Makeup Monday: The Perfect Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set

This really cute Amuse Bouche lipstick set from Bite Beauty is great if you’ve been looking for a really good red or a dark plummy color. Bite Beauty lipsticks have a good consistency, wear well, and are easy to remove, and this set has small sizes of each of four bestselling colors: Honeycomb (beige nude), Sugarcane (pale pink), Rhubarb (rich plum rose), Cayenne (bright red). It’s $25 at Sephora (a $59 value). The Perfect Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set

Psst: Sephora’s Beauty Insider Event is going on now: Insiders get 15% off with code INSIDER15; VIB, 20% off with code 20FORVIB; and Rouge, 20% off with code 20FORROUGE.

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  1. CPA Lady says:

    I am obsessed with lipstick, and I have to say that I’ve not had good luck with this particular formula of Bite lipstick. It’s very smeary and feathery for me. I love their colors though and sometimes make it work with a primer, which helps with the feathering at least (not so much with the smearing– one time I found some on my neck!). I really prefer Bite’s high pigment pencils (which are on deep discount at the moment).

    Are y’all getting anything at the sale? I got more of my usual hair oil and face lotion, along with a couple of lipsticks, because… yeah… more is more.

    • avocado says:

      I spent a fortune at the VIB sale this weekend. I splurged on the Drunk Elephant Babyfacial, which I think I like although it did not eliminate all of my peeling skin. It comes with a trial size of the Marula Oil to use after the peel. I may go back for the full-sized version of the oil even though I am usually afraid of anything called “oil” because of acne. It felt nice after the peel and so far has not seemed to have caused a breakout.

      I also bought trial sizes of the Benefit Porefessional primer and Benefit Dandelion blush (both of which I liked on my super pale, cool-toned skin), an extra tube of the Sugar untinted SPF lip treatment for my desk, refills of some products I regularly use, and a few minis and gift sets that I’m planning to give my sixth-grader for Christmas along with a copy of the Bobbi Brown beauty book for teens. This will be her first makeup other than lip gloss and clear mascara, and most of it will be just to play with for now.

    • Cornellian says:

      Got all sorts of products from Dr. Jart. I am not skilled enough at makeup to waste money on it, but I love skincare.

    • I got a Bite multistick to try. And skincare products – Tata Harper Glow kit (has the resurfacing mask), Herbivore Blue Tansy mask (I like this as an alternative to Babyfacial, which I can only use 1x/week), and the Fresh Soy face wash (not the milk). And still thinking about going back for Sunday Riley Good Genes but can’t decide – I already use a salicylic acid-based toner daily (except with Babyfacial) so it might be overkill.

  2. Tired Mama says:

    Any tips for surviving 4-month sleep regression? My daughter used to wake up only once each night, but is now waking up every 2 hours. I handle most of her wake ups because (1) I am a light sleeper so I wake up even if DH puts her back to sleep and (2) I am nursing so it is much faster for me to put her back to sleep. I am back at work and so so tired all the time, even though I go to bed early. I have tried several swaddle transition products and use a white noise machine, but nothing seems to help.

    • Anonymous says:

      At 4 months we had to start back on the dream-feed. DD was waking up more once I started back to work (right before 4 months), so my DH would give her a bottle at 10:30. That way if I went to bed at 9 and she woke up at 1am, I still got a 4 hour stretch of sleep. She may just be working through something that will sort itself out in the next few weeks. We dropped the swaddle cold-turkey at 4 months because she could wiggle out of it and transitioned her to the crib (I slept in her room for 3 weeks because I was nervous). I have found that sleeping in a separate room has been better for both of us. I don’t wake up to the tiny noises and she can put herself back to sleep if she’s just slightly disturbed or rolling over. DD is 8 months and I’ll get her if she starts to cry out or yell in the middle of the night.

    • We sleep trained my daughter at 4.5 months, after about 2-3 weeks of suffering through the sleep regression and trying many expensive swaddle and swaddle transition products, once it became clear that this wasn’t a phase. We did Ferber (the one where you let them cry but go in at planned intervals to check/console, with the intervals growing further apart) and it was magical. The first night she cried for 25 minutes at bedtime (7:30) and fell asleep on her own, then woke up crying at 10:30 and we did the check/console and it took her 30-40 mins to fall back asleep. Fed her at the next wakeup (2:30ish) and put her down awake. She fussed a bit, fell asleep on her own, and slept until I woke her up at 8am! It made my heart ache, but teaching her to fall asleep on her own was what ended the regression for us, since (at least in our case) the regression was caused by her not knowing how to put herself back to sleep in between sleep cycles.

      Ditto to Anonymous above about moving baby to their own room. It helped everyone sleep better. We moved her as one of the many many things we tried before resorting to sleep training, and we kept her there for our own sanity.

    • octagon says:

      That’s when we went to the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit and it was, in fact, magical for the 6 weeks or so we used it.

      Hang in there, it gets better!

      • ifiknew says:

        ugh, I hate to say the sleep training might be the only thing that works :( my friends had great success with the Merlin suit, it didn’t work for us unfortunately. At about 5.5 months, we are still suffering through the every 2-3 hour wake-ups. We now cosleep after the ~11 pm wake-up, because I just can’t survive if I’m walking back and forth to her crib all night long. Planning to sleep train over thanksgiving :( it makes my heart ache so much, but I just don’t see an alternative when I work.

    • Sleep regressions are hard, but you will make it! It is a phase. I know that’s so hard to believe when you’re in the middle of it, but it is true. We have never done any sort of sleep training involving crying. It is not the only way to go. Make sure you are both taking turns at night. After you feed, your partner can do diaper duty/get the baby back to sleep, etc. Your partner can also bring the baby to you to feed so don’t even get out of bed. Or just comfort baby. My daughter rarely ate more than once per night after about three months. After she slept through her usual first feeding time for 3-4 nights, we decided to try getting her back to sleep without eating more often. If she woke up before about 2:00, my husband went in. It’s good for them to know that waking up doesn’t always mean eating. If baby is truly hungry, he or she will let you know. It doesn’t need to just be you. Keep all interactions with baby down to business and boring. Help baby understand that it is still nighttime. Our baby went to her own room around this time. I felt terrible, but it is definitely helpful for allowing mom to sleep while dad helps baby in a different room.

      • ifiknew says:

        Can you (or anyone else) tell me more about this? Did your baby go to eating once a night on her own?

        Our baby (now 5.5 months old) has always been a snacker. She rarely eats for more than 5 minutes, day or night. If we try to give her more (via bottle, more than 3 oz), she spits it up. She’ll fall back asleep if I just give her a pacifier,but she’ll wake up again in 30 minutes, rather than sleep for 2-3 hours if I feed her. Hence the feeding every 2-3 hours all day and night. She’s 70% for weight, so this crazy system is working for her, health wise, but I’m just so lost on sleep.

        • Sure! Yes, she did. She would generally wake up sometime around 1:00 or 1:30 and then around 4:30 to eat. 3 or 4 times around 3 months old she slept through 1:30 until later in the night. I was going to be going back to work the next week, so we decided that if she woke up before about 2:00, my husband would go to her. He could usually get her back to sleep. She’d usually then wake up in the 3:00 or 4:00 hour to eat. If she woke up after 5:00 (whether she’d eaten or not), my husband would go in and rock her back to sleep while I got ready for work. We have a pretty comfy recliner in her room, so he could put his head back and snooze if he wanted. Both practices worked really well for us. Of course, there were times she needed to eat at 1:00 and that was fine. But it helped her learn to sleep through if she wasn’t hungry, and in the mornings it helped her learn that 5:00 a.m. is not wake-up time. Another thing we did that might have made a huge difference (who really knows???), is we rarely fed/nursed her to sleep. Only a handful of times when she was very upset or not feeling well. Much of that was necessity – she used to poop all the time when she nursed, so we had to change her after. That said, we rocked her to sleep as long as she would let us (she just turned two and we still try, but she usually wants to snuggle down in her crib to fall asleep now). But she never needed just mom or food to fall asleep.

          I don’t know what to say if she keeps waking up. I’d ask your pediatrician at your six month check-up. Ours always had great advice for this stuff.

