Nursing Tuesday: Toffee Nursing Camisole

This nursing camisole from Cake is getting rave reviews at Nordstrom. Yes, $55 may seem like a lot for an undergarment, but as every pumping and nursing mom knows, a nursing camisole is likely the primary thing you’ll wear on a daily basis to raise your neckline and give you enough coverage while you’re pumping or nursing in public. This comes in the pictured apple color as well as cinder toffee and honey toffee, and sizes are S–XL. Toffee Nursing Camisole

Here’s a plus-size option.

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

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  1. That looks lovely but is pretty pricey. I really like the H&M 2-packs, for length and quality.

    • I liked those, and I really liked the Undercover Mama ones that just clipped to my bra. I wore one every single day under my regular clothes so I could pump and still be almost all covered.

      I usually sized down so they were tighter to help feel like they were holding everything in, as well.

      • I’ve gotten good mileage out of the undercover mama camisoles. Stopped nursing over a year ago but I still wear them under shirts that are a bit sheer or with low necklines.

    • Agreed. I actually tried the Bravado tanks first which are pricey as well, and like the H&M ones better! Tanks are one thing I wish I had bought more of pre-baby. With all that postpartum sweating, my nursing bras and tanks were my laundry limiting factor in the early days.

    • Mama Llama says:

      Do the H&M tanks have adjustable straps?

    • I found that the H&M nursing tanks ran small in the bust. Even though the body fit me just fine, I ended up getting a clogged ducts because the top pressed into my bust too much.

  2. I’ve been breastfeeding for over 27 months and have never owned or worn a nursing cami. I don’t understand the benefit, to be honest.

    • Same – this was not something I used at all. (Well, same in understanding the benefit, I only nursed for 14 months.)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Never used one either.

    • POSITA says:

      They are great at keeping your pp tummy sucked in, smooth and covered. I hated drafts on my stomach while nursing. Camis were also useful for raising the neckline for shirts, which is very helpful for those with big nursing b–bs. What’s not to understand?

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t find them supportive enough, since I am a DDDD when not nursing and crazy when nursing.

    • Anonymous says:

      I love them so much! I had the Bravado ones in black. Bravado ones are sized like bras so lots of support. I just wore black tank, leggings and threw on a cardigan if needed. So comfy for spur of the moment naps, yet also ready to run out to the grocery store or baby group. I had some nicer nursing bras by Panache etc. but I found Bravado tanks were by far the easiest thing to nurse it. I like having only one layer instead of having to layer a shirt over the bra and fiddle with access to both

      Nursed about 16 months on each kid and haven’t found a casual tank I like as much since so I still wear the Bravados around the house sometimes.

    • I had one from target that I really loved. My city gets very hot in the summer and it was great.

    • avocado says:

      I really liked wearing nursing tanks around the house for the first couple of months and as PJ tops until I was done nursing, but I never wore them out of the house because they felt too much like pajamas and were too hot to layer under a regular shirt. My only “public” nursing happened at day care with a nursing cover, though.

    • biglawanon says:

      Same here. Although I used very little equipment designed for new moms/babies in general.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never owned a nursing cami either (BFing for 11 months). But I think they would’ve been useful for nursing in public. I usually just pulled my shirt up, so I’m sure some people saw my tummy. Maybe next baby…

  4. Girl mom says:

    My three year old’s birthday is coming up. So far I’ve only given her gender neutral profession oriented type dress up clothes (oh and animals) but she’s super girly and I’m pretty sure she’d love a princess dress…

    where do I buy one? any favorites? her favorite princess is probably cinderella but a generic fancy dress up dress would definitely be fine!

    • Anonymous says:

      Check any of the costume stores like party city or similar. I prefered more generic princess dresses for more variety in play. So a blue one can be elsa or cinderella depending on kid’s interest on the day. I also gave superhero capes at the same time – Melissa and Doug have nice ones that are generic vs specific to spiderman or whatever.

      If you want to be a bit more spendy, Pottery Barn Kids has cute stuff.

