Here’s a cute nursing sweatshirt that doesn’t scream “nursing top.”
The oversized chevron pattern on this soft sweatshirt hides two slant zippers along the color-block line for easy nursing or pumping access. The cotton fabric has a touch of spandex for stretch and comfort.
Add a pair of jeans or leggings for relaxing on the weekend with the newest member of your family.
This sweatshirt is $49.99 and comes in camel or gray. It’s available in sizes XXS (0) to 3X Plus (24/26).
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Have any of you used a daycare for your elementary schooler’s aftercare? If so, at what age did you stop? My kindergartner has been at her brother’s daycare this year, and I need to decide whether to keep her there this summer and next year. Obviously, it is so convenient to have one drop off and pick up location, but the daycare itself is less than ideal.
Our daycare runs a school-aged program for kids up to age 10 during the summer time, and I used it for several years when one kid was in daycare and one was elem. Honestly, it’s my favorite time of the year. My kids are far enough apart that they’re normally on wildly different start / stop times and school locations, and having a single landing spot for three months of the year was great. Great for early summer pick-ups to go swimming or something, too – less total driving around time. The summer program isn’t academic or anything … but they do field trips and run around outside for hours. All meals are provided. Now that my oldest is phased out, I have to enroll him in 15 different week long summer camps all over town, most of which are just a half day … take advantage of that single drop-off as long as you can!
Seconding. I still have my second grader in her former daycare’s summer program because it’s less than a mile from our house and so convenient, especially in contrast to her older brother’s summer camp schedule (he has aged out of most options). They do field trips and fun activities, and she loves getting reunited with her buddies who go to other elementary schools in town. I plan to keep this arrangement for as long as I can. With our older kid, we used the daycare option through age 10. Don’t underestimate the utility of having one dropoff!
Similar issue but not quite the same – my elementary age daughter attended a daycare during COVID because it was the only available childcare. She was 6 and all the other kids were preK or younger, and she was very vocally bored and frustrated. They did not have age-appropriate toys, books, or activities for her. We did what we had to at the time, but it definitely wasn’t a great solution. If your child seems fine with it, however, I’d go with it for as long as it’s working.
It really depends on the quality of the day care and how well it tailors the after-school program to older kids. We had to use a day care for after-school care in grades K-2 because there was literally nothing else available, and it was absolutely terrible. The older they got, the worse it was. Since you are not thrilled with the quality of the program, you might consider using it just for after-school care and letting your older kid go to a real day camp during the summer.
Has anyone been referred to a high risk OB and what was your experience like? I just had my first OB appointment, and got referred to Maternal Fetal Medicine at Sibley (in case anyone in DC has experience with that practice). It sounds like I will be having most of my appointments there
I saw both a regular OB and a MFM specialist throughout both pregnancies because I was old (40 for the first, 42 for the second). I had monthly ultrasounds at the MFM. Other than being an extra appointment/time consuming, it was fine. Their equipment is much better so the ultrasounds are pretty great if you are a science nerd and excited by things like blood flow through all 4 chambers of the heart :)
Sorry – it was because I was old and we had to do IVF bc physical blockage issue on my husband’s side.
I’m about to TTC and I just met with an MFM on the advice of my immunologist. I found the entire visit very reassuring and like there were providers available that could address some of the unique concerns I have (due to a rare condition) about medication, early pregnancy, and overall safety of TTC. I was told that I could either work with the MFM throughout the whole pregnancy or do a few selected consultations, but I got such a good vibe that I think I’ll opt for the former. I guess that’s something you’ll also need to consider depending on your needs.
yup, i was pregnant with twins and saw one in Houston at Texas Childrens. I actually still had most of my appointments with my regular OB, but saw the MFM practice for extra ultrasounds and had lots of extra testing. Where I went it was all in the same location, so I’d see my doc and sometimes go upstairs to MFM office, but the doctor was great and I liked getting all the extra pics of my babies
I loved my MFM (I was referred because of mo-di twins) – I was at VHC though. It depends on what caused your referral, but the MFM office sees the hard pregnancies. They’ve seen the worst (but you are likely not the worst! You are likely just statistically in need of bonus care!) and the nurses and staff are generally exceptionally kind and will walk you through things and treat you very gently. They’re more highly trained than a standard OB. MFMs have different relationships with OBs, so they made trade off on your care or may just take over your care. They may or may not deliver you. But you can expect lots of extra ultrasounds and extra time with the MFM to ask any questions. I loved my MFM.
I also saw the MFM at VHC and loved that office. I had one twin with a bunch of complications, and they were calm and soothing through all of the diagnoses. I especially loved that I got time with the ultrasound tech, then the MFM doctor, and THEN went upstairs to my OB. The appointments took forever, but I loved being able to immediately talk through whatever diagnosis my twin had received with my OB after hearing it from the MFM doctor. I’ve realized it takes me a few minutes to process what I heard, and having another perspective really helped me to understand what was happening (aka, not hear it once, then go home and freak out).
Also, fun ending, my twins are now 5 and thriving :)
Another mono-di twin parent here, but I saw the MFMs at WHC. Our experience there was basically the same, though!
Also MFM at VHC — really had a great experience there, and their diagnostics were far superior to my OB’s office. The entire staff was amazing.
You are in good hands. I had an issue come up late in my pregnancy with my second and got a referral to Sibley’s MFM group. It all turned out fine (happy, health 1 year old now), but at 30 weeks it appeared there could have been a significant problem with my daughter’s brain. MFMs were great both in terms of fitting me in for an appointment quickly and being reassuring through the process, while I got a several more ultrasounds.