          Ug, yes, the pacifier. I can’t tell you how many times both my husband and I gave our daughter back her pacifier around that age. It’s a nightmare for a while.

  3. Is there a 15-16 month sleep regression? My toddler used to sleep through the night reliably and has had a few bad nights culminating in a very sleepless night last night for all of us. He was also just super restless and had trouble even falling asleep in our arms. I don’t think he is sick. Don’t know of a tooth he is getting unless we are just missing it!

    For anyone who sleep trained again at this age, did you CIO? I feel like that will be hard with our walking talking toddler!

    • CPA Lady says:

      With any sleep disturbances after age 1, we’ve done some form of CIO. 16 months is probably too young for full on devious manipulation on his part, but as they get older they get better at pushing limits and testing you more and more. I have had good results by immediately making it clear that I’m not here to play, that waking up in the middle of the night is not fun, and that crying in the middle of the night will not get you food, toys, playtime, snuggles and songs, or entrance into mom and dad’s bed. If my kid is sick or something, I’ll hold her and rock her, but at all other times I’m a real [email protected]– I wait a while to go into her room to see if she settles herself, lights stay off, I barely talk beyond my stock phrase “nighttime is for sleeping, I’ll see you in the morning”, everything is as dull as possible, and if I get her tucked back in ASAP and then leave the room, sometimes with her crying.

      Maybe try some Advil before bed if you think it may be teeth related? And give him a heads up that you’re not coming back in until the morning (or whatever it is you plan to do). Good luck.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      YES — my daughter was a nightmare at around 15-16 months. I think she hit the 18 month sleep regression early. Coupled with teething, and a bad cold, and it was a rough couple of months.

      We indulged her for a bit but then we had to start resetting expectations. We did CIO when she was younger, but at that age we started going in for interval checks. Like setting times on our phone – okay, 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes – before we would go in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, although I think it was more early morning waking for us. But learning to talk, walk, and molars all can be happening around then.

  4. moving to the bay area says:

    I am cross posting in the hopes of several responses..

    Bay Area ladies, talk to me about moving to the Peninsula. Husband has an opportunity in South San Francisco. Top priorities are great public schools and a place that has a cute downtown where we could walk to restaurants, the library. We have lived in large east coast cities for the last several years and the move to the burbs is a bit daunting. A high walking score is very important to us.

    I’m likely going to be working in SF, so nothing too far south. I hate to drive so I need to be able to take the Caltrain. Based on my Google searches it seems like Burlingame, San Mateo, and San Carlos are all good options. Thoughts? Any other cities I should consider?

    More generally, what should I be aware of about moving to the Bay Area? I’m originally from there but haven’t lived there in 15 years. Thanks!

    • We moved from an East Coast city to the Peninsula a year and half ago (East Coast natives, so no prior Bay Area experience). I work in SSF, DH works in the South Bay, so we ended up a little further south than you’re looking, but I’m happy to chat more about our experience making the move. If you post an anon email address, I’ll shoot you an email.

      I think the towns you identified make sense; you could also check out Belmont. Redwood City, too, though that may be getting a little far south for you and I’m less sure on schools there. I have some coworkers who really like Pacifica and Montara, but you’d have to drive to a Caltrain or BART stop.

      Going from the city to the suburbs was pretty jarring, can’t lie, even though we ended up somewhere we can walk to places. The flip side is that suburban living does have its advantages with kids, so we do appreciate that. I’m still shocked by how expensive it is, too. I knew it was going to be expensive, everyone told us to be prepared for how expensive it is, and I still didn’t (and can’t, really) wrap my head around what that meant in reality, even coming from an HCOL city. I’m definitely acutely aware of what a bubble we live in being in Silicon Valley and I find that challenging at times. But I can’t complain about the weather or the year-round, well-stocked, farmers markets. There’s definitely big pros and big cons, from my perspective.

      Anyway, like I said, happy to chat more off-line if you’d like!

    • Welp, traffic has gotten terrible since you last lived here. Our regional public transit has not been built for the kind of use it now gets so I would make sure to build in delay time to what you think your commute might be. On the plus side, they are building a subway from the 4th St Caltrain stop to Union Square in SF, so that part of your commute might be better than what it would be today.

      If you haven’t ruled out living in SF, you might take a look at the south side of the city. The areas near the Glen Park and Balboa Park BART stops are more suburb-feeling but still highly walkable.

    • anonbayarea says:

      I think all 3 options you mentioned are great cities, but you have to narrow down the areas within each city if you really want it to be walkable. And the specific school district you would be in, especially in San Mateo where the schools and funding/support they receive really vary. Burlingame and San Carlos both get most of their additional funding through city-wide foundations, whereas San Mateo gets their additional funding through school-specific PTAs. Hope this helps!

  5. Anonanonanon says:

    Ugh. Child Care.
    Due March 1 and looking for daycare starting July 1 2018. My son goes to a great daycare for before/after school, but unfortunately they don’t take kids until they’re 2. There’s only 3 centers that take infants in our immediate area (and my husband and I commute completely opposite directions, so we need care close to our house) and they all have horrible reports from social services. That leaves in-home daycare.

    I have a spot secured at one, where I am confident baby will be loved and safe which is the most important thing. however, she’s gone back and forth on a few things (hours, cost, etc.) that concern me and I just don’t feel great about “working” with her on logistical issues. Her hours are really going to be a struggle (7:30-5:15) but she follows local government closures instead of school closures for weather, which is a huge plus.

    I visited another today that was wonderful, and her hours are great, but we’re second on the waiting list and she failed to mention (I later read in the parent handbook) that she closes on school system teacher work days, and also follows the school system for weather closures, which is an automatic no-go for us.

    Hours and insistence on following the school closure calendar have been a huge struggle for us. So many in-home daycares around here have 7:30-5:00 hours which is simply not doable. My monthly budget for childcare for both kids is around $2,400 (more like $3,000 in the summers) which is not going to get a nanny in this area. The only solution is to just keep looking I suppose! Worst-case scenario we only deal with it until she’s 2 and she can go where big brother goes, but still. Any assurances that I can make it through this 1.5 year period???

    • AwayEmily says:

      You will make it through! And the nice thing is that when they are that young you can move them without a lot of hassle if something doesn’t work out. We didn’t like our first daycare and moved her at 9 months and she didn’t notice a thing. We moved again at 16 months and it was a little harder, but not terrible. So maybe it will make you feel better to think about “worst case scenario” options — if your first at-home option doesn’t work out, you could try one of the centers (sometimes those reports are not the best gauge — things can change REALLY quickly) or end up combining several options.

      Good luck! Childcare logistics are really stressful.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Thanks for the encouragement! We do have a spot somewhere that, as I mentioned, I am confident she will be loved and safe, I was stressing about the possibility of moving her if a situation with better hours opened up. But you’re right, at that age they’ll barely notice!

    • EB0220 says:

      Would a nanny share be an option?

    • POSITA says:

      Have you thought about an au pair? We tried daycare with our second and found that getting both kids out of the house in the morning was miserable. We alternated between daycare illnesses so someone was always sick. And daycare for two was literally twice as expensive.

      We’ve recently switched to an au pair and it’s amazing. The au pair drops the oldest at preschool 4 mornings a week. The little one goes to music class, gym class or library story time while the oldest is as school. In the afternoon they both take good naps in their own beds and then go to the park or have playdates with other au pairs and kids. On the one day they don’t have “school” the au pair plans special activities like nature walks, zoo trips or craft projects. We don’t have to stress to get them out of the house in the morning or do pick up; both kids are healthier; both kids are more rested; and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than double daycare. We initially stressed about adding a stranger to the household, but it’s been awesome. She adores the kids and they adore her.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        I’ve looked into it, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable having someone live in our house unless we could at least add a bathroom to the basement (which would be $$$) and plus our laundry is down there, so we’d be in her space all the time, plus my husband and I would both hate the idea of someone living in our house all the time. It would financially and convenience-wise make the most sense, but it’s just not for us, at least in our current situation (a townhouse in the DC area).