    • Melissa and Doug has a good selection of dress up clothes, and they have a generic Princess dress, a generic Ballerina, mermaid, fairy, and some tutus. There’s also a zebra print rock star one but it’s a little racy for a 3 year old. (Although my almost 5 year old loves it.)

      Last year for Christmas, I asked the grandparents for all the M&D dress up clothes. Got way too many, but they are high quality, considering, and have inspired tons of play. Also consider dress up accessories – shoes, purses, hats, scarves, wings. Nothing like a construction worker with fairy wings, stethoscope, and tiara carrying around a steering wheel.

    • What about a moana dress? Moana is a strong female character rather than a princess looking for her prince. Target (online at least) has a moana dress.

      • Anonymous says:

        Honestly, try as you might, if your kid wants a princess dress, Moana may not cut it. My daughter was horrified that it was two pieces. She’s 3. Get a big skirt. That’s what matters to them. Chasing Fireflies has gorgeous ones – some that are Disney inspired, some that are just pretty.

    • butterfly wings (amazon), misc creative items to make costumes (we have a homemade Moana costume–my 4 y/o’s fave princess– which is a lei, grass skirt, and bathing suit top + mom’s old birkenstocks worn while sitting in the cardboard box boat she made. My 2 year old wears a chicken costume (old halloween costume) and pretends to be Heihei the chicken. It’s hysterical.) Items can include capes, masks (animal and generic super hero), crowns (tiaras but also queen style), fun shoes (we have old tap shoes, plus some silly heels), old dance costumes (the 2 y/o wears the 4 y/o’s old costumes, the 4 y/o uses old costumes we got from a family friend). We have a couple blue sparkily costumes that my kids use as “elsa” costumes, even though it’s not branded as such.

      Big hats (top hats, straw hats, easter bonnet style hats) and boas make for fun tea party or other misc dress up.

      My kids also raid my old and now non-fitting or un-stylish work tops and wear them like dresses- I have an old leopard print shell they fight over constantly! I let the kids pick through the goodwill bags before bringing them for new dress-up clothes.

      TJMaxx often has good costumes if you’re looking for store-bought. We have a mermaid one from there, as well as a dragon costume we got in post-halloween clearance. If you have a local yard sale facebook group, post and see if anyone wants to get rid of halloween or dance costumes- you’ll get some great ones!

      We really like dress up around here :) We have two trunks filled with clothes and a coat rack full of hats. I think the kids have more fun with generic props than they do with specific character costumes.

    • avocado says:

      We had a generic princess dress from Little Adventures that held up well to washing, much better than the Disney costume someone gave her. They also make a bunch of Disney lookalikes. We also had a cloak from Magic Cabin that got used for princesses, knights, and Little Red Riding Hood.

      • avocado says:

        Also princess dresses are in fact gender-neutral, at least if the dress-up play at my kid’s preschool was any indication.

        • Girl mom says:

          YES! Sorry, I should have noted that I don’t mean to impose gender norms! I wasn’t thinking when I picked that poster name – it’s more that I felt like my attempts to encourage my daughter to dress up like a doctor, etc. had failed and I was feeling torn about the princess dress thing.

          My son totally wears his sister’s dresses and will definitely be playing dress up with these clothes too!

          • avocado says:

            Don’t worry, I was just trying to point out in a lighthearted way that it is not necessarily perpetuating stereotypes to give your kid a princess dress!

  5. Yet another "how do I feed the baby" post says:

    Any suggestions on how to get calcium and vegetables into an 11-month-old who’s stopped drinking half his bottles (I EP for him) and also stopped letting us spoonfeed him, but also refuses to feed himself anything slimy? He’ll happily eat pasta, meatballs, muffins, and cheese, but recoils when he touches cooked vegetables or cut up fruit.

    Is this just the beginning of toddlerhood and I shouldn’t stress?