One thing to think about and talk through with the MFM and your OB is whether you are likely to deliver early as a result of whatever makes you high risk. Sibley doesn’t have a high level NICU and they generally don’t deliver babies born before 32 weeks and babies with more intensive needs even if born later get transferred. If you might be in that situation you might want to consider changing OB’s and MFMs to a hospital with a higher level NICU. The hospitals with higher level NICUs are Georgetown, GW and Children’s as well as Innova Fairfax I believe.
This is really reassuring to hear. I have preexisting high blood pressure which is treated with medicine, so the biggest concern in my case appears to be preeclampsia. From what I can tell online, it seems like they might what me to deliver between 37 and 39 weeks – that’s one of my big questions for the first appointment.
+1 about thinking about what happens if you deliver early! Although Children’s doesn’t deliver, and uses VHC’s level 3 NICU as a satellite office of sorts.
Yes, I was Old and did IVF so I worked with high risk practice. I found providers very knowledgeable and more willing to talk about straight-up facts rather than a bunch of reassuring but non-specific mumbo jumbo. Found it very helpful when discussing risks of planned c-section vs. hoping for the best when delivering an anticipated (and actual!) very large baby; also helpful to discuss specifics on amniotic fluid levels, etc. when making decisions. The touchy-feeling, whatever your heart is telling you style isn’t my preference in most cases, and with pregnancy care it drove me nuts at my regular OB before I got switched to high risk – why don’t you just tell me your opinion as a medical provider? Aren’t you the expert here?
I met with the MFM at Sibley a few times due to gestational diabetes and age. The majority of my appointments were still with my OB. It was long enough ago that I do not have any strong memories other than that it was a different experience than my traditional OB appointment. Less waiting than at Reiter Hill, amazing ultrasound.
Does cry it out really work? I hear that it does, but then I’m also hearing from a couple of close girlfriends that they felt it was “too extreme” after trying it. I got the impression that they were definitely very interested in doing it (so not anti-sleep training from the start), but that it wasn’t doable on the parent side. One of those friends is still having a lot of sleepless nights with her toddler, to the point where she and her husband are fighting a lot, but even still, she’s adamant against it. That gives me pause. Thoughts?
All kids are different. Since this isn’t your child you don’t have to dive any deeper than that.
I’m asking to apply to my own baby, using a close friend as a reference point. I have zero intention of going to her house and secretly sleep training her child :).
Your child isn’t her child, and you aren’t your friend, though! It wasn’t right for either kid in my family, full extinction CIO worked perfectly well for my friend’s kids, and I know another family who still get their kids to sleep by having one parent lie down with each kid till they fall asleep. Do what gets you the most sleep :)
Oh man I wish I had close friend who would come to my house and secretly sleep train my kid
It works for some people but there is. Debate as to whether it teaches your kid to sleep or to stop calling for you. Many people seem to have to retrain after vacations etc.
My BFF used it for her kids with success. We just didn’t talk about sleep stuff because we were trying not to judge each other.
I used the No Cry Sleep solution by Pantley with all three kids, each of whom is quite different. We have never laid down with them to get them to sleep. Different ages have different challenges and benefits – my twin who constantly woke early is still an early bird in elementary school years but it means I get to sleep an extra half hour because he gets up, lets the dog out and brings us coffee. Some recompense for many early mornings in the toddler years.
CIO/non-CIO/co-sleeping – everyone is just trying to do their best. Every family is different and every kid is different.
I can’t speak to the toddler age, but we did Ferber with my baby and it definitely worked. It was tough for a few nights but she never actually cried for that long, and she got it pretty quickly. Now I can put her down fully awake, do our little routine, and she goes to sleep very happily as long as I watch her schedule/wake windows. I realize we might hit regressions later, so it depends on the baby’s age and I’ve heard it’s much harder older kids (and of course all kids are different), but I was honestly very scared to sleep train and it’s been a lifesaver for us and not as bad as I thought it would be. I also think there’s a lot of middle ground between complete CIO and not sleep training at all – we did a modified Ferber that worked for us at the time, and I’ve looked up other methods that some people like.
It was the only thing that worked. We couldn’t do full Ferber because going back in made it worse. We had about three nights of brutal tears but after that it was like a switch flipped.
It’s def not for everyone so try it, see how you feel and then change.
+1 Going back in made it worse so we had to just let her cry it out. We had two really tough nights. I’ve seen some parents say that their child would cry long and hard enough they would throw up. It never got to that point for us, or I would not have been able to continue. But the two tough nights were an hour plus of crying. I was at my breaking point with no sleep or interrupted sleep though and felt that I had no choice if I was going to keep my job and mental health. It was a last resort for me that thankfully worked. Kiddo was a toddler btw.
We did the most extreme version (shut the door at 7:30, don’t go back in until 6 no matter what) with all three kids when they were around 11 weeks. For all, we had our pediatrician’s blessing; they were great eaters and doing long stretches already. It worked in two days for all of them. As in, after two days they were sleeping ~11 hours a night and happy as little clams in the morning. Of course kids, are different, and as they’ve gotten older some have struggled with sleep more than others, but middle-of-the-night wakeups have always been an exception rather than a rule.
That being said, I know lots of families who either didn’t sleep train at all or did a more gentle method who also have great sleepers now, so it’s not like there is only one way that works. And I definitely don’t think any family should do CIO if they feel uncomfortable with it. I really recommend The Good Sleeper by Janet Kennedy — it gives a nice rundown of the biology of baby sleep, plus a lot of different options depending on your comfort level with CIO.
Yes, I think CIO works. Our first was one of those magical sleepers that didn’t really need sleep training and just learned to fall asleep on her own. Our second was not like that. At 6 months we had to sleep train. It was a rough couple weeks because she cried for hours off and on the first few nights but it did start to get better around night 5-6 and then towards the end of week 2 she was putting herself to sleep after 15 minutes of mild fussing. At 1 year old she now chats herself to sleep and its very cute. Unless she is sick she sleeps through the night and we haven’t had to retrain after vacation or illness. It is hard to listen to your child cry that long but the alternative was not sustainable for me. She was up multiple times a night and hard to get back down and no one was getting any sleep and she had started to wake our toddler. To manage it we used to turn off the baby monitor and watch TV; we could still hear the crying but it wasn’t nearly so loud. One night I did go for a walk around 10pm just to get away from it. It was hard at the time but absolutely worth it in my opinion.
I used Ferber for my first at 12 months. It “worked” in that he went to bed easily on his own after, but he still didn’t sleep through the night until like age 3. However, i deeply regret it; I think it did something to our relationship (how could I leave my baby screaming out for me?!), and I chose not to sleep train my other two kids (my almost 2-year old is still up many times a night. My kids are bad sleepers!).
So, I guess I’m like your friends. There’s a level of disengagement and with your needy baby and abandonment that doesn’t sit right with me. There are more gentle sleep training methods, which involve crying but the parent stays present so the baby is comforted in that way, which I am about to pursue because I am old and need my sleep!
CIO or Ferber isn’t right for every kid or family. But if you really think this permanently affected your relationship with your child, you need therapy, not to be fearmongering on a message board.
It’s not fearmongering – she’s sharing her own thoughtful reflection on her own experience.
CIO worked for my oldest, but not for my twins. One of my twins doesn’t sleep: I tried everything. All kids are different. I firmly believe you can try it and if it doesn’t work, you can try something else without permanently damaging your kid.
It worked for my child – we had one night of 30 minutes of crying, one of 15 minutes, and then he slept through the night. He remains a great sleeper at 3. And if he needs me, he calls for me, so I don’t think it taught him that we wouldn’t come to him if he were sick or scared. That being said, I don’t think anything works for every baby…they’re individuals.
This was roughly my experience with both of my kids. We moved the oldest out of our room and sleep trained at just over 6 months. I think I waited longer to train the youngest but it’s all kind of blurry at this point as they’re now 3 and 5.
We’re not at 3 yet, but we had a similar experience with one night of about 45 minutes, one of about 30 minutes, and then sleeping through the night except for dream feeds. We did have a blip with the four month sleep regression, but it was relatively minor, and we readjusted after a couple of weeks (and that was an issue with waking up in the middle of the night, not going down at the beginning).
I have many thoughts on this.
1) I think feber and cry it out work for many many people if you do it young like less than 9 months, ideally like 6. the older they are, the harder it gets.
2) it’s absolutely so so heartbreaking for those 1 to 3 nights. it’s against our nature to let babies cry for no reason like that and remains one of the hardest things I had to do, but it wad so so so worth it. my daughter we didn’t sleep train and she didn’t sleep thru the night until she was close to 4. I have never been more depressed in my life or had any challenges resembling the sleep of those years. she’d cry out 1 to 3 times per night and it could only be mom or she’d cry longer, I’d sneak put of her rook once she slept. I was just such a shell of myself. it was a hard time in our marriage and my mental health was at an all time low. with our second child, we sleep trained at 5 months. it worked like a dream and now at 4 and 6, they’re both excellent sleepers. I truly believe that aging them both sleep well at night and me sleeping well has made parenting so so so much better. I have no nostalgia for the baby years because of the intense torture the sleep deprivation was.
3) I think if our society was set up to Cosleep where moms and dads didn’t need to get so much done after bed and have a functioning work day the next day etc, Ferber wouldn’t be a thing. it’s not a thing in many cultures but they dont have separate rooms and cribs for their kids and send them to bed at 730 like we do here
4) there are trillions of moments in the parenting journey, as hard as sleep training is, I don’t regret those few days for the thousands of happy moments that have followed since. its not permanently affecting your child but depending on how you function without sleep, it can deeply affect your quality of life.
I think your point about “being a shell of yourself” is so key. I get really put off by a certain, more extreme camp that acts like the sleep deprivation is no big deal or “it won’t last forever.” How does that help the NOW, when you’re trying not to fall asleep at the wheel or scream at your family in exhausted rage?
I think our obsession with putting babies to bed early is part of the problem. My baby screamed and refused to go to sleep if I tried to put her to bed before she was ready to sleep. If I waited until she was ready (1:00 for the first few months, 9:00 or 10:00 after 3-4 months), she slept great. Some babies are ready to sleep at 7:30, but many just aren’t.
Yeah same. I don’t know that it’s entirely related to sleep training, I’m sure there are kids who are bad sleepers no matter when they go to bed. But I do think we culturally have a weird obsession with babies needing to be in bed early. My daughter had a 10 pm bedtime until she was nearly a year old. It seemed to suit her well, plus with her only doing 8-9 hour stretches it was more convenient to us to not have her waking up for the day at 3 am. Could we have sleep trained and got her doing 12 hour stretches earlier? Possibly, but we didn’t see the need. As her nights got longer we moved bedtime up and she naturally got on a more normal schedule.
I have 3 kids. First one it worked perfectly- 3 days and she was a rock star sleeper.
Second kid screamed for hours on end. It did…not work. Shes 7 and still incredibly hard to get to bed.
3rd kid just sorta looked at me with sad baby eyes and I made her a deal that if she only woke me up once per night I wouldn’t do CIO. She snuggled in and complied. She is now an excellent sleeper.
Our kid is like your second. There are babies who are tension decreasers (fussing helps them work out energy and wind down) and those who are tension increasers (they just get more agitated and it feeds on itself). Ours was the latter. We tried CIO over weeks, he would scream for HOURS, never really learned to self-soothe. We tried Ferber. We had sleep consultants. Nothing worked. At 7 now, sleeping is still our biggest challenge.