        I don’t currently know anyone I could nanny share with, and the one time I’ve done it it was less-than-ideal. It felt like i had all the inconveniences of a nanny (scrambling for a backup when she’s sick, stress of knowing she could leave for another job at any time, juggling around her personal vacation schedule, etc.) plus all the inconveniences of daycare (sharing germs with another family, having to pack up the kid and get them out the door depending on whose house they’re going to be at that day, etc.)

        In-home daycare is the way to go for us in our area, I’m just going to have to decide if I want to gamble on a winter with minimal school closures or not (the providers with better hours close more often for weather, the providers who close less often for weather seem to have less convenient hours).

    • Walnut says:

      My husband and I also have opposite commutes and our solution was to choose a daycare with long hours closest to one office (the one close to me was substantially cheaper than the one next to him.). Because I’m default drop off/pick up parent, DH is default grocery and starts dinner prep. On days where I can’t pick up or drop off, DH just has to make it work.

  6. Cornellian says:

    Talk to me about divorce with a baby.

    I’d like to give it a bit more time (and couples’ therapy), but there is a real chance I will want to file for divorce in, say, a half year. My husband affirmatively does NOT want a divorce, but after a series of events (including him leaving marks on me and me having him removed by the police), even if I am certain he will never be physical again, I don’t think I will ever love him or respect him.

    I’m particularly thinking about geography. We are struggling financially in Manhattan, and have talked about moving to another (smaller) city. Realistically, it will be next to impossible to maintain two households and split custody in the city. I’ve considered (being transparent about my motives) seeing if he wants to move while we’re still married, knowing that I am still leaning strongly towards divorce. It seems harder to divorce here and then fight about where we’ll live. FWIW, I’m in BigLaw, and he works in a low-medium level IT job (which exist in more places than jobs like mine, but also pay less).

    • EB0220 says:

      I don’t have any experience, but if I were in your shoes I would want to consult with a divorce lawyer about this. If you file for divorce and then need to move, what are your options? Does the answer change since there has been abuse/police involvement? Do you that your potential future co-parenting relationship will be harder for you if he goes along with the move, hoping that it will convince you to stay with him, then you divorce anyway?

      • Cornellian says:

        I did speak to one lawyer, who said that because the abuse was more of a one-off, it was unlikely to affect custody arrangements. He was drunk and hasn’t had a drop of alcohol since, so he does seem to take it seriously. I am not so worried he’ll do it again. I just don’t think we have a marriage worth saving anymore.

        We have a prenup (that I need to go back and find) that provides for no spousal support unless someone leaves the workplace (no one did, although I stayed home for 4.5 months with baby, it was mostly paid by my employer), so if that holds up, I’m mostly worried about figuring out custody.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          That was similar to what my divorce attorney said – my ex had a stint of heavy drinking and substance abuse when kiddo was tiny, but he got help and I kind of knew it wasn’t likely to happen again. She counseled that if I tried to question his mental fitness to be alone with kiddo, I would likely be subjected to the same scrutiny and it would be one of those “point of no return” moments in which the divorce gets really ugly.

        • Anonanonanon says:

          This is unfortunately similar to what I heard from attorneys, basically unless it happened the night before and I immediately fled, it would turn into “so NOW it’s suddenly an issue when you want a divorce?” and I’d have to justify why I stayed even a day after etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just… best wishes. Be kind to yourself.

      Regarding jobs though, consider moving to glamourous Albany, just upstate. It’s actually a really nice place to live with lots of job opportunities for lawyers. Importantly, if you’re possibly looking to maybe peace out of BigLaw, there are lots of decent paying government jobs for lawyers where you can realistically work 8:30-4:30 with no WFH. (Which you might need if you’re looking at single or solo parenting.)

      • Cornellian says:

        That’s an idea. I’m in an area of law that I’m not sure exists in Albany, although I also have more generalist transactional experience which may be valued. I am on the tail end of my BigLaw stint, but I can’t figure out if I should divorce, then look for a job and move, or move and then divorce, or get a new job, and then figure out divorce… too many variables.

    • Wait, your husband was removed by the police for physical violence? Jesus Christ DTMFA and move with the baby wherever the hell you want. If wants visitation he can explain to a judge down the line how he’s not a safety risk to the child.

      You figure out what makes sense for you and the baby, and let him figure out his own sh*t. You’re in big law, you can get a job anywhere you want if it isn’t feasible to do childcare with a long commute to your current job.

      This is obviously massively simplifying a complex situation – but you don’t owe anything (couples therapy, a custody arrangement convenient to him, etc.) to someone who hits you.

      • Cornellian says:

        That is how I felt in the immediate aftermath. The first words out of my mouth after it happened was “oh, wow, now we are getting a divorce.” I have seen too many women put up with it “just once” or “only when he drinks” and end up in horrific situations. He’s never punched (or threatened to punch) me.

        That said, I do think there is real value (and I think child psychology backs this up) in having ongoing contact with both parents when kids are tiny. I don’t think he’s a hazard to the baby, I’m more worried about us modelling gender roles (the emotional self-centered man and the long-suffering woman) and a loveless marriage to our son.

        It is good to remember I don’t really owe him anything at this point. There’s a definite disconnect, where he thinks I”m not really working to save our marriage, and I feel like I’ve been absolved of that duty in light of what he did. He wants to keep working on it, but in my experience with him, it’s always me compromising and backpedaling on my non-negotiables when we “work on it”.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Oh man. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

          I think that you should speak to some more lawyers about the implications for divorce as it relates to custody in NY versus the new city (if out of state). A friend of a friend who was the custodial parent wasn’t able to take a great out of state job opportunity because her ex (who was kind of a deadbeat) refused to let her leave with the kids.

          I think probably some of that can be worked out through mediation and blessed by the court. But given what you’ve described as his self-centeredness, do you think you can move forward under any belief that he’ll operate in good faith?

          Again, I’m really sorry. Do you want divorce attorney recommendations? I can ask around. Also, I’m happy to take you out for a drink or a coffee if you want someone to vent to!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I divorced with not a baby, but a 3 year old, in an expensive area of the country and it was really, really tough financially until I remarried (not that that’s why I remarried, but it was a lovely bonus). I would love to relocate to where my family is and the cost of living is lower, but chances of the courts approving that are slim to none.

      Whether or not you can move will likely depend on the visitation schedule you come up with and how detrimental the move would be to that schedule. Every other weekend may result in more moving flexibility (in terms of other parts of the same state) than an arrangement that includes some weeknights, for example, especially when kiddo gets older and starts school.

      However, with the physical altercation in the picture, I think your chances are better. You need to talk to a lawyer ASAP. Most of them will do consultations for free or around $150. Do a few. I really think that will affect the custody and visitation arrangement you end up with, which will determine your geographic flexibility.

      Good Luck. It’s a tough road but honestly for me it was so, so worth it. I was so much happier sleeping on a futon in my living room of my tiny apartment and eating oatmeal for dinner than I was married to my first husband, I hope it all works out for you.

      • In my state, the court can’t prevent you from leaving the area but can prevent you from leaving the area with the kid. So, you can still move, but he could get primary custody. The standard is something like – is the move for a legitimate purpose? If yes, what is in the best interest of the child? Where this is a baby, under my state’s standard, there is no pre-existing relationship with friends or schools or sports so it is likely you could take the baby with you.

        • Anonanonanon says:

          Yes true. They can’t stop you from moving, but they can prevent you from taking your child.

          • I wanted to make that distinction not to be pedantic but because I had a case where one parent was trying to force another to stay and parent. Their current arrangement was near 50/50 and then one parent wanted to move away, leaving the child with the other. The other was afraid it wouldn’t work without the other parent to shoulder 50% of the parenting.

          • Anonanonanon says:

            No you were absolutely right to clarify, I hadn’t even realized I had phrased it to read “let you move” without specifying I meant with a child.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Oh, hugs. You should really talk with a divorce attorney – given the income disparity, you may be on the hook for child support and alimony, which will further limit your options and job mobility. Also know that the first year living apart will be a huge financial adjustment, but you will figure it out.