    • 1) Towel off the veggies and fruits. Like, cut a grape but dab the wet sides so it’s not slimy. Roll an avocado in wheat germ to make it easier to pick up. Also look for easy-to-self-feed options. Cook steamed peas so they’re plump but still a little firm, and let him feed himself. Blueberries work too – just dump it straight on the tray without a plate and let him grab them.

      2) Embrace the mess. I let my kids feed themselves yogurt with a spoon at 10 months, even though most of it got everywhere but their mouths. They weren’t allowed to throw food or plates, but if they dropped a slimy spoon or if they got a glob in their hair, oh well. We’d just have a bath afterwards. Spaghetti (with peas and spinach in the sauce) was super messy, but they liked trying to slurp up the noodles after they saw us do it too.

      3) Eat the same foods at the same time. If they see you eating it, they’re more likely to explore it. It might take several exposures before they’ll eat it, but it matters if they see you munching on peppers with hummus, or carrots with ranch. (Oh, and dips are good options too).

      • Yet another "how do I feed the baby" post says:

        I don’t know why it never occurred to me to dry off the slimy things!

        I don’t object to the mess, but if we give him the spoon absolutely none of it gets in his mouth, though maybe we should just keep trying.

        • Yep don’t worry about none of it getting in his mouth. That’s part of the process. Think of it as “practice using a spoon” time and not eating time. If he’s eating meatballs and cheese and drinking some bmilk, he’s good on nutrients for now. Sounds like he really wants to be in charge of feeding himself, so let him build the skill.

          At meal times, serve two components – one food you know he’ll eat, and one you’re trying to get him to learn. Like pasta plus peas. Muffins plus carrots. Etc. He can get something in his belly, and also practice spoon or finger foods. If he gets just one pea in his mouth, it’s a huge success. And maybe next time he’ll get two in!

        • avocado says:

          We had spoons with little holes in them that held on to some of the food even if turned upside down.

    • I echo Anon’s suggestions above, but in the short term, I would sneak veggies into homemade veggie burgers, frittatas, fritters, and muffins, among other things.

      • Yet another "how do I feed the baby" post says:

        Fritters are a good call, thanks! He likes latkes, ao hopefully that will carry over.

    • My 3 year old refuses to eat vegetables (unless we bribe him with ice cream). I still give him the pouches that are just veggies and don’t have any fruit mixed in. You have to hunt for them as it seems all pouches and jars have pears mixed in.

      Will your’s eat yogurt? Or maybe yogurt in a smoothie? I don’t think you need to stress about it. Keep putting fruits and vegetables in front of him.

    • put veggies in muffins (carrots, zucchini). If he eats scrambled eggs, add cheese and spinach–usually it’s too much work for them to pick out all the spinach. Chop up spinach (or puree) and add to pasta sauce if he’ll eat that with the pasta and meatballs. make your own meatballs and add veggies. make smoothies with yogurt, spinach and fruit (mine loved peanut butter, banana and spinach).

      I did all of the above with my first.

      With my second, I bought pouches with lots of veggies mixed with fruit and/or yogurt and stopped worrying :) I highly recommend this approach but know that as a first time mom you might want to do approach 1.

      • Yet another "how do I feed the baby" post says:

        I’d be totally happy to go the pouch route, but he’s currently refusing those, too! It’s apparently finger foods or bust.

    • I cook frozen peas as well as frozen edamame (shelled). Huge hit as a finger food.

  6. preschool admissions process says:

    I’m applying to preschool in NYC, which feels like a crazy process. We just had a kid playgroup (kind of the kid interview) this morning, and I’m wondering if it’s expected/appropriate to send a thank you email reiterating our interest (or that it’s a first choice).

    Thank you for any feedback!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha, no idea, but did you already check on Park Slope Parents?

    • I sent thank you notes FWIW! Not sure it’s expected but figured it can’t hurt. I know others do too. Especially if it’s your first choice you should definitely let them know – one of the directors at a preschool we applied to advised to let them know they were our first choice.

      and yes the whole concept of preschool “admissions” is so ridiculous. Good luck to you!

      • It really is crazy. When I was at law school (Columbia), my dazzlingly brilliant con law professor complained to us about the preschool admissions process and how his 3-year-old son was rejected from one preschool for being too hyper. He’s 3… he’s supposed to have a lot of energy!

        My current city has the preschool admissions process too. My philosophy is to be as hands-off and low-key as possible throughout the process, and my kid will get in wherever he gets in. But even now, with the process almost a year away, I find myself worrying about it in small ways, like when my kid says “I don’t know” to things he absolutely has down pat, or “Need help” on things he’s done a million times. And then I feel guilty and tell myself to calm down.

  7. Related question – how do you organize your kids dress up clothes? Any specific product recs?

    • We have two toy box-ish things (hinged fabric ottomans the size of a toybox) at the foot of each kid’s bed filled with dress up clothes, plus a kid-sized coat rack that has all the odd sized things + hats. We’ve started to need a plastic rubbermaid type container that slides under the bed for overflow accessories.

      Our problem is we have a lot of dance costumes, and that tulle takes up a lot of space!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I bought a “clothes valet” from Amazon that we use to hang all the hanging things. We also have a pegboard with various types of hooks and trays for jewelry, hats, shoes, etc. And then there is the random pile of things that accumulates just below the valet….

  8. Feeling like a monster today says:

    I spanked my three-year-old last night and am feeling horrible and guilty. It was completely reactionary and out of anger, which is kind of the opposite of how I want to parent. She was completely out of control all evening after not napping at daycare. I was already stressed out from work, DH wasn’t home, and I lost all patience. I also yelled her and was basically this horrible scary mommy monster. I am really struggling with being patient with her in general, but this was a new low. Age 3 is so, so hard, you know? After she went to bed, I could not stop crying. Tried to talk about it with DH and he completely shut me down and told me to move on, that it was kid’s fault, not mine. Well, I’m still the adult and need to keep my stuff together even when I’m melting down on the inside. I cried myself to sleep and still feel terrible today.

    I’m really struggling with being ‘on’ at work every day and having to come home and be ‘on’ there, too. I hate my job right now, so I’m bringing home a ton of work-related stress every night. There’s just no time to decompress; I’m hit with demands the moment I walk in the door. I tried to explain that to DH and he just seemed annoyed with me, so I’m not feeling very supported.

    How can I better deal with work stress BEFORE I get home, so I don’t blow up at my kid even when she’s being a turkey?

    • banana says:

      Can you find a gym with child care? I wonder if an afterwork yoga class or workout would help you relieve some of your stress. Good for you for looking for solutions!

    • Anon for this says:

      I went to therapy after I spanked by toddler out of anger. I also felt terrible and cried, but thankfully my husband was super nice and supportive about it. I had been experiencing episodes of rage and losing my temper pretty regularly and while therapy helped some, it wasn’t solving it. I went on Lexapro and it is SO much better. I still lose my sh*t sometimes, but it is usually justified, and there has not been any more hitting on my part. Also, if you are still beating yourself up over it, my therapist reminded me that most kids don’t remember the handful of times their mom lost her temper, but do remember the 99.9% of times they were really great moms.

    • mascot says:

      Oh, mama. Those days are hard. Cut yourself some slack- you will be fine and she will be fine. For me, fiercely protecting my exercise time and self-care time go a long way towards keeping me on a more even emotional keel, even though it means other balls may get dropped. Fortunately, my husband recognizes and supports this although I sometimes forget it. Reading all the parenting books and re-hashing what I could have done differently only gets me so far and tends to ramp up my anxiety/stress. It also grates on my husband’s nerves since I want to over-analyze. So when I get caught in that cycle, I’ve learned (and re-learned) to go do something else, preferably that involves physical exertion. My problems with work and my kid will still be there for sure, but my head is in a better place to deal with them. Another thing that works and I think is good for kids to see is for adults to name their emotions and model how to deal with them. Mama is feeling very frustrated that no one is listening to her right now. To calm down, mama is going to take a time-out in her room for 5 minutes/take deep breaths/ask for a hug/walk to the end of the driveway and back, etc. Removing yourself from the situation until you regain control is always ok.

    • I’ve been reading John Gottman’s Emotion Coaching, and it has made a huge difference in my parenting, especially my ability to stay calm when my 4 year old is melting down. It focuses on both recognizing and working with your children’s emotions, but also becoming more sensitive to your own emotions.

    • I had an episode like that once with my older daughter. I resolved to find a different way forward (like you). What has proven to work best is to make sure your house (or an area of it) is safe, then give yourself a Mommy Time Out. Shutting my kids in their rooms does no good. Instead, I tell them I’ve had enough of their bad behavior and I need a break. I go into my room and close the door. Sometimes I shower. Sometimes I play on the internet and sip a glass of wine. They scream and b*tch and cry and sometimes fight a little. I have a video monitor that I use on mute, so I can see them but not hear them particularly well. I come out in 10 minutes and they magically behave again.

      Also, put them to bed early. If there’s no nap at daycare and no nap = monster kid, give her whatever she will eat for dinner (cereal, yogurt in a pouch while sitting in the bathtub, frozen waffle still frozen…whatevs.), skip bath, and she goes to bed at 6pm (or whatever). I have too much going on to cater to kids that aren’t behaving when I’m already at the end of my rope.

      If none of that works for whatever reason, let her zone out in front of the TV for 30 minutes while eating dinner. For my older one, screen time just makes things worse when she’s already misbehaving because she won’t turn it off–so we don’t do this. When she’s just tired and in a bad mood and I’m tired, I let her watch TV snuggled next to me while I play on facebook. She gets maybe 2 hours of TV total all week, so whatever.

      Finally, as mine have gotten older (older one is 4.5), I can say “Mommy is in a really bad mood right now. I am really tired and need to take a break. Do [this thing] and I will be in my room if you need me. I am sorry I’m yelling at you, yelling is not good behavior.” That’s for when my kid is just being an annoying kid and I’m in a wretched mood–not for when they are also misbehaving.

      • Oh, also, I see that you’ve got your own stress as well. My kid started loving yoga at 3. On days when your kid ISN’T being a full on turkey, could you guys do a yoga video together? There are some fun ones out there.

        Or cook dinner together (there are plenty of jobs a 3 y/o can do even if they aren’t 100% actually useful to the cooking). Or give her some kind of “helper” job while you unwind . Can she help put away your work shoes and accessories while you get changed after work? Can she get your comfy clothes out? (My kids fight over who gets to get DH’s PJ pants and slippers while he changes out of his suit! If it were the 50s they’d be stuffing his pipe and mixing him a gimlet, too).

        • Carine says:

          This is all similar to what I do, too. Chiming in especially to recommend yoga! My daughter started really getting into the yoga videos at 3 as well – she loves the Cosmic Kids yoga videos on youtube.

          • Carine says:

            And forgot to add, I’m sorry!! We have all been there, though, and you are not a bad mom. You sound like a wonderful mom – that time immediately after work is just so, so hard for me and my kids too. Everyone is tired and stressed. I do apologize to them when I feel I have crossed the line – the latest time I got too shouty and we talked about it later at bedtime my daughter helpfully suggested that maybe I should take some deep breaths to help with my feelings, ha! She’s 5 now and can still be challenging, though not as bad as at 3.

            Anyway, there are a lot of good strategies suggested here and I hope they are helpful. Try to be easy on yourself! The lack of support from your husband is hard, too – I might try talking about that again if I were you. His response seems pretty unacceptable. Good luck.

    • I solo parent a lot, and 3 is SO HARD. It helps to have a rough routine so you know you have a break coming. My rough schedule after work is: 6:00- walk in door, destress activity together. 6:20 – I prep dinner while they watch a cartoon. 6:45 – we all eat together. 7:15- short playtime as a family. 7:30 – bath and bedtime routine. 8:00 – bed for kids, relax for me. 9:00 – one household chore like laundry or dishes or cleaning. 9:30 – read a book or watch TV or call a friend. 10:30 – bed.

      Some of my thoughts:

      Is your daycare near home or work? Assuming it’s near home, can you create a 5 min ritual before you pick up – can you go home first and change clothes? Can you stop by a park and look at the trees? Can you listen to a favorite song while sitting in the daycare parking lot?

      Also assuming your kid isn’t in the backseat for most of your commute, can you use that as your time to switch into home mode? Scream out loud in your car from 5th to 9th avenue, then from 9th to 17th wallow in all the work stress, or leave a voicemail on your work phone with your immediate todo list for the next morning, and then from 17th to 22nd think of one fun thing you can do with your kid that night.

      I’m not morally opposed to screens, particularly when on solo parent duty. If you find yourself melting down, turn on some Super Why or Daniel Tiger and buy yourself 20 minutes to calm down.

      Age 3 is tough – basically she’s having work stress come home with her too. Maybe try to think of her as your partner in stress and you’re both trying to figure out healthy ways to deal with it. Google (or post here) for a list of things to destress, and commit to trying one together for 20 minutes when you walk in the door. Maybe you guys take a bath, or maybe you read a book, or maybe you talk a walk. Have some small go-to snacks right away (gold fish crackers, fruit snacks, pretzels, grapes) in case you’re both hangry and so you don’t have to go right into dinner-prep mode.

      • I really like your idea of a schedule and specifically scheduling time to play with kiddo and time for yourself.

        My 3 year old does so much better when I can dedicate a few minutes to him right when we get home.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I’m concerned about the lack of support from your husband. Is this typical of how he reacts to things you are struggling with? Do you feel like he is pulling his weight in your family? Do you usually feel supported by him? If this is how he usually supports you, I would image that’s part of your underlying frustration and resentment. If that’s the case, maybe couples counseling or individual therapy for you would be helpful to figure out how to address these issues.

      • Boston Legal Eagle says:

        Yes, this. Was his response last night an outlier or is this how he typically reacts to you expressing your emotions? I understand that this was a particularly charged situation and that age 3 is particularly hard, but 10, 13, 17, etc. are also going to be hard in different ways, I would imagine. Feeling like you are a team in this adventure will likely go a long way in helping with some of your stress so I would also encourage couples counseling or at least having a longer discussion about this with your husband.

        • Feeling like a monster today says:

          He’s not usually as short with me as he was last night, but there are times where I definitely feel like he mansplains why I shouldn’t feel a certain way or downplays my concerns, especially where our kids are concerned. We’ve had many conversations over the years about why I internalize that stress, including the heaping expectations on moms. He’s made a lot of progress in this area, but old, bad habits sometimes come back during stressful times. I don’t know what was up with him last night, honestly. My feelings were interrupting a basketball game, soo … yeah.

          He’s a very hands-on dad and I admire that he never gets too high or low about our kids’ highs and lows, but it is so frustrating sometimes. I worry enough for the both of us.

      • Yeah, this. And also his seemingly lack of concern for his daughter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Calming music on the way home – everything from 80s cheesy rock to classical helps me.

      In the moment with my kid – naming my feelings helps. “Mommy feels mad right now so I’m going to stomp my feet/drink a glass of water/shake out the mads.”

      Dance party in the kitchen (hokey pokey) works well to distract grumpy preschoolers plus extra tv time and easy supper (noodles with cheese grated over it). And lowering expectations of behavior when preschooler + I am are both hangry. Kid wants to lie in the middle of the floor in her snowsuit for 20 minutes after we come in – sure! I’ll start supper in the meantime and worry about enforcing rules about hanging up coat, putting away boots on another day. Sometimes I wish I could just lie down the second I come in the door too!

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Insight Timer is a meditation app that has some really good meditation podcasts – you can sort by length, so if you have a 15 minute commute, you can choose a 15 minute podcast. It seems hokey, but just breathing can be a helpful de-stresser.

      • Anonymous says:

        Adding to this – “Sometimes I wish I could just lie down the second I come in the door too!” – sometimes demonstrating your kid’s behavior back to the kid can help, and using lots of words about the feelings you’re having / your kid is having. “I AM SO HUNGRY AND I JUST WANT SOMEBODY TO GIVE ME DELICIOUS FOOD RIGHT NOW, [KIDDO] CAN YOU HELP ME????”

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. 3 is hard. I remember having a particularly bad day with kiddo when she was 3, and I yelled at her for misbehaving, and then it turned out she was misbehaving because she was Very Worried about something that I didn’t realize was a problem. Honestly, it was cathartic to tell her I was so sorry and that I had made a mistake. Being a parent doesn’t mean modeling perfection for your kids – it means modeling problem solving and emotional intelligence and modeling how to deal with the messiness of human feelings. (Sidenote: do you have the book “What Do You Do With a Problem?”)

      And your husband is wrong; this wasn’t kiddo’s fault. This was a lifestyle issue of too much falling on your plate, and if it’s a recurring lifestyle issue, please tell him that and ask for his participation in resolving it. If it’s too stressful to come home to hungry kids and launch right into parenting, maybe you need a mother’s helper to come prep dinner while you play with the kids (or play with the kids while you enjoy making dinner, if that’s your jam). Or maybe husband needs to get in the habit of throwing dinner in the crock pot in the morning to make your life easier at night.

    • Poor momma! I walk from the train station to my house rather than drive (it’s just under a mile) and that 10 minutes really helps me clear my head from the workday before I get home for bedtime routine.

      One thing I do with my kids is a bathtub timeout. If I’m at the end of my rope and the kid deserves a timeout, I bring him to the dry bathtub and tell him to wait it out in there for a few minutes. He knows not to mess around in a hard cold tub. And I can collect myself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ugh mama, just echoing HUGS. This is so hard. It’s totally okay to say, “I’m really sorry I hit you yesterday. That felt awful and I need to learn to be nice to you even when I have big feelings. Next time I have big feelings, I will tell you that I need alone time.” I give myself alone time a lot, especially if my kid is misbehaving. Also, recently, my kid was sick for like a week. She was a little nasty to me, she was grouchy, clingy, and generally a mess from being sick. I was SO PATIENT that I even surprised myself! For me, it was easy to see that her bad behavior was due entirely to her illness, and would pass. Now that the illness is over, I try to remind myself that her bad behavior is due to her age – it’s all age-appropriate! – and it will pass, and someday she will be a 30-year-old woman with a life of her own. I want her to call me when she’s living that 30-year-old life, and tell me about *her* turkey of a kid. I don’t have a mother to call about my kid being a turkey, and this zen attitude is really easy to remember when I’m in my quiet office and my kid is 40 miles away at daycare, but hopefully some of these comments resonate with you. We’ve all been there. It’s so so hard.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not directly relevant, but I wanted to share this story. I was spanked a few times (like maybe twice in my life) as a kid, definitely not a normal part of our existence. But once when I was an elementary or middle school kid, my mom lost her temper and slapped me. Not hard, and she immediately was so upset and filled with so much regret. I will never forget her immediately saying, “I never should have done that, I lost my temper, and it is never appropriate to hit someone.” I especially remember it because she was obviously still so angry, but she made it a point to stop herself and say she made a mistake. I remember that clear as day. (I also remember I was being a real a-hole at the time) What was impressed on me was that she made a mistake and she told me so. It never happened again, and I think I even understood it at the time. I know it’s not the same but I just wanted to share that I know it is one of my mom’s biggest regrets from my childhood but I am able to remember it (and was able to experience it at the time) within the context of the 99.9999% other times she was a great parent and wonderful mom. Hang in there. No one is perfect, and your kids know and understand that. Hugs.

  9. I love this nursing cami and I’m a 38H nursing – I find it supportive enough for all day wear as my nursing bra. I wear it under clingy shirts to help with the post-partum pudge and also shirts that would otherwise show my bra though. I bought a few underwire nursing bras for work and I have worn them once since being back. I much prefer my cake lingerie cotton candy seamless ones.

  10. My 10-month-old, who previously was super easy-going with everyone, is suddenly being very clingy with me. If he’s playing with someone else and I’m not there he is totally fine, but as soon as I come in the room he will start fussing unless I’m holding him or playing with him, even if he’s with DH. This is really tough in the mornings, when DH is in charge of supervising but I’m running around the house trying to get ready, and when my parents or ILs come visit and want to spend most of their time playing with DS but he wants to be with me. Any tips or do we just ride it out?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is TOTALLY age-appropriate and normal behavior. Just ride it out. Acknowledge kiddo and tell kiddo you’ll be RIGHT there (and then take your time).

    • Shout out to other people on this s!te who helped me with this a few weeks ago! Lean into the clinginess if you can. Hold or wear him ALL. THE. TIME. Mine only lasted about a week being super clingy, so it wasn’t too bad. Now he doesn’t really want me to hold him much at all! You will get through!

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally age appropriate! We went through this from 8-9 months and it was hard on me because she wanted to be held by me ALL THE TIME. She even cried when DH would hold her. The pediatrician said she’d be worried if she wasn’t going through separation anxiety/stranger danger at this age. It can (theoretically) last until 18 months, but ours is actually better at 10.5 months. So basically just ride it out and tell your in-laws that it’s completely normal behavior for his age.

    • lawsuited says:

      If you don’t already have the Wonder Weeks app, consider downloading it. Whenever I feel like “what the heck is up with my baby?” I check the app and voila! it turns out he’s in the fussiest week of a mental leap. It helps me reframe “my baby is being annoyingly clingy” into “my baby is learning new skills and needs my support”. Seeing as you often can’t magic your baby into a non-fussy one, changing the way you feel about it is everything.

    • Knope says:

      Thanks all! I don’t have the Wonder Weeks app but I just looked it up and sure enough, he is currently in Week 46 (leap 7). I’ll just embrace it! It’s not all bad – he’s taken to applauding when I enter the room, which always feels nice :-D

    • Anonymous says:

      If he’s okay without you, disappear during visits.

      And re-work your morning routine so it mostly occurs in one or two rooms out of his sight.

      Lean-in to it (baby wearing, cuddles) the rest of the time.

  11. Everlong says:

    I don’t want to threadjack Feeling Like A Monster above, but I just feel compelled to add that this time of year feels really hard for some reason. I feel like it’s like this every year, but this year is exceptional. I feel like I am dropping balls everywhere. I also solo parent more nights than not. The suggested schedule from the fellow solo parent-er above was really helpful. I appreciate everyone who contributes here so much. Solidarity, Friends!

    • Feeling like a monster today says:

      I just want to thank everyone for being kind and not piling on the guilt, as I have plenty of that on my own. I’m completely with you that this time of year is just hard. We’re all going stir-crazy from being cooped up indoors. It’s dark when we leave in the morning, and it’s almost dark when we get home.

      • Anonymous says:

        I just read “No Such Thing As Bad Weather” and aside from wanting to run away to Sweden (sort of kidding?) I really want to embrace going outside with my LO no matter what. So I’m looking into buying us all long underwear (I bought her a $26 Swedish knit hat. Ugh.), reflective vests from Ikea, and head lamps.

        Also hoping to find the wiggle room in the budget for one day a week of “forest school” (it’s Brooklyn — it’s not a forest, but they play in the mud) in the fall. I hope I can find some similarly minded families so next winter isn’t so bad. I don’t mind bundling up and hanging out at the park, but bundling up and playing with toddler (who plays happily with all the kids at the park all spring and summer) is hard work.

    • Another Anon says:


      I’m short-tempered, