that my time going to the cool new bars and rock shows every weekend would end, whether I wanted it to or not – I didn’t want to be the 45 year old aging hipster still trying to be cool in Logan Square. So we pulled the goalie and two months later I was pregnant with twins. They turned two this past weekend and we’re tired, but happy.

    • I always wanted to have kids. I was almost 34 when I got married, and my husband was unemployed. We had been together for 3+ years at that point and started marriage counseling shortly before we got married (I took a big gamble) to deal with the ramifications of his unemployment/depression and my anxiety about it and the fact that I wasn’t getting any younger and couldn’t support a family solo. Anyway, after about 6 months, he really turned a corner and started actively moving toward a new career. Once he felt confident that he was on the path to employment, he suggested we start trying. I was pretty shocked but again gambled and got pregnant after about 3 months of trying. He finished his teaching certification while I was pregnant and got a full time teaching job while I was on maternity leave. In hindsight I can’t believe how risky this all was financially, but it did work out. I live in NYC and am friends with a lot of artsy broke types, so 29 seems young to me. I don’t think there is ever a perfect time, but you can certainly wait longer if you want to.

      • Also, I was surprised to find after having 1 that I was ambivalent at best about having another. My husband was not interested in having another, so we’re one and done. In my limited experience, reactions to parenthood are unpredictable at best.

    • mamallama says:

      I have 2 babies and never had baby fever. I knew long term I wanted kids, and DH and I talked about wanting to have kids on the earlier vs later side (we married at 25, so we had this option). Since I was already married, I preferred to be done with babies before 35. So, when I was 28 and we’d been married 3 years and were settled, we did the math over a bottle of wine one night and realized if we wanted 3 kids and 2+ years between them, well, we’d better get going.

      I’m 33 now and we are on the fence about trying for #3. Not sure if we want another, but we have a little time to figure it out.

    • I got married at 28. My husband asked me on our third!!! date if I wanted kids (which I did, but that blew me away). So we were both on the kid train. We had briefly talked about waiting a year after we got married. I knew I wanted 2 or 3 and I wanted at least the first 2 prior to being high risk/”advanced maternal age” (i.e., 35). Turns out I’m high risk anyways for other reasons, but oh well. Ideally I wanted to take my maternity leave(s) before making partner because it’s a little easier to just “turn off” as an associate for a few months. After about 9 months of marriage, my mom got diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. Her surgery went well and she was heading into 6 months of chemo (which went well and her second surgery was great and she’s now in remission with a 50% chance of relapse), but for me that crystallized that life is short and unpredictable and if this is something we want to do we should do it now. I came home from helping mom from surgery and told my husband I wanted a baby now. I think my husband was a little surprised but since he wants kids too and is 4 years older than me he said OK. I was fortunate enough to get pregnant very quickly and we’re expecting a girl in August (I will be 30). My pregnancy has been TERRIBLE, so we may end up with only 2 if the next pregnancy is like this one again, but growing up with 2 sisters and my husband being an only child, we really want at least 2.

      I still have doubts that we are not ready/life is about to get very different, but that is kind of normal and I just keep reminding myself that people have been birthing and raising babies for years with a lot less support/stability that we currently have and they turn out just fine!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with people who worked backward from what they wanted their life to be like in 20ish years. I had my first at 29, but I don’t know that we ever thought we were “ready.” It was more like, “well, we are financially secure, we want more than one kid, and we want to have everyone out of the house in time to enjoy retirement. Absent a compelling reason not to, I guess we’d better get started. Let’s do one last really fun vacation, first.” Even then, the reality of it didn’t really it me until I was a few months pregnant.

      I wouldn’t necessarily plan to let “readiness” be the deciding factor, if you’re sure you want kids in your life at some point. If you feel like you could dive in now without resenting the road not taken, take a look at the logistics of your life, education, career, etc. If you still can’t find a reason to wait, that might be the closest to sure that you ever get. Not to say you need to throw away the BC right now, but just acknowledge that this is the beginning of an acceptable window.

      (All that said, my sister and I were born during my dad’s residency, and my mom is very candid about how hard that was. Of course, he also went into a specialty that wasn’t especially family-friendly, and never really prioritized family time, so it’s not like it would have gotten any better.)