      And consider working with your firm’s Employee Assistance Program (most law firms have them) to get counseling about personal safety. It sounds like you may be in a danger zone; abuse, child, economic constraints making it difficult to leave, all coupled with disclosing to your husband that you are leaving – that sets off all the red flags.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        It looks like above you state you’re not on the hook for spousal support, and you may be in the clear for child support depending on if you have primary physical custody. I will say, the state I’m in has a very fair formula that takes into account the income level of both parties, the amount of time spent at each household (which should work in your favour), and work-related childcare expenses.
        Where I am, work-related childcare expenses are generally paid in proportion to income (so if you make twice as much as your husband, you’d pay 2/3, but he’d still have to pay 1/3, for example).

    • Definitely talk to a divorce attorney. This is anecdotal, but a friend of mine basically paid her way out of a marriage and into a cross-country move with their baby. There were plenty of factors in play, but her family lived across the country, and she went to work for her dad’s company. Her ex-husband agreed not to fight her moving with the baby when she agreed he could keep the house and the money (and he wouldn’t have to pay alimony, since she was getting paid well by the family company). Importantly, this was a court-approved settlement/custody arrangement that the spouses agreed on through their attorneys, not what a court would order in a situation where the spouses disagreed. Her ex still gets holiday and summer visitation at his house.

      • More anecdotal info, but I agree from what I have seen, the scenario always work best if the parties can agree on an arrangement themselves. I have also seen that being able to throw money at a problem to make it go away can be such a blessing if the person causing an issue is motivated by money (and you have the money, which is not always the case). Without some mutual agreement, family law situations can get so very ugly. I’m so sorry that this situation is happening to you OP.

    • I would be as devious as necessary to get whatever is best for you and your kid, including lying to his face about wanting to work it out in order to move somewhere cheaper. That way if you do decide to work it out, you won’t be doing it from a place of weakness.

      I had a close family member who was really sc*wed over in a divorce because she was always willing to be honest and reasonable, and her ex was willing to fight dirty. Your husband has already demonstrated that he’s willing to fight dirty, literally. Whatever happens, take care of yourself first.

    • Blueberry says:

      Uf, hugs. I’d be seriously talking to a divorce attorney now. I don’t have any guidance though. I know it’s easier said than done, but if my husband ever laid a finger on me–drunk or not–that would be the end. What is your relationship like with your parents and/or extended family, and would you ever consider moving to wherever they live? We moved closer to my parents and it has been a godsend. If I were to ever end up without my husband, I would want to be near my parents and may darn well move in with them for a period of time for the help and to save money.

      • Cornellian says:

        Unfortunately I was raised by my mom who passed away when I was in high school, and am (totally unrelatedly) considering a restraining order against my father.

        I have a great support network in Austin that I should maybe think about leveraging, though. A return to my “village” might not be a bad idea.

        • Blueberry says:

          Sorry to hear that. I’d say Austin is definitely worth considering, along with all the other considerations more knowledgeable folks are mentioning, if only to convince yourself that you have other options. Biglaw exists in Austin too, and I think you can waive into the TX bar if you’ve got 5 (?) years under your belt in NY.

    • Definitely double check the validity of your pre-nup now that a child is involved. Here, you can’t waive child support and both parents are entitled to it. The courts want to see the kid in equal housing situations when possible here. They don’t like situations where one parent has a studio and is eating ramen and the other has a house and steak because the kid is supposed to spend significant time at both.

      • Cornellian says:

        Yeah, prenup doesn’t touch child support ( and I don’t think they can). I think I may be on the hook for some of that if he gets significant custody.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Also wanted to add to the folks saying you have more leeway if you work out a mutual arrangement; a court can prevent you from leaving with the baby if the court is asked to weigh in, but the court will bless many mutually agreed arrangements it would never be able to order. For instance, kiddo’s dad picks her up from my house a couple mornings a week, and has a key so he can let himself in to get her dressed, feed her breakfast, etc. A court would never order a woman to let a noncustodial parent enter her house for childcare purposes. The court would instead order that I drop her off at his house, or that he pick her up outside my house (so I would have to get her dressed, feed her breakfast, etc), or something else inconvenient.

      This is actually why my ex and I continued to go to couples counseling even when it was clear that the marriage couldn’t be saved; we have years of co-parenting ahead of us, and it was important to practice preserving the lines of communication/fighting fairly etc. It’s working for us right now, cross your fingers.

      • Cornellian says:

        This is really helpful.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Yep – I was so worried about the court essentially tying my hands post-divorce. But it turns out that we have lots of flexibility as long as we can work it out between us. In the 2+ years we’ve been separated, the only time I’ve had to go to court was the day we had the hearing about the parenting and financial plan we jointly submitted; it was a formality to make sure my ex and I were both competent and entering into the arrangement willingly. It took 10 minutes and the judge congratulated us on working together, then signed off on everything we had agreed on.

          It’s nice to have the court available to backstop your arrangements though; I feel like ex behaves himself better because I *could* take him to court if he did something outrageous. There is a measure of accountability that wasn’t present in my dysfunctional marriage.

    • I’m sorry you’re going thru this. You’ve gotten lots of good advice already. Just wanted to point out that while you may not both be able to maintain your life style in NYC,you aren’t necessarily responsible for subsidizing his lifestyle if you divorce. If you’re paying most of the expenses and you end up the primary physical custody parent, I dont think you have to worry about his rent. I understand that this will still be your concern to some degree as your child will need to spend some time with him on weekends etc. but it’s not like you both need two bedroom apartments in Manhattan.

    • In general, I am a rock-star bad*ss lawyer at work, but kind of pushover / conflict avoider at home. I’m in the not terribly uncommon situation of having been raised by an ambitious Dad and a SAHM – I’m my Dad at work but at home I still rely upon the gender patterns I observed growing up … Mom does all of the emotional labor; Mom should support Dad and not make him too angry or sad; Mom should emphasize to kid that we’re so lucky to have a Dad that takes care of us, etc. (even though in reality I earn 3X what my husband does.)

      My husband is a now-sober alcoholic. Back when he was drinking, during the work day I had frank and candid conversations with problem clients, offering sound legal advice and setting up different scenarios / likely outcomes. But when I got home, I’d placate my husband, figure out how to make things as easy for him as I could, and I’d do mental gymnastics to convince myself that working two jobs and doing 90% of the child rearing was acceptable and normal.

      I had my ‘a ha’ moment when DH landed himself in the hospital with an alcohol-related issue, and all of the doctors and nurses treated me like the idiot wife who makes excuses for inexcusable behavior. I was super pissed until I realized that, duh, I *was* that idiot wife who was making excuses for her (brilliant, kind, generous but nonetheless addicted) husband – we weren’t “special.” That realization forced me to review my situation through my smart lawyer advising-lens. What would I advise someone else in my situation to do? Conclusion: I was in an untenable, unsustainable situation that wasn’t doing anyone any favors. I always compromised, he never did. Giving him endless opportunities and second-chances hadn’t made anything better, and things could only get worse. I needed to come up with a different results-oriented plan with a reasonable chance of success.

      Would it possibly be helpful for you to do the thought exercise of, ‘what would lawyer-me advise in this situation?’ I suspect lawyer-you would not advise sticking around another 6 months if your mind is already made up. Lawyer-you would recognize that your husband lost his chance to ‘fight for the marriage’ by physically fighting with you – yes, even once. Lawyer-you knows you can’t afford two households in Manhattan – review the financials, and come up with some options.

      I’m sorry you’re going through this but you are smart, and strong, and you’re doing the right thing for the kid. Best of luck

      • NewMomAnon says:

        +1 million

        Also – I and so many women in divorces automatically fall into “I provide the primary household for the kid, I “get” the house and all of the stuff inside the house, while he gets to pick his ideal apartment and buys all new stuff for said new apartment, he takes my beloved pet because I “got” the baby.” Don’t fall into that! Consciously take only what you want and need. I would consider telling him that you are moving out, with whatever subset of your life you want – the baby or not, pets or not, furniture or not. Then you get to pick the lifestyle you want to live, instead of being the one who has to dispose of accumulated Stuff and continue to solely maintain a lifestyle you had planned to maintain jointly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Here’s the phone number for the Manhattan Family Justice center: (212) 602-2800. You can walk in during business hours at 80 Centre Street, 5th floor. You can get counseling and legal advice re: the divorce. Free. I know you make a lot of money in big law, but I didn’t get a sense from your post how much access to that money you have to it.