The Ferber method worked for my child. He was asleep in about 15 minutes the first night, and we didn’t have nighttime sleep issues until he learned to crawl out of his crib at 2.5. (The first few weeks out of the crib were really tough.) Kiddo is almost 8, and we’ve had times when sleep was not an issue and other times when he couldn’t fall asleep or frequently woke up in the middle of the night. So, I don’t subscribe to the idea that the way you sleep train your baby sets them up for a lifetime of great sleep habits. Like most things, sleep is an area where your child’s personality, your own personality, and external factors dictate which, if any, of the parenting techniques work for your family. Do what seems best for your family now.
Thanks so much. I appreciate the wide variety of perspectives!
If your kid is still a baby, I recommend Bringing up Bebe and the advice about “the pause”. We never did full on CIO because we really eased into things from like week 1. When baby woke we would listen for a minute first — sometimes she did go back to sleep, other times it was obvious that we needed to feed, change, swaddle, and then back to bed. As she got older (a few months), we put her down awake and would let her cry for a couple of minutes. I definitely dug my fingernails into my husband’s hands a lot at that time, but she would fall asleep within 10 minutes or so. Like someone else, we had some sleep trouble when she moved from crib to bed that took 2-3 months to figure out.
I did the happy sleeper method (similar to Ferber) and both my kids trained in about 15 minutes. But that’s my easy going kids, not the method.
If I had a more difficult child, I think I would have found @heysleepybaby on instagram helpful.
My girl is six months now. Between 3-4 months, she had gone from waking every 3 hours to every 1.5 to 2 hours all night long and then was very hard to get back to sleep. We did a version of CIO at 4 months and within a few days she learned to sooth herself to sleep. Naps took a little more effort, but she can do that now too.
Check-ins didn’t work for us, so we did 70 minutes at a time (at night). If she was still awake, we’d get her up and walk around for 10 minutes and try again. First day took 2 resets, after than it was either 1 or none.
She still wakes up a lot at night (about every 4 hours), but that’s because her food schedule is all out of whack and we just cannot make her eat enough in the day. But now we feed her, give her a kiss goodnight, and put her down.
We can walk away and 9 times out of 10 she goes back to sleep within 10-15 minutes. So instead of 10 minutes feeding and 30 minutes soothing back to sleep we can do 10 minutes feeding, put her down, go back to bed and listen for 15 minutes to check she’s sleeping before drifting back to sleep ourselves.
“Cry it out” means a lot of different things. You can cry it out by letting them cry for 10 minutes before picking them up again, or you can let them cry all night. I let my kids cry sometimes before coming back to reassure them and after a night or two they slept great, fwiw. It’s hard to hear baby kid cry but you also have to be realistic, babies are going to cry sometimes.
IME, works for most people but didn’t work for us. My kid would go for over 2 hours of uninterrupted wailing and beating against the crib and then vomit she was so upset, so lack of sleep and vomit is way worse than not sleeping. Time is what cured it (5 and half years to be precise) despite trying every other “method” we could think of. Even now, at almost 6, we probably still get middle of the night wakeups once a week or so. TBH, my husband is also a terrible sleeper on a good night so I suspect there are some genetics to it.
We did Ferber. It worked after 2 nights with both kids (18 months with first, 10 months with second). Really, after the first night it was like 10 mins for the second night. I was just NOT a happy mom with long term sleep deprivation, and I felt like a new person (and it improved our marriage). Both times my husband took the reins and I went outside so I couldn’t hear them. God bless him. It was also awesome at improving naps
one of the reasons I like this website so much is that people are very cognizant of the fact that there is not a one size fits all approach, for sleep or anything else. It’s been really helpful for me when tackling everything from baby sleep to making decisions about extracurriculars to see that there are lots of great approaches and if the first one doesn’t work for your family, you can always try another one. Good luck!
If you have doubts, follow your instincts and don’t do it. The idea did not sit right with me, so we didn’t do it (and our young toddler now sleeps through the night!).
Potty training reality check says
What is realistic in terms of potty training timelines? I don’t know whether our current progress is good and we should relax, or if it is slow and we should change method or expectations.
Switched to pullups 3 weeks ago. Diapers for nap and overnight. 90-95% of daytime pees are in potty but largely bc of us saying “Okay time to sit on potty!” rather than her telling us she has to go. No poops in the potty and she is VERY clear that she doesn’t want to poop in the potty.
As of yesterday we put panties under the pullup to give the messy/wet feeling while still containing the mess. For various reasons, we can’t to straight to panties or Oh Crap.
How old? I think age makes a huge difference. My 3 year old (so was rather late compared to many) had 2 pee accidents in underwear before she was completely trained. She refused to poop in the potty for a few months after that (would not poop at daycare until she could come home and ask for a pullup). I left that go for a few months to make sure we were trained for pee (day and night), and then I told her the last pull up was going to be used and there wouldn’t be anymore. Built that up for a few days. No more pull ups. She pooped on the potty no problem. No accidents at all. Waiting until she was older and ready saved us from a lot of stress and meant for a lot shorter of a timeframe on actually being potty trained.
Potty Training Reality Check says
Started at 28 months (and 6 weeks after baby brother was born) bc she was asking to sit in potty and had been doing pee in the potty regularly for a few weeks prior (we’d take her after meals, she’d pee, then we’d put diaper back on).
She’s very smart and also a perfectionist/frustrated when she can’t do something perfectly. My genes – sorry kid! We have a nanny so no peer pressure or school req.
I’d try underwear only for periods during the day, especially if she has a nanny. If she’s a perfectionist, she may only need an accident or two in just underwear for it to click. My kid is the same way and those two accidents were enough. If she would have been unreasonably upset about them or had frequent accidents, I would have went back to pull ups.
Potty Training Reality Check says
Can’t do underwear only – husband had OCD and that is a bridge too far.
To be clear, he’s fully involved in potty training trips, diaper changes, etc – he just can’t deal with the likelihood of accidents with underwear-only too early.
We used pull-ups over underwear when mess prevention was a priority.
At that age and stage of readiness (it doesn’t sound as if she recognizes when she needs to go), I’d keep her in pull-ups while letting her sit on the potty at regular times or when she asks to.
Kids are all different. If you don’t have a firm deadline (like preschool requires being potty trained or kindergarten is approaching), I wouldn’t sweat it. Kids will use underwear without accidents when they’re ready. My understanding is that it’s very developmentally normal to need diapers at night well into elementary school for some kids.
Talk to your pediatrician if you’re concerned, but really potty training is just practice for a million other things in parenting where your kid might not be on the exact same path as peers.
What should I dress my toddler (2) in for morning soccer? We are in NYC so still cold in the mornings.
Down jacket? Heat tech? Gloves? Hat? We don’t usually stay out for 30 min at 9am.
Anything goes at 2 year old soccer in NYC…. Truly! We never did outdoor classes when it was particularly cold, but my girls wore leggings and a dress to every single class when they were that age. For cold weather, definitely go with a down jacket, gloves and hat.
Whatever you would wear to go to the playground in similar weather. (he temp at 9 am is different every day so hard to give blanket advice here – medium to heavy jacket and gloves or mittens, hat or hood that can be removed. (Or more realistically, whatever the child will deign to wear). 2 year olds aren’t doing wind sprints or something at soccer – they wander around and occasionally make contact with a ball by accident, so I don’t think they get super hot.
What is the best way to support a friend who is a now single mom, with the ex/dad living several states away and who is barely involved in the child’s life (despite having both the time and the financial resources to visit the child on – regular basis)? I am available to be a sounding board for this friend and we text/call often, but I am just not familiar with the minute details of her custody/divorce arrangement (she told me she had to sign an NDA about it). I feel like it would maybe be helpful to her to have some people who are also single parents to discuss some of these issues with, but I don’t know how she’d go about finding those people (she works remotely so doesn’t even have local co workers) nor do I want to say something like that and make it seem like I’m not supportive or available to just be a safe space to complain to or talk through what is going on. I’m incredibly frustrated for her about the situation and think her ex should be a lot less of a jerk and a lot more involved and he should see how much he’s hurting his own relationship with his child by not being involved. Anyway, advice appreciated on how to be a supportive friend who doesn’t fully understand the nuances of the situation my friend is in.
Let her take the lead. Reflect her feelings back; don’t impose your own judgment.
Also, it might be easier and better for everyone if the dad is less involved, especially if he’s a jerk.
So Anon says
You are a great friend! As someone in a very similar situation to your friend, here are my thoughts: Be there for her without judgment. Maybe her ex should be less of a jerk and more involved, and she may well know that. However, forcing someone to parent who is not interested, for whatever reason, is not great for anyone. I wouldn’t push her to push her ex to be more involved.
This sounds like a pretty recent development. Your friend may want to be even more present for her kids than usual. She may be hesitant to hire a babysitter for any number of reasons (restrictions in the parenting agreement, finances). If you want to see your friend, plan for times/activities where she can easily bring and involve her kids. Don’t pressure her to hire a babysitter so you can spend time together. Better yet, bring food to her house for everyone. The grind of being the only adult to cook every meal for the whole family is tough.
Her kids have lost an adult in their life (their dad). If you have any bandwidth to show up for her and her kids, that can be fantastic. That can be the small stuff like remembering their birthdays (and her birthday!) or being the emergency back-up if something arises. When we do get close to mother’s day, consider helping her kids pick out a gift for their mom.
OP here – thank you for this response! I failed to mention that I am also several states away from her, otherwise I would be there to help out more in person. I just think that someone with shared experience could offer better advice when I’m asked for advice, so that’s where I struggle.
Confused Associate says
Week 4 back at work at a firm with the baby in daycare and I am not ok. I see baby for like 45 mins in the morning (up, feed and take to daycare to dropoff right before 7:30), have my 40 min commute to work to get in by 8:10, husband picks up baby at 5:30. I try to leave the office by 5:30 (although getting a side eye from partners and other associates who previously were used to me sticking around until they leave) and have a 45 min drive home to see the baby from 6:15-7:15ish for bedtime and then I get back to work for a bit from the couch. My job has no WFH. I am so sad. Tell me the feelings get better or it gets easier. I feel like I am a horrible mom and a horrible employee because I think of the baby all day at work. I am dreaming of a flexible WFH way less intense attorney job or even taking a massive step back to spend more time with my baby but I don’t want to make any emotional moves I’ll regret later down the line. I am compensated very well and am by far the breadwinner in our family which is keeping me at this firm.
You are neither a horrible mom nor a horrible employee. You’re doing great.
Maybe keep an eye out for something with a shorter commute (you’re commuting 85 mins/day which is 7 hrs/week) or at least some WFH options?
Yeah the commute seems like a huge problem here. Can you try to negotiate some WFH? It’s really unusual in this day and age to have to be in the office five days a week.
Confused Associate says
Both my husband and I have 45 min + commutes from home and at the roles we have currently have no ability to WFH. My husband works in a “closed area” so cannot do any WFH and my firm has been 100% in person since I started in summer 2021. There is no infrastructure to work from home (no laptops, no remote access, etc) at my current job which makes me think that down the line I just need to find something new that is at least hybrid, even if it is a pay cut.
I don’t know what your specialty is, but I routinely see jobs listed as “full time remote” or “work from anywhere” law jobs regularly these days on Linked In etc. I might be an outlier, but as my kids have aged, I’ve been really thankful for a flexible job where I’ve been able to be physically around or a potted plant so I’m close when my kids realize they need me. (See, NYTimes Article, “What Do Teenagers Want? Potted Plant Parents”).
A long commute gets really hard when the daycare years end, and you are in the inconsistency of elementary school days.
if this site was easier to search you’d probably see many many posts like this. someone gave me the advice not to make any major life changes within the first year of having a baby bc there are so many hormonal shifts, other changes, etc. going on. its only been 4 weeks, which is not very much time in the grand scheme of things! your baby’s schedule will change, your feelings might change, etc. that being said, if you want/need to be at a law firm, there has to be some firm out there that allows some WFH. also- while you might feel like a horrible mother, you aren’t! your baby is being well cared for my day care and DH when you aren’t around and will have zero memory of this time! hang in there!
Most people will recommend that you wait a year until making any major career move, which I think is really good advice, but I think that in the meantime, you need to start brainstorming/working on ways to make your life better with your current job. Your baby will not always go to bed so early, so eventually you will get more time with the baby at the end of the day. With that commute– are you planning long-term on moving to have a shorter commute? Also, short-term, I really recommend trying to negotiate some WFH days and then maybe you stay late in the office a few days a week for some balance.
Also, I would start looking at what other jobs are available in your area. You may be able to find something closer to your home that compensates you just as well as where you currently are. For me, I was utterly convinced I had to make my firm work for me, and then found an in-house job that pays more and has more flexibility. You just don’t know what your options are until you look. I waited until a year after I came back from leave to look, but I was thinking about leaving before that. By a year, I was absolutely certain that my situation wasn’t sustainable. I’ve had friends though that had the opposite happen– they were absolutely certain they needed to leave a few months in but then were happy at the firm after a year.
Vicky Austin says
Oh my gosh, thinking of you. You are a great mom and a great employee and doing everything you can.
You are neither a bad mom nor a bad employee!! Those first few weeks/months back can be so, so hard. I would really advise you stay where you are for a bit and see how you feel. You may decide it works for you or you may decide you need something different, but it can be tempting to make those changes right away when things will keep changing (babies and toddlers change SO FAST, in my experience my own feelings changed a lot once I was able to sleep, etc). I’m learning that parenting toddlers, preschoolers and elementary kids is very different than parenting babies and my feelings are all very different. I had a schedule similar to yours, complete with side eye for leaving at 5:30, and we ultimately decided we needed to make a big change. But I’m glad I didn’t make that change right away.
Forget the side eye. You owe it to yourself and your baby to have time together in the evening. That’s step 1. You don’t need to apologize to anyone.
Step 2: I would either negotiate WFH one day a week or book Friday PTO every few weeks. You need something to look forward to, and some extra time with baby.
Step 3: Think about your career and your partner’s career. I know people say it gets better, and it sort of does, but my kids are 2 and 4 and I still miss them during the work day–and that’s after finding a job that gives me a lot of flexibility and the ability to pick up them up relatively early, etc etc. If this is going to be you, then I would start making moves to set yourself up for more balance in the long-term.
Honestly in your same position as a mom with a new baby, I negotiated a WFH arrangement 3 days/week at a firm that otherwise did not have WFH. I made the business case for it, i.e., my 85 minutes on the road are 85 minutes I cannot be billing. Offer to do it on a trial basis, so people can confirm your availability and work quality is still good. If WFH won’t work, will shifted hours work – start your day from 8:30-10:30 at home, drive in when traffic is lighter, then leave the office around 3:30 and finish up your day at home? In a billable hour job this should be a nonissue – they can clearly see your productivity or lack thereof.
Job hunt. There’s no reason a law firm job should be fully in person. At least look a bit.
+1. This is not a job that requires in-person 5 days a week. Losing someone great like you might help them realize that.
Agreed – this is not sustainable unless you really want to be doing it. I did it pre-pandemic and it was miserable and made parenting so stressful and I missed my kids a lot. Now with a hybrid schedule I see my kids so much more and it makes all the difference to me.
I agree with advice above, with the caveat that I think it’s important to consider how you felt before your baby came. If you were happy and really excited to crush it as a partner eventually, then I’d give yourself some more time to adjust. If, like me, you already knew a big law firm wasn’t the ultimate career path for you, I think it’s fine to start considering your options now. I left 3 months after returning from leave to take a true part time job (this was back in the day when work from home wasn’t a thing, period). I 100% never regretted it. I eventually transitioned to more hours, but full time remote, which works great with older kids. I have seniority in-house so I have a lot of schedule control, and try to push meetings to the mornings. I’m able to greet my kids off the bus, and can make most evening games.
All of this to say that there’s no reason to stay miserable if you have data points outside of how you feel *right now* that point to this firm not being your preferred career path.
Hang in there says
It is so hard! It does get easier. Normally I’d say wait to see, but in your specific situation I think that commute would have been unsustainable for me. I wouldn’t quit, but I would try to either negotiate some WFH days or try to find something closer or WFH.
This was me, and I
(After baby #1) Lateraled to a temporary position at a location much closer to home – 20 min commute vs 45+ minutes each way
(After baby #2) Back in the office with the long commute, but 4 day / 32 hour per week schedule
(When pregnant with baby #3) Changed jobs to one 10 min from home. This also came with a significant raise. win-win.
IME it does get easier (both to focus on work when you’re at work, and to feel OK about being apart from your child for a lot of hours). The first month at work was probably the peak time of feeling terrible because sleep was still tough, pumping was annoying, and it’s just a big, big transition to reconciling your “competing” identities of mom & employee. It’s rough. Caveat that it’s only rough *for you.* I assume your baby has high quality child care, so I promise he or she fine. You’re a good mom, and if you were a good employee before you had a baby, odds are you’re still a good employee now.
I would absolutely cast a net to see if you can find a position with more WFH flexibility and/or a shorter commute, though. Changing to a 10 minute commute was an unexpectedly huge improvement in my quality of life & overall happiness.
I am so sorry, I know how you feel. When my first was a baby and I put her daycare at three months and went back to work was one of the hardest times of my life. I remember doing the math about how many hours I was spending with her per week and just being so sad (also spent plenty of time crying at my desk). Here is what helped me: Taking random days off to spend time with her during the week, this was key having those to look forward too. Focusing on fun weekend events. Keeping her bassinet next to my bed so even if she was asleep I was with her. Taking a longer leave with my second baby. In retrospect I should have stopped pumping earlier because that made the emotions worse.
Four years later, believe me I get PLENTY of time with my kids and no longer feel like I don’t have enough hours, lol. I am so glad I am not a SAHM and am glad I gutted out that time professionally, even if it was terrible. She certainly doesn’t remember it and we have a great relationship. That said, no reason not to job hunt to see if you can get WFH or a better commute. WFH would have made my life so much easier.
Start looking. And/or have your husband look. Don’t up and quit but if you plan on more kids, this ain’t sustainable.
Toddler sleep advice needed: DS is going through a 2 year old sleep regression. This has been going on for 2.5 weeks… which seems long for a regression, so we’re getting worried some of the bad sleep habits from his regression are now permanent. Prior to 2.5 weeks ago, DS would fall asleep independently and sleep through the night. He started doing the toddler stalling bedtime thing with this regression, which is fine. What is not fine is that he now requires one of us to be in his room to fall asleep (and stand within 1-2 feet of the crib), which takes 45 min to an hour. He also has been waking up most nights and is inconsolable. As soon as one of us enters the room, he calms down, but he won’t fall back asleep (even after 1-2 hours) unless one of us sleeps in the room. This is driving us a little crazy at this point.
We generally try to let him cry for at least 5 min before entering the room, but that’s increasingly not working. We are hesitant to try full cry it out recently, DS threw up while crying a few times. (He had an ear infection and now has tubes, but we’re skittish.) We’ve tried shorter naps and talking through the monitor to try to calm him down.
One nap of less than two hours. At least 4 hours of awake time after nap. No screen time after supper.
At that age I used to say I had to get a shower and get ready for bed and that I would check after my shower. Turned on bathroom fan for a half hour. First two nights waited for me to be down but then fell asleep prior to me checking back in. Kept doing the fan thing for a few months. May depend on your house lay out – our bathroom was across from the kids bedrooms.
We just went through this/are in it. He’s slept alone since 6 weeks old so we aren’t sure what caused this regression (maybe new baby and new house), and we reallly tried to get him to sleep on his own again but we’ve come to the conclusion that he just needs us during this phase. I wish I had advice but here’s our situation.
We’ve managed to get him to fall asleep on his own as long as someone is out in the hallway. And then in the middle of the night he comes and gets dad go sleep with him. We used to have to fall asleep with him in the bed too, but we’ve somehow negotiated sitting in the hallway. Believe it or not, sitting in the hallway is much better than being in the room. We leave his door wide open so he can come out and make sure we are there or give us kisses. He really loves giving kisses. I also told him he can scream mommy as loud as he wants and I’ll come running to him. He seems to get a kick out of this, it’s almost like a game. Whatever works, right?
We then partially close the door when he’s asleep, but leave it slightly open if he needs to come out at night. He’s been getting us later and later each night (we’ve done this for about 1.5 months), so I think it’s working.
Cry it out also no longer worked with our toddler because he’s get so angry that he’s bang his head on the door and kicked the door until he bled from his toe (not in a crib bc he climbed out). Good luck.
startup lawyer says
that was the slow decline for us too. He slept on his own for 12 hours since 10 weeks but at 2.5, he would cry for an hour or more until we came. So he now sleeps on a mattress on the floor next to our bed.
happy sleeper has a toddler version, where you have scheduled checks…like mommy will be back in five minutes to check on you. It helps them know you’re not disappearing. You can probably get a cribbed version online.
Honestly my schedule was similar and I quit my job because of it. Spending an hour a day with my child was not what I wanted. I now work fully remotely with a flexible schedule so I can spend every day from 3-7 with kiddo. It was 100% the right move for me and my family.
I was NOT well compensated at my old position so that wasn’t a factor for me.
Nesting fail whoops!
Is my mom crazy? says
I have a 13 month old daughter who is watched by a nanny. The nanny takes her on two walks a day, at least one of which ends up with them playing at the park. We live in a colder climate but the baby is always bundled up appropriately. We’re taking about the nanny starting to drive her to Gymboree or something similar soon a twice a week. While it’s weird for me on a super basic level to know my baby is out in the world without me, I feel this is all normal for her age. We like and have no reason not to trust the nanny.
My mother is horrified that all of this is going on. She has a psych degree and is convinced we’re overstimulating our daughter and the best place for her is home. She says a short walk a day is more than enough at this vulnerable age. She’s so invested in this that I’m starting to doubt the routine. Is what we’re doing sound normal?
Yes what you’re doing is normal and not overstimulating. Your mom’s take is really weird.
Vicky Austin says
Unless your mother is an actual child psychologist, I would ignore her.
(And even then, this would be a pretty weird take from an actual child psychologist.)
um, no offense, but your mother sounds nuts. your mom is an expert in child psych? or like studied psych in college? two walks a day and the park is great! at 13 months, Gymboree is still very much for the adult taking the child, as well as the child. I have twins and have a nanny. At 13 months it was super duper hot where we lived and mine were still on two naps – usually they’d play at home before their first nap, go on an outing, like to the children’s museum or park between first and second nap and then another walk after second nap. It’s not like your kid is going to Disney 3x a day or a video arcade. Is Gymboree absolutely necessary, no, but do i think it is harmful, also no
Unstructured outside time is truly the best for toddlers. Two walks + park sounds amazing. Other than that, seems like she’s at home a lot as it is? I agree Gymboree isnt necessary, but it won’t harm her, she might have fun and maybe the nanny needs some more stimulation herself :)
Outside time is the best for your child!!! Ask your mom to send you the studies she’s referring to 😂. I have kids who are easily overstimulated and I definitely lean more towards avoiding overstimulation than most parents, but outside time is the opposite of overstimulation. Gymboree is probably fine but also totally unnecessary if they are doing outside time and park.
Your mom sounds like a nightmare who gets her kicks judging working moms.
Is your mom potentially feeling guilty for what she now knows your childhood looked like? If you’ve talked a lot about how important fresh air, sunshine, activities, etc are for a baby’s development, could she be pushing back against that because she didn’t do any of that? If so, yet another reason you can confidently ignore her.
What on earth? If you were a SAHM you would probably have your daughter out at the grocery store, Target, the car repair place, the park, etc. every single day!
Your mom is incorrect and your nanny sounds amazing. Getting a toddler outside TWICE in one day deserves a medal.
Send your mom a link to an article about forest school. That should put the two walks a day in perspective.
100% nanny sounds great, OP’s mom is incorrect. Toddlers love to interact with the world! There’s so much to talk about on the way to the park and in the park.
Getting out also helps the nanny focus on your child more. It’s really, really hard to stay focused on a toddler and have plenty of conversations just being at home all day. I’m not a nanny, but, personally, I would be grumpy and/or on my phone if I had to stay inside one place all day every day with one toddler.
Some kids need more interaction and stimulation than others. Staying home all day with a nanny would not be enough for my kid. Even with constant interaction from the nanny. Is she also against daycare for all kids? Because this routine is much, much less than a daycare routine.
+1 to some kids needing more stimulation than others. I found that if things were too much for my kids, they would let us know by being cranky and fussy, and even snacks wouldn’t reset them. Then I would just take them home. I feel like with a lot of parenting, especially before kids are super verbal, you try things and see what works and what your kid takes too and respond to that.
I wouldn’t call your mom ‘crazy” – just perhaps coming from a different perspective. I think this is a great opportunity to say, “Thanks, mom. We’ll see how it goes.”
The fact that your mom think a toddler staying at home with a nanny all day is enough stimulation is just bananas. Kids need to encounter nature and new sounds like cars, children playing, dogs barking etc.
Even from a physical health perspective – kids that walk on uneven surfaces outside often have better balance and depth perception.
This sounds like an ideal situation to me! I think it’s great and healthy to keep a child stimulated, especially outside in nature! She’s 13 months, not 13 weeks.
I can see your mom’s argument (though I disagree, again, esp at 13 months) for daycare being overstimulating…but a 1:1 nanny?? I think that’s just nutty to worry about. If you were a SAHM, you’d have the child out and about at the grocery store, Dr.’s office, etc. anyway.
Even at 13 days, some babies need to go outside a lot! I spent a mat leave walking outside with my baby strapped to me because that’s what baby wanted (baby would cry if we spent much time inside).
Your mom is insane don’t listen to her.
She’s horrified that your baby is playing outside regularly? Your mother needs to get a grip. People where I live sign their babies up AT BIRTH for a chance to get into the outdoor playschool programs here.
It sounds like your nanny has a great rhythm set up for your daughters day, which is great :) I don’t think Gymboree is necessary but the nanny is probably wanting some adult interaction. I think library storytime or weekly morning play dates are a great addition at this age. Our rule with toddlers is “one thing a day” which means one big errand or fun activity in the morning.
Agree with everyone else that your mom is being unreasonable. My now-toddler has made it clear that she needs as much outside time as possible (lots of speedwalking with her in a stroller when she was a colicky newborn), and she gets upset when the weather isn’t great for playing outside. She’s not at an official outdoor/forest school, but her daycare prioritizes outside time as much as allowed under state rules for time outside given different weather conditions (we’re in WI) – definitely a no bad weather, only bad clothes mentality. It’s been fantastic for her in terms of gross motor skills, budding interest in plants/nature, getting enough exercise, etc. Some kids just need to move a lot, and fresh air is never a bad thing!
Big Sis Little Sis says
My little girl just turned 2, and we are expecting another baby girl in October. Any book recs (or other recs!) to help her get excited about new baby? So far we have a few about being a big sister (Little Miss Big Sis, I’m a Big Sister, Big Sisters are the Best), but I haven’t found anything about getting a little sister.
Daniel Tiger gets a baby sister both in an episode and in a book version.
agree with the Daniel Tiger rec. Also, probably a bit over her head at age 2, but I found the book Sisters First written by the Bush Twins to be a beautiful read, in fact i plan on turning one of the quotes into a sign for my girls’ room. Angelina Ballerina also has a book about getting a new sister, but probably better for a kid a little bit older. We loved all things Daniel Tiger at age 2
Maple is a fun book about getting a little sister.
for those of you with sensory seeking kids, etc. favorite fidget toys?
Easter basket gift items for girls 7 & 9.5. Can bring the same thing or different things. Already have books and candy, and they already have sunglasses.
sticker by number/letter book, fun chapstick/lip gloss, bath bombs, scented markers or fun pens, plus plus kits, mad libs
Do they like to read before bed? My kids are getting book lights since they steal mine way too often. The specific model on A*zon is “Glocusent USB Rechargeable Book Light for Reading in Bed, Portable Clip-on LED Reading Light, 3 Amber Colors & 5 Brightness Dimmable, Compact & Long Lasting, Perfect for Book Lovers, Kids”
I like including summer things like swim googles, swim suit, water shoes, etc. Got the idea on this board and stole it :)
My grandma always did easy-to-grow veggie or flower seeds in our Easter baskets – obviously know your climate/backyard/etc.