    • Another “work backwards” that I’m encountering and wish I’d thought of earlier – think about your parents/in-laws and their age.

      Husband and I are both the youngest in our families, and our moms had us relatively “late” for the time (though more common now), so all of the grandparents in our family will be in their 70s within a couple years. Yes, modern medicine is great, but I do want our kids to know their grandparents and I start to get scared the more surgeries and diagnoses that come along… plus, mobility is already limited for one of the grandparents.

      • Spirograph says:

        So true. This wasn’t part of our calculus at the time, but I am very glad my parents are relatively healthy, active early 60s grandparents who can still run around with my preschoolers. And I’m very glad *my* grandparents (now in their 80s) were so fun for me as a kid, are around well into my adulthood, and that my kids will have at least some memories of two of them. My mom is their oldest, and I’m the oldest of my siblings. My paternal grandmother passed away shortly after my first child was born, and before meeting him. :( But all in all, I am very lucky that my grandparents were/are a part of my life for so long.

        My husband is the youngest in his family and was born when his parents were close to 40. His grandparents had all passed away by the time he was in middle school, and his parents are in their 70s and just can’t interact the same way with our kids. It’s a very different dynamic, and age is the biggest factor.

      • Katala says:

        Related, if you will be responsible for caring for your parents at some point, you may get no caregiver-free years for a very long time. Not that you can plan these things, but it may be worth considering.

        • Anonymous says:

          Most people don’t care for their parents in their own home without professional assistance. There’s a big difference between having a parent in a nursing home nearby that you need to visit regularly and having a minor child under your roof that you and your spouse are solely responsible for.

          • Katala says:

            I don’t know, my H’s grandmother lived with them when he was in high school. My in laws do not have the savings to pay for a quality nursing home. As both are dealing with health issues right now, we’re thinking about the options and expectations and one of them living with us (they’re divorced, so not both) is something we have to consider. They wouldn’t need full time care for a while, but it’s not inconceivable that once our currently young kids are ready to move out we will be faced with close to full time care and/or a significant impact on our finances that would affect our ability to semi-retire, travel etc. It’s not something I really considered so put it out there in case it rings true for someone else. Sorry if it’s a bit morbid/downer for this thread.

          • Anonymous says:

            My family’s experience is closer to Katala. I would say the last year or two of my relatives’ lives included care that was “outsourced” beyond immediately family, but for years the elderly relatives lived semi-independently in other relatives’ homes.

            I’ve also given this some thought, as both my parents and my husband’s are divorced. FIL has a younger wife, so she naturally would assume a caretaker role. SIL would probably care for MIL. But my parents… I don’t know. My parents are both fiercely independent and I can’t see them moving in with me or my siblings, or moving into a nursing home. Direct quote from my dad: “If you I can’t take care of myself anymore, you might as well just pull the dirt over me, because I’ll be [email protected] if anyone but me feeds me and wipes my @ss.” I told my husband the other day that we’re going to need to plan to retire on a lot of land with some studio-like outbuildings for each of my parents to live in where they can pretend they’re totally independent, but we’re secretly keeping an eye out for them.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a good point to consider, but at the same time, you can’t undertake a major life change you’re not ready for just to make your parents or in-laws’ happy. My parents and in-laws all had us between 37-40. We couldn’t have made them grandparents in their early 60s unless we’d had children waaaaay before we were financially, emotionally and logistically ready. We just weren’t ready until our early 30s, which means they were all around 70 when they became grandparents. It’s sad that they’re not super active and probably won’t be around when our kids graduate high school, but at the same time, it’s our life not theirs, and we had to do what worked best for us, which was postponing parenthood until our 30s.

        • Oh definitely didn’t mean it to “make the grandparents happy”. More like, if you’re thinking ahead to having kids, consider that the longer you wait, the less involved the grandparents will be. Definitely was not a driving factor for us, but if you are already doing the work-backwards math, it’s just another factor to think about.

          Katala’s point about elder care is what I’m partially realizing as well, just seeing in-laws going through health struggles and not being as able to do what they used to.

    • Macademia says:

      I was pretty sure I didn’t want to have kids, and we were married for about a decade before we started rethinking that. I liked that we weren’t in the early years of our marriage when the big upheaval of parenting came.

      But the comments about having older parents are on the mark too. I am 50 with an 11-year old, so no slowing down or any big life changes any time soon. My son only has 1 living grandparent. One year he invited his Sunday School teacher to Grandparents and Special Friends Day at his pre-K/K program.

      • Anonymous says:

        Can I just say how adorable it is that he had that relationship with his Sunday School teacher? I love that. Only one living grandparent is not ideal, but this is such a good reminder that you don’t need grandparents to have inter-generational bonds.

  7. Silly question says:

    This is the first summer that my son has been potty-trained. Should he be going no-underwear under his bathing suit? What about when camp wants him to arrive with a bathing suit on? Part of this is that he wants the underwear because he understands underwear, then pants, and I don’t know whether it’s worth picking a fight, even though soggy underwear is a bad idea.

    • avocado says:

      Just show him the liner of the swim trunks and tell him it’s awesome built-in underwear.

      • mascot says:

        +1. And then try not to turn red when your 6 year old proudly extolsl the vitures of his quick dry shorts with liner that are marketed as both swim and play shorts to another mom at the pool. “My mom said I could wear these shorts for swimming too so I didn’t have to wear underwear to the farmer’s market. These are super comfy, etc” good.times

    • bluefield says:

      I have a girl, and I call her bathing suit bottoms “swim undies.” It helps that they look like her normal underwear, I guess, but I think you could do the same for a boy.

    • Cornellian says:

      My kid is an infant, but I used to be a camp counselor. I would have been fine with him arriving with underwear on, so long as I knew in advance (and our plans were taking us somewhere we could take him in to a changing room before the pool).

  8. PlanetBox Shuttle says:

    FYI – PlanetBox is having a 20% off sale on their Shuttle lunchbox only with code Summer20. Figured I’d pass it along if anyone was interested!

    • Thanks! Was thinking about picking up one yesterday when people mentioned it and didn’t pull the trigger. I appreciate you posting this!

    • anne-on says:

      Thank you! Just pulled the trigger on the larger size (my kiddo eats like a horse when swimming is involved and I didn’t think the shuttle size would cut it).

  9. dc anon says:

    Can you bathe a newborn and a toddler together? I was thinking of getting a baby tub and putting that in the bath with toddler. Sounds simple, but maybe I’m overlooking something?
    Thanks! Any and all tips regarding life with a toddler and newborn are also welcome! I’m at 32 weeks and starting to panic about how to handle our new life.

    • mamallama says:

      We did separate for the first like, 3 weeks. I had older one “help” bathe baby. Then, I put the big blue plastic tub in the tub, put baby in it, then filled the main tub with enough water for older kid (but not so much the blue bathtub floated). When baby was sitting well (6 months) blue tub went away and they’ve been bathing together ever since.

      • That’s basically what we did too (well, DH did all the baths, but I have pictures to prove it). The older kid (and then older kids) loved “helping” and entertaining the baby.

    • Spirograph says:

      I’m sure you could, but I never tried. I didn’t have a newborn tub, though…newborn got little 2 minute baths in the sink, and the bigger kid (s) loved to splash around in the tub, so they bathed separately. My toddlers were very active and grabby, so I didn’t feel like I had enough hands to wrangle that + an infant at once.

      You will be fine! It seems more daunting in your head than it actually is in practice, I think. I have 20-24 month gaps between each of my 3 kids, and we survived. I felt like the hardest thing was being so attached to the baby (I was nursing) that I didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted to with the more fun older kid(s). Once I got better at communicating to my husband that I needed him to swap with me sometimes, life got a lot better. Also, as soon as the baby is big enough for a baby-wearing device, sleeping baby + free hands for toddler is as good as it gets for the first few months.

    • October says:

      I’m expecting number 2 with a toddler, as well, and I’m planning to bathe separately. I prefer to wash my newborns in the morning, so I get a whole day with a sweet-smelling baby (and since babies don’t need frequent baths, this could be done every Saturday, maybe once during the week if needed). Toddler gets his baths at night because he is a boy and always dirty. Plus, he is very active in the tub and I would probably stress out too much over baby’s safety. And logistically, getting two squirmy wet kids out of the tub and dressed — without turning my back on either — seems like more of a pain than staggered baths.

    • Redux says:

      We bathe our infant once a week (that’s normal, right?), on a weekend during the day and the toddler loves to help/ watch. Toddler gets a solo bath every other night.

    • Ms. Gluten says:

      Sure. Bathe your newborn in the sink for the first few weeks. I used a bath chair for the youngest baby and sat the 1 year old in the tub with her. The part I struggled with was how to dry off/lotion/PJs. I had to remove both children from the tub and lay one on the bath mat wrapped as a burrito while I dressed the other. One of them was always crying in the burrito state, but what can ya do? As long as I carefully laid out all the post-bath items, I was ok.

    • EB0220 says:

      Yes, my two have always bathed together. I had one of those plastic seats that sits in the tub for the baby. It didn’t take up much space. I could fit in the tub with the infant seat, or my toddler (not both of us).

    • Katala says:

      Looking forward to feeling comfortable with combo bath. Similar to others, newborn got baths once/twice a week, in the sink then the infant tub. Now that I’m back at work we’ve been doing family showers on Saturday mornings which is good for getting everyone out to the weekly parties/commitments in a reasonable time. Baby needs more baths but I haven’t figured out fitting in more than a wipe down on weekdays. He’ll be sitting soon and can hopefully share bath time then.

  10. are we on the train to mistakeville? says:

    TLDR, please tell me this is just a lot of change all at once and everything’s going to be fine, just fine.

    We are in the process of buying a new house, with the plan to list our house to sell after we close. We currently only owe a HELOC on the house we live in (I bought it before we were married), and our market is hot, so I am confident we’ll sell it in 1-2 months. No judgment, I know we need to do things differently with our finances, but right now we keep separate accounts and just sort of split things as fairly as possible. He gives me a “rent” payment monthly that I use to pay off the HELOC and pay utilities/insurance/taxes. It’s a very small amount – cheaper than it would be to live in an apartment – about 50% of what he was paying to live in his apartment before moving in with me.

    We are moving because my current house is only 2BR and we have an older child and a baby.

    So it is definitely a big change in expenses, especially for him, to go from a very, very low cost in housing to a normal one. Our baby is also going to be changing childcare situations in the fall, which cost us just over double what we were paying before (again, going from a crazy low cost to a very normal one).

    So I feel like we are going from crazy low housing/childcare costs to very normal ones. It is a change, for sure, but a lot of people pay normal mortgages and normal daycare costs. He keeps worrying that if one of us loses our jobs, we won’t be able to afford it. If that happened, it would be a struggle, but we have emergency savings, we’d get unemployment, and we could make cuts to keep the cost down. If the worst happens, the house we’re buying is in a desirable neighborhood, and we could sell it. Also, my family would be able to help us as well. So we’re not in fear of losing our home if that were to happen.

    We’re closing Tuesday and I feel like I can’t tell if he’s just articulating these things again, or if he’s sounding some kind of warning I should be listening to, or…I don’t even know. This feels like a right decision to me, and we’ve talked it all out, and is this just him freaking out at the last minute? We’re both sad to sell a house we love but honestly, the baby is sleeping in a non-bedroom that is only going to work while he’s unable to hop out of his crib, which is going to happen in the next six months. We found a place that doesn’t need a ton of work and is in a great neighborhood and has almost twice the square footage. We both have decent-paying jobs. This is fine, right? This is fine. UGH I just hope this is last minute closing jitters and it’s all okay.

    Sorry for going on and on, just pat me on the head and say it’s all fine. Life is just a series of decisions and you go from where you are after you make one.

    • Coach Laura says:

      Mistakeville- I don’t necessarily think it’s a great risk but it may seem like that to your guy. While your expenses have been low what have you been doing with the difference? Saving? Investing? Spending? If you’ve been saving it and are on track for general and retirement savings explain to him that often additional savings slows down during daycare years and picks up again when kids are in school. On the other hand if vacations and new cars are going to be problematic, that is something that should have been discussed beforehand so you’ll still be on the same page after the move.

      • are we on the train to mistakeville? says:

        Yes, good point – I should say that he currently has mid five figures in his checking (!) account because he has been saving so much since moving in together. He was hesitant to invest knowing that we were looking at buying another house. That is a great point that saving is just going to slow down for these next few years. We both still fund 401k to the max and I additionally have a Roth IRA. I think we can’t realistically plan to save $10k a year cash with a kid in daycare when combined we make low six figures. It has been great to save these last few years but saving a big cash cushion in a tiny house < living lean but fully in more space (he doesn't have to have a closet in daughter's room, son doesn't have to sleep in a modified sunroom, I don't have to walk down a floor to nurse in the middle of the night). I think – thiiiiink – he is just worried about change, which I understand. I am too, but I feel like we made this decision so here we go!

        • We live in a very HCOL area, but I don’t think we could afford to stay in our home if one of us was unemployed long term; certainly we couldn’t pay for that plus childcare. I don’t think that is unusual, and I don’t think it is unreasonable if you both want to be working anyway. Many people can’t save much at all when their kids are young; you sound like you are in relatively good shape. But doing the math is key, and talking to him about what specifically he thinks you will need more money for.

    • ElisaR says:

      It sounds like you’re going to be fine and you’ve thought everything out. Maybe your husband just needs to have his concerns heard and acknowledged (sorry I’m not implying that you are not doing that already). Sometimes I need my husband to just understand my thoughts but it doesn’t mean we should change course – I just want him to acknowledge my fears. Childcare costs are relatively temporary, in 5 years they should be lower.

    • AwayEmily says:

      If he’s like my husband, this is a normal part of the process of coming to terms with big changes. This is *exactly* how he deals with things — we will make a reasonable, rational Big Life decision together, and then a few weeks later he goes into sudden Panic Mode about it. At first this terrified me but now I’ve learned to just acknowledge that his feelings are legitimate (and in your partner’s case they are! It’s totally normal to be scared of what would happen if one of you lost your job), reassure him that you will figure things out together, keep reiterating (calmly) the advantages that you have all discussed, and I bet he will come to terms (again) with this fairly soon. But again, I think with my husband it was less a rational reaction to the decision and more an emotional one, and so was better dealt with through empathy rather than reason.

      • YES – both you and ElisaR I think have hit the nail on the head. I am a problem-solver and I think he is not giving me a problem to solve, he is just talking about the change and his fears and wanting me to hear it rather than wanting me to explain it all away. This is our first really big financial decision as partners and being swamped at work with less time for us to talk at home and have couple time is affecting it too, I think.

      • Anonymama says:

        My husband does he same thing! He is a quick, certain decision maker, while I take a while to get to a decision, but once it is irreversible he has a little freak-out, and luckily by that point I’ve come around to certainty enough that I can reassure him about it. It is a huge decision, normal to freak out about it a little, not a sign of impending doom.

    • octagon says:

      We moved when I was pregnant from a house with a mortgage that was 8% of our income to one that is 30% (plus we had future daycare costs to think about). I basically spent the entire time between offer and close freaking out about it.

      A few things have helped me. One, I went over the budget again and again. Made sure we were budgeting a good bit for savings, but also for date nights and vacations. I also made a budget in case one of us lost our jobs — what a bare-bones budget looked like gave me a lot of peace of mind.

      I also took comfort in the fact that daycare costs are temporary. Yes, kids are expensive even after daycare, but in our HCOL area, I probably won’t spend $24K a year on kid stuff unless we do private school. Meanwhile, a mortgage payment is (relatively) flat and we’ll get modest raises. So what felt tight at the beginning now, 2 years later, feels much more comfortable.

      We also kept a ton in savings. Ostensibly to do some remodeling but we are less convinced that it’s necessary, so that helps.

      • +1

        If you’ve done the math and it works out, it works. When we started in our house we ran very lean (like, $500 left over every month). Since then, we have both had increases in our compensation and have ramped up savings big time. It does get better.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        I would just like to chime in and say that it makes me feel a LOT better to read these posts. We run lean too, but if things fall apart we are incredibly lucky to have family that will see to it that we aren’t out on the streets, and if things keep going more or less as they are, in 6-8 years we’ll have more breathing room and hopefully be glad we stretched a bit at the beginning to get a nice house in a good school district etc. etc. (Or you know, it’ll be The Handmaid’s Tale and I’ll be glad I renewed my Canadian passport!)

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