      Even if you don’t want to use this resource right now, keep this in mind if you do in the future. Best of luck, and take care of yourself.

  7. I think I made a bad deal in terms of flex scheduling. I have an infant and a toddler and an hour-long car-commute. We’re on a 35hr work week. I negotiated a 4-day work week, with plans to work an 8.75 hour split day M-Th. I.e., normal work day with some evening work to make up the hours. Pretty standard.

    In reality, I do very little substantive work in the evenings because I am too tired. I will answer emails or other easy lift tasks, but I am not putting in much evening work. Instead, I am not leaving at “normal” work day time. I am in the office about 8.5 hours a day and leave at 6pm, so I don’t get home until after the kids have eaten dinner and sometimes the baby is already asleep. And that 5th day has become a work from home day instead of an off day. So, I still send the kids to daycare. I do less work and can run errands on that day (and save the 2 hours of commuting time), but I am still “on.” I have the kind of job and boss where I answer emails over the weekend, too, though nothing urgent or super heavy lift.

    I should re-negotiate this, right? I’m definitely working well over the 35 hour week. (But is that the price I pay for being able to work from home one day?) My goal was to be home every night for dinner and to keep the baby at home on Fridays, but I am not sure how realistic that is given the work creep on Fridays. What should I propose?

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Can you officially work from home? If so, I’d do two work from home days and three in office days, of which one day you stay late, with the thought that working late one night a week will be more productive than trying to do it four nights a week. And the two days at home being days you may be able to pick up baby early and/or run errands between work commitments because you’re also saving on commute time.

      I don’t have a set flex schedule, but I’m on a reduced schedule that I manage on my own around work commitments (client or other in-office meetings) and personal commitments (waiting for the plumber, kid things) — but the weeks that I have that schedule is usually my more all-around productive ones.

      • Good point: the work from home arrangement is very hush-hush. I am staff at a college and there is a deep divide between the faculty and staff in terms of work hours. Most staff are very strictly 8:30 to 4:30, no WFH (whereas the faculty come and go on their own terms). I get the impression that other staff have asked for flex schedule and been denied so my arrangement is on the DL. My group is aware but HR has told me that they dont want to know what my supervisor and I worked out.

        • why are some universities so inflexible!!! i previously worked at another university where almost everyone in my office (staff) WFH one day a week. i now work at a different university where WFH might as well be a foreign language. i really do not get it. i can do 99.9999% of my work from home. i’m currently pregnant and hoping to figure out a WFH arrangement.

          • Redux says:

            This is my first U job but I wonder if it’s because the faculty is *so* flex? Staff need to compensate for the truly unpredictable faculty lest there be no one around.

        • Sarabeth says:

          I am faculty and this stuff seriously makes no sense to me.

    • Are you staying until 6 so you can get more hours in, or more work in? Do you feel like you need to stay late for face time reasons, to prove you’re working to make up those hours? Is the pressure coming from work for you to stay later, or are you staying because you know you won’t finish what you need to at home?

      If the pressure is coming from work to stay later/WFH rather than be off on Fridays, then yes, renegotiate. If it’s more a matter of feeling the pressure to get things done, then I don’t think you need to renegotiate, but you might need to figure out a different way of approaching it. (Leave at 5, but plan on WFH for a half day Fridays? Save email or more administrative tasks for evening hours? Plan one night a week with a super easy dinner and 2-3 hours of super focused work time?)

      • Another good point: I work longer days mostly for face time purposes. My boss is really busy all day and often 5-6pm is the only time we can sit down together to debrief and work on things together. I’ve actually heard his alarm go off at quarter of 6 to remind him to come into my office to discuss things. So that 6pm departure has become part of our routine (and his expectation).

        Another reason is to prove to my coworkers that I am putting in long hours since I am the only one with a WFH arrangement. I have a snarky admin assistant who always remarks on the rare occasions I leave early, though this board has given me good advice about shrugging her off. But as I mentioned above, the WFH thing is very hush-hush because official HR policy is no WFH.

        The final reason is to miss the rush hour window. My hour-long car commute can be as short as 45 min at 6pm, but as long as 1:15 at 5pm.

        • It sounds like you have good reasons to stay until 6, and the situation won’t really be improved by coming into the office on Fridays. Can you instead come in later in the mornings, or enforce your “off” on Fridays arrangement? Or at least carve out time that you’re actually off on Fridays (gym time, picking your kids up at 3, etc), and respond to non-urgent emails with, “I’ll follow up with you on Monday”?

        • With this all in mind, I think you can either renegotiate the leave time directly with your boss (Maybe a standing morning meeting instead of the end of the day sit down?) or you can more firmly enforce the Friday off boundary.

          In a similar situation, I opted for a firmer boundary on my negotiated day off. I don’t cart home my laptop, I check email once or twice, but more to keep up with what’s going on, I rarely respond. I kept some childcare for the older one so I can get some things done, but I also plan one child-centric activity (playgrounds and children’s museums are so much less stressful for me on the less crowded weekdays).

    • Anonanonanon says:

      This is a bad deal and doesn’t seem worth it just to get to work at home one day (on what it sounds like is supposed to be your “off” day anyway!)

      Alternatively, can you negotiate an earlier schedule? I negotiated an earlier start time because I’m no good in the evenings once I’m home, which allows me to get out of work at 4:00 and have my kids home a little after 5. It makes all the difference. The other option would be to wake up early a few days a week and knock out that work that you’re leaving for Friday, so Friday can truly be your off day. I’m NOT a morning person, but I also know I’m not going to get work done once I’m home with my family and have made dinner and put kiddo to bed, so sometimes earlier mornings are the answer.

      • I work a 7:30-4:30 schedule and even that half-hour makes a big difference in how our evenings feel. Once we’ve done the evening routine, I’m worthless, as far as getting extra work done.

      • FTMinFL says:

        This. I negotiated shifting time from Friday to the hour before official office hours start and it works much better than assuming I’ll have energy in the evenings.

    • What would happen if you left at the time you’re supposed to, M-TH? And what would happen if you just … didn’t work on Fridays? I’m not sure you need a renegotiation as much as you need to remind people of your existing arrangement.

      • This is a good thing to remember. I am the only person who can police this, so whatever I decide to do I need to actually commit to it or no one else will.

      • bluefield says:

        I agree with this. Actually self-enforcing your own schedule is the first step. No one is going to tell you to go home because you’re flex – you need to go home. No one is going to tell you to stop checking emails on Friday – you need to stop checking/responding to email. If you try to do this (including reminding people who question your boundaries that the boundaries were mutually accepted a long time ago) and get pushback, then you need to re-negotiate.

    • I’ve done this sort of schedule but I made sure I actually took my day off. It sucks to come home and basically have to just get your kid to sleep within 5 min. Even more so when they’re already asleep. That said, it was worth it for me to have a day with baby all before the weekend and my weekends were more productive when I had a weekday day to run errands. It’s not easy! I really had to be firm about not coming in or working on my off day. My only concession was checking my email twice a day (sometimes 3 times if something important was up) so that I could manage any issues that wouldn’t wait.

  8. Babymoon? says:

    My husband and I are brainstorming places we’d like to take a babymoon in mid- to late-February 2018. We’ll be traveling from the DC area and would like to go someplace warm/tropical and relaxing for a long weekend (4-5 days). We’re obviously mindful of Zika, but I see on the CDC website that the Cayman Islands and Martinique are “safe” (removed from Alert Level 2). I’m going to ask my doctor about travel to these places at my next appointment, but thought I’d see if anyone has recent experience traveling to those islands (and while pregnant!). I’d also like to find an adults-only hotel/resort if those exist. I’m also not opposed to going somewhere in the continental US – probably SW US for warmth. Any suggestions?

    • bluefield says:

      I went to Scottsdale AZ for my babymoon. It was October and like 95 degrees. Good restaurants, not a ton to do in town (and it was 95 freaking degrees) but we mostly just sat by the pool at the resort so that was fine by us. We didn’t stay at an adults-only resort, but we did stay at a place with an adults-only pool so we could relax without other people’s kids.

    • YMMV but I would lean towards doing my own research and going with my comfort level over whatever my doc said. My doc is insanely over cautious and was even saying no travel to Florida. I still traveled to a large country that had a small contained outbreak. I was in a completely different part of the country and there had been no new cases for months at the time I went. I don’t think you are going to get “permission” and instead you will likely just get a huge guilt trip.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am going to Grand Cayman over new years (currently 10 weeks pregnant). CDC has declared there to be no Zika there and there have been no locally transmitted cases of Zika this year and just one imported case in early February. I am comfortable with my decision. Obviously if the status changes I will re-evaluate. We are going with our 2.5 year old so we have booked an Air BNB, so I don’t have any recommendations… other than to say it looks amazing and I can’t wait!

    • Florida is now considered safe in terms of Zika. Personally, I would not take the Zika risk. I am pregnant and ended up seeking fertility treatment and the docs would not touch me if either my spouse or I had been to a Zika infested area in the past 6 months. Yes, I realize every day we take risks. Today I ate something and realized afterwards there is a slight chance there was a dressing with raw egg (i heated it up, so i hope it is ok), but there is nothing i can do about it now so i am trying not to obsess. However, i personally would never forgive myself if i went somewhere and got Zika just so I could go on vacation. I was literally just talking with a friend about how there is no place warm to go without Zika, but as we both admitted, this is a #firstworldproblem if there ever was one and we wouldn’t feel comfortable risking it.

  9. 2 Cents says:

    Started registering this weekend (our first!), and I’m completely overwhelmed by the stroller and car seat options. Do I want a system? (I think yes.) You’d think with a master’s degree, I could figure this out, but all I end up doing (thanks, hormones) is getting overwhelmed and crying. We have two small cars, a Honda Civic and a Ford Focus, we live in the suburbs, so I’d expect the stroller to be used on local walks and other paved outings. Don’t have stairs or city streets to worry about. TIA for your recommendations!

    • Anonymous says:

      We went with the Chicco Keyfit 30 infant seat/base. It’s super easy to pop in and out of the base. At the time it was rated the safest by consumer reports so I just went with that. Downside is that we have a tall baby and we’ll definitely need to buy a convertible car-seat before a year. For the stroller you could just go with one that pops the carseat in/out for the first six months and then decide on an umbrella stroller or a larger one. If you don’t do that, you’ll either need a stroller can that recline completely flat for the infant or get the Pram add-on so your infant can lay flat. We have a baby jogger city premier which I’m not in love with because it’s heavy. But I do like that you can switch out the stroller seat to either face you or away from you. If I did it again i would get the baby jogger city mini gt.

      • Anonymous says:

        seconding all the Keyfit 30 recommendations for the carseat (had them for all 3 kids – the easiest seat!). But, recommend thinking outside the box for stroller – none of the Chicco strollers that fit the carseat are great strollers. For this 3rd child we found an ultra small folding stroller (basically does what an umbrella stroller would do, but it’s very nice) that actually accommodates a carseat!! So instead spending $100 for a frame that is useless after the carseat stage, we paid $200 for a stroller that should last till we don’t need a stroller anymore. I LOVE MY STROLLER! (And I was super bummed that I had to buy one for this last kid..we’ve gone through…a few…strollers in my house, but we didn’t live in the ‘burbs with the other 2 kids). Anyway, it’s the Mountain Buggy Nano. Fits folded up between carseat and the driver.

    • Here’s what someone told me so I’ll pass it along (I have an 11 month old currently): I would *not* get a traditional travel system. Instead, get an infant carseat (we loved the Chicco Keyfit 30), car seat base, and stroller frame (these are super light, fold flat to fit into the trunk of my Corolla w a ton of other junk in there, and have giant baskets where you can put all the things you think you need when you leave the house w a newborn :). Then, once you have the baby and see how much you actually use the stroller, you can get either an umbrella stroller or a fully loaded stroller for your long-term stroller (we got the Bob Revolution Flex).

      By getting a travel system, you’re limiting yourself to a small set of strollers that don’t have all the great features that strollers have now. You’ll be using the stroller plus carseat for a small amount of time (9-12 months), but the regular stroller for a long time after that, so it’s worth getting the stroller you’d want for the long haul.

      • Anonymous says:

        Great minds. I posted basically the exact same thing below.

      • rosie says:

        Definitely this. I would suggest the Chicco Keyfit 30 & the Keyfit Caddy. I have a long baby who is going to outgrow the infant seat before a year, most likely, but still don’t regret going with this system so that we could see what we liked and what we needed before shelling out $$ for a stroller.

    • Look at Lucie’s List. She breaks down all the registry items, including strollers and car seats, into recommendations at each price point. It helped really cut down on all the options and helps you think through the factors that apply to you.

      For my input, take a hard look at when you would use a stroller. Are you homebodies who don’t go many places? You probably just need a cheap just-in-case option. Are you active people who go for a family run every morning? Then you probably need a fancy running stroller. Etc.

      I just helped my two good friends register, and they’re both suburban people who mainly drive everywhere and do things on weekends maybe 2-3 times a month. I suggested the Baby Jogger City Series for car seat and stroller, an extra car seat base since they each have a car, plus also to register for a convertible car seat (the Britax Marathon or Boulevard) that you can use when your kid outgrows the bucket, which is somewhere between 7 and 13 months depending on how big your kid is.

      • Oh man I wish I’d listened to people who told me to register for the convertible carseat! Do it! I did a TON of research and the one that came out on top for safety/size/features/cleanability/price was the Britax Marathon Clicktight. Kid likes it, too.

    • Anonymous says:

      We did a Graco infant seat- the lightest one they made and moved to a convertible car seat once he outgrew that. It was before a year, but carrying around a squirmy baby and a heavy seat wasn’t fun. We used an adapter on our Uppa Baby Vista for the infant seat and then used the regular stroller once he was big enough. I loved the UBV. The lay-flat phase seemed pretty short so we rarely used the bassinet feature to that stroller. We either put him in the bucket seat or wore him. The Cruz wasn’t out yet, but I’d look at that or another stroller if you don’t need a bassinet

    • bluefield says:

      The only carseat that fit in my Mazda3 was the Cybex Aton. Both clipped into the Uppababy Cruz with an adapter. Make sure that the carseat fits in your car and all other riders are comfortable because you throw out the box.

      The stroller does not have to be a decision for life. They’re expensive, but you can always resell yours a buy a new one. Not the most economical option, but don’t unnecessarily stress yourself out thinking that you need to make a decision for life.

      • bluefield says:

        Gah *It fit* not *Both fit* and “before you throw out the box” not “because you throw out the box”

    • Anonymous says:

      If by stroller system you mean matching brand car seat and stroller, I vote no. Kiddo will be in a bucket seat for way less time than you will use the stroller. My super tall kiddo outgrew the Chicco Keyfit 30 in height by 7 months. Buy the stroller you want and get a car seat that can somehow work with it, with an adapter. We got a Vista (before Uppababy had its own car seat) and an adapter for the Chicco Keyfit. But if you’re in the suburbs, for in and out of the car I bought a second hand “snap-n-go” for the bucket car seat for like $10 and it worked great for errands. It isn’t recommended that babies spend a ton of time in the car seat, so we used our Vista for actual walks around the neighbourhood. YMMV but the Graco/Chicco/etc brand strollers (that often come with matching car seats) don’t usually get the best review. Take a look at the Strollerqueen Strollerswap facebook group for LOTS of comments about stroller systems.

    • We went with the car seat plus frame (Key Fit Caddy since we also went Chicco), which I picked up used, so that we could try to get a better idea of what we really wanted in a stroller. Learned pretty quickly that we needed something with good wheels (urban sidewalks) and that having a big basket was a huge plus because we started walking everywhere, so it was great for grocery shopping. Ended up getting a used Uppa Baby Cruz and then a used jogging stroller (Summit?).

    • We registered for the Britax “system,” infant seat and stroller (B-Agile). The infant car seat was great. The stroller wasn’t great, but the clip-in feature was super handy, so I would definitely buy a stroller frame or something with an adaptor, etc.

      When Baby was a little older, I bought the Bob Revolution, used on Craigslist. The streets and sidewalks in our area are notoriously bad, so if you are going to use a stroller, you need air tires. (Same with buying Kiddo a balance bike recently–the foam tires really won’t work.) More recently, we bought the GB Pockit stroller for travel. We’ve used it on trips, and we keep it in the back of our car just in case, but Kiddo prefers to walk and is capable of walking at least half a mile with no breaks, or a mile with a break in the middle.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Don’t worry about getting a system. I was determined i HAD to have a system with my first (because it seems totally logical that it would be easier) but it was a big mistake because I feel like I sacrificed stroller quality, and found out that I actually hated transferring the car seat back and forth and would rather take the baby out and put them in the stroller. I also just personally don’t think it’s good for baby to be in the car seat for extended periods of time unless they’re actually in the car.

      Depending on your budget, we went with an UPPABaby stroller this time and baby’s not born yet but I’m in loooooove with it. Definitely worked off of “lessons learned” from my first. I got the cruz and it had the following features that are important to me:
      1. a lot of basket space under the stroller (gotta shove that diaper bag somewhere, shove coats somewhere if you’re inside in winter, etc.)
      2. The seat can face towards parents or away from parents
      3. It can recline all the way back and has an available insert making it appropriate for use with newborns (check into this- I didn’t realize the first time I shopped for strollers that many of them are ages 6 months and up if you want to use them without a carseat!)
      4. Folds easily
      5. Turns on a dime
      6. excellent customer service.

      Other people have recommended the vista, especially if you plan to have additional children.

      • You can still get a ‘system’ with the UB. The Ub infant seat is great and you can get a base for each car instead of getting 2 seats. Using it with the stroller is super easy and it does feel better than putting newborn into a full size stroller even if you have an infant insert.

        Agree that their customer service is the best. We use our stroller daily for almost 2 years now and the wheels were starting to wear out (lots of walking, city sidewalks) and they just fedex’ed us new wheels overnight, and a new canopy b/c ours was a little torn – all free of charge.

        FYI – we used the infant seat about a year before baby started to get too big for it and when I found out about ‘convertible seats’ I really felt foolish for not getting one right away but the britax seat we now have, although great, is such a huge PIA to install that I am really happy that we didn’t have to deal with it for the first year, esp. because we had a lot of trips in grandparents’ cars, went on vacation with car seat, etc.

    • POSITA says:

      If you do want a travel system, my favorite was the Britax B Agile. It really is a great value. The stroller is very similar to the much lauded City Mini. It has a one hand fold, is super light but full function, and works perfectly with the infant carseat. We didn’t want a stroller frame because we wanted a stroller with better wheels for outside walks. We didn’t want a jogging stroller because it is too big to take on the metro or put into and out of the car on a regular basis. The B Agile was just right. We also found that purchasing the travel system was a MUCH better deal than getting a carseat, carseat adapter, and stroller separately.

      • Anonymous says:

        ditto all of this. we live in nyc, so weight, width, and one-handed fold were big factors for us. if you’re mostly getting around by car, those factors might not matter as much.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Loved my B-Agile. It can also be used as a jogging stroller as long as you’re not training for some big event.

        My one complaint was that it doesn’t fold up as small as an umbrella stroller and it doesn’t stand up on its own, so it was hard to store in my apartment. I replaced it with a nice umbrella stroller once kiddo was about 2.5 and not napping in the stroller anymore.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Although – the Chicco Keyfit didn’t exist yet when I chose the B-Agile. The Keyfit has a bigger basket than the Britax and I’ve got a lot of friends who love, love, love theirs.

    • 2 Cents says:

      Thank you SO MUCH, everyone! Your suggestions are an immense help!

    • Stati says:

      Writing late…
      We used the Chicco Keyfit, but for a slightly different reason. I was working in trauma at the time and saw a horrific car accident involving a mom and her 6 month old – I was amazed to see pictures of the car and how relatively unscathed the infant was. I asked the mom what kind of car seat she had, Keyfit 35 it was… and it sold me for sure! I did find it kind of heavy to lug in and out of the house. I loved the stroller base that you could buy and snap the car seat in (off-brand sold at Amazon for ~$70ish). The basket of that particular base was wide and could fit the diaper bag + a lot of other junk.

      Once our little guy outgrew the infant seat, we ended up getting multiple strollers. One was a Summer Infant umbrella stroller, which is very lightweight and doesn’t take up too much room. We bought a Bob Revolution because we were living on an unpaved road and it was impossible to take him for a walk on gravel without a bigger stroller. Then we ended up inheriting a Joovy caboose (holds two kids).

      I would feel totally comfortable springing for the Chicco car seat + stroller base, but I could see if I could beg/borrow/steal from your friends to try out other strollers once they get a little bigger before buying anything. We got about 9 months out of the Chicco, but our little guy was a chunker (10 lbs, 11 oz at birth!). He outgrew it with his height before weight.

  10. Anonymous says:

    You are in biglaw. You can afford to live in NYC.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      We literally have no idea what her finances are. Are you trying to be unkind?

      • Blueberry says:

        Yup. Plus, to the extent this comment needs responding to, maintaining a 1 or 2-bedroom apartment along with the more-than-full-time childcare that would be required for a single biglaw parent could well be unsustainable, especially if there are student loans and other expenses involved. Anyhow, my view is you have the option of pursuing a divorce from your husband immediately and considering how to get to a sustainable living situation budget-wise as a second order of business.

  11. Toddler says:

    How long does potty training regression last? Our kiddo recently (2-3 weeks ago?) went from going to the bathroom on his own to now having accidents at school and while we are out (he will say “I’m peeing!!!”, and then start peeing immediately). He’s 3. Any insight? No changes at home, and he started this regression right before he changed classes at school from toddler room to preschool room.

    • Sabba says:

      Is he constipated? There seems to be a link between pee accidents and constipation. If it is constipation, probiotics and warm prune juice (not together but separate) seems to get things moving. Others might have more helpful comments.

      • Toddler says:

        Doesn’t seem to be, but interesting. We can up his juice intake and see (and we even have prune juice at home)

  12. Blueberry says:

    OK, another potty question. I’m sure this has been discussed before. My 2-year-old is in a vicious p**p cycle. He got constipated, now he’s in a cycle of holding it in till it gets worse and worse. Same thing happened with my other kid around the same age, and I think it’s super common. I think the way to break it is to make sure he consumes lots of water and prune juice and high fiber foods, and maybe a laxative for a few days, although I’m kind of freaked out about the latter. What are your tips for getting enough water and fiber into your kids in this situation?

    • Blueberry says:

      Oh, I should mention, he’s recently potty trained (as of about 3 months ago), so this is likely related. Also, we just started giving him probiotics, so hopefully that helps.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      When my kid gets constipated, we increase “p” foods (pears, peas, prunes, peaches, sweet potatoes). Also, broccoli and spinach. If your son is into applesauce, I make pear sauce that’s just like applesauce (peel pears, chop them, simmer with a small amount of water + whatever seasoning, and then puree). Avoid banana and applesauce.

      (I am also freaked out about the idea of a laxative – I would ask your ped first).

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I didn’t find that probiotics helped; in fact, I think they sometimes made it worse? They can exacerbate gas issues too. We use probiotics only when kiddo is on antibiotics now.

      Talk with your pediatrician, obviously, but my ped suggested kids gummy fiber supplements starting at about 2.5 years old. Kiddo literally begs for them every day. Also, create an incentive for sitting on the potty and staying there a while; kiddo has an iPad and it’s the only time she gets to play certain (mind-numbing) games about grooming horses? I dunno.

      Ped also recommended Miralax as the laxative of choice; it isn’t a stimulant laxative, it’s a bulk-forming laxative, and it’s pretty gentle. We used it daily for a while, but now only need it every few months. I also give kiddo a sippy cup of water in her bed, which I know is verboten for teeth, nighttime potty training, etc, but…..constipation is no fun. And I cut off the milk and dairy if we’ve gone a few days without a bowel movement. At that point the only beverage is water.

      Basically, call your ped and discuss over the phone. It was so helpful once I started relying more on my ped for trouble shooting this stuff.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        ^Miralax is amazing. Like Newmomanon said, it’s not a stimulant, it’s an osmotic so it prevents stool from losing water in the bowel to keep it soft and flowing. It also is tasteless etc. Some (misinformed) people will tell you it was linked to psychological disorders in children, but I read the studies (and reviewing health studies/trials is a part of my job) and there was no causation found, it’s just that they’re discovering a lot of neurological issues (ADHD, Autism, etc.) also have GI components for some reason, so those children are more likely to end up on miralax. Due to the type of laxative it is, it is non-habit-forming and can be used occasionally. As with adding any medication, talk to your pediatrician first of course.

        Fiber One chocolate brownies are also not that awful and are a fun “treat” for kiddo while sneaking fiber into him. Just be sure to give plenty of liquids if you up fiber, because without enough liquids it’s just going to cause a brick to form in there and make issues worse.

        • Blueberry says:

          Oh wow, thanks for this. I was/am one of these misinformed people, so I will look into this. Do you have a link for a good explanation by chance?

          • Anonanonanon says:

            I’ll have to do some digging to dig up the actual papers I read, but here’s a link that breaks down some of the safety concerns:

            Here’s an interesting Q&A from Autism Speaks on the issue:

            The gist of what I read was that yes there is a link, but the link is likely due to the fact that your nerves and muscle systems are involved in bowel activity, so if you have issues with bowels there’s also a chance it’s a larger nerve/muscle issue.

            That being said, of course, always follow the advice of a pediatrician, and every parent should do what they feel comfortable doing for their own child. And, as with any situation that involves giving a child a medication off-label (which is what miralax use in children is), you have to look at the cost/benefit analysis. I’m certainly not advocating for it as a first step, but if it gets to the point of needing medication I think it’s the gentlest and most effective one out there.

    • Toddler says:

      My ped says that if you start kids on laxatives, you need to continue for 6 months no matter what, then you can taper off. For the life of me I cannot remember why; possibly other doctors say differently, but I would consult with your ped first.

      • Blueberry says:

        Yeah, the doc actually told my husband to put him on miralax for 3 months. I had a bunch of follow-up questions, which my husband didn’t ask, so I’ll call them. I don’t want to do 3 months of miralax except as a very last resort.

        • Anonanonanon says:

          woah, that seems like a really long time! I’ve never had a pediatrician (or my own doctor) advise using it for that long, I think you’re absolutely right to call with follow-up questions.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Yeah, that seems like a long time. The only reason I could see to keep a kid on it for that long is psychological; you need to get them used to bowel movements being no big deal, and it might take a few months of easy bowel movements to reset that avoidance instinct.

          Having been on Miralax myself for a major GI issue, I can say that it’s effective pretty quickly – I was able to wean off of it after a couple weeks.

      • CPA Lady says:

        It’s because when they’re in the chronic constipation cycle, the col*n gets stretched out and desensitized, and it can take that long for their digestive system to relearn what it feels like to need to go. If you discontinue use too soon it can actually make the problem worse and lead to them losing control of their bladder as well.

        Unfortunately, I have way too much experience with this issue. My kid has had issues her whole life pretty much. TBH, I have made it worse by not dealing with the problem as proactively as I should have (waiting too long to start Miralax), giving her a too low dose, and also trying to stop her medicine too soon, time after time. If hers was a problem that could be solved by apple juice and the p-fruits I would have done it that way. But she has an actual medical issue that needs to be dealt with in the exact way her pediatrician told me.

        In retrospect, I feel awful that my fear of Miralax has prolonged a very uncomfortable medical issue for her. Don’t be like me. I probably sound over dramatic, but I have literally cried about this multiple times, out of frustration for her and myself. Once I finally bumped up her dose and just let go of my guilt over giving her this medicine for the indefinite future, she’s been doing so much better. She’s finally fully potty trained and pooping regularly.

        • CPA Lady says:

          BTW, I’m not saying that I think Blueberry should put her kid on Miralax for six months, I just wanted to address some of the things I’ve seen in this thread, since the general sentiment of medicine = bad is why I felt so much guilt and reluctance over medicating my own child, which was definitely to her detriment.

          • Blueberry says:

            Thanks — this and all the other experiences are really helpful to know about and give me more to discuss with the doctor tomorrow. I was pretty scared of miralax but this may be because correlation between neurological problems and miralax use was misreported as causation, as explained above — something for me to look into. I’m hoping to nip this in the bud, because it also became a frustrating and painful issue for my older kid that I thought we were going to avoid this time. Glad to hear your little girl is doing better.

  13. Oh boy. We’re supposed to attend a wedding next Monday afternoon and our 8 month old foster son’s only babysitter just cancelled on us (foster babysitters require a background check and fingerprints, which take weeks). I already called my mom and she can’t watch him as she lives 5 hours away and can’t get off work Monday. The wedding is for an acquaintance that neither I nor my Hubs are especially close to. Should I: send my hubs and stay home with baby, contact them and ask if baby is allowed, plan to skip the wedding, or just take him and plan to leave after the wedding? I realize all of these are poor etiquette but I feel like I’m stuck here. I don’t want to leave him at one of those 24 hour drop in care places.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Do you *want* to take the baby to the wedding ceremony? Because that sounds like a whole pile of no fun; an 8 month old will be loud and excitable and possibly annoyed at lack of mobility. Maybe take your cues from the invite; is it in a church (sound will carry everywhere, pews are hard to navigate), or outside (sound won’t carry and more escape routes), or somewhere terribly grown up (art gallery, winery, nice restaurant)?

      Personally, I’d stay home with baby while the other spouse goes rather than trying to entertain a baby through a wedding ceremony for an acquaintance. If it was a good friend or family member, I’d ask for permission to bring a baby.

    • Since this is a wedding for an acquaintance that neither of you is particularly close to, I would skip the wedding entirely. Things come up, and the couple should understand if you explain that you have restrictions regarding childcare. If it were a close friend or family member, I would ask them to accommodate the baby somehow–but when I was a bride, I honestly wouldn’t have wanted to worry about accommodating an acquaintance (partly because I was indifferent to small children, and partly because I was super busy in the weeks before my wedding).

      I’d only send your husband without you if there’s a particular reason to–something like business or political connections that matter, which would make this a borderline “work” event. But, really, that’s up to you–I don’t think it’s “better” or “worse” etiquette-wise to change your RSVP for one of you instead of both of you.

    • Please do not consider bringing an eight month old into the wedding ceremony. Regardless of location, church, outdoors, anywhere, PLEASE do not do this.

      Is the wedding local? If so, send hubs alone. If out of town, maybe you can all make the trip but only hubs goes to the ceremony. PLEASE do not bring the baby to the ceremony. PLEASE do not ask the bride or groom for “permission” to bring the baby to the ceremony. They do not want you to bring the baby to their ceremony. They may not know how to tell you no, and it puts them in a horrible position.

    • OP here – these are good thoughts, thanks! I don’t especially want to go now but I feel bad that they paid for our seats/food at the reception. I guess skipping would be better than little man losing it during the ceremony (which is in a church, btw).

      • Anonymous says:

        Then just send one of you. The best thing you can do is let them know with as much advance notice as possible. You don’t know when their final count is due to a caterer/venue and it’s really common for last minute issues to come up with wedding guests.

      • It’s not clear from your posts how big the wedding is, but I’m guessing it’s large considering you describe you and your husband as acquaintances. If so, there may be some “flex” in their numbers. There often is a final count due to the caterer just a few days ahead of time. Also, many party planners recommend turning in “final” numbers below your current count because (a) things come up at the last minute, and (b) any decent caterer will make a plate and find a seat for an “extra” person. Finally, you may cancel at the last minute, but someone who forgot to RSVP or whose RSVP was lost in the mail may show up instead, or another guest may bring an uninvited plus-one, etc. FWIW, for our wedding of 150-ish people, there were at least 3 people who RSVPed to our wedding but canceled at the last minute for various reasons, and at least 2 people attended who we didn’t expect until a couple of days before–it happens, and I really wouldn’t worry too much about it if it’s a large event.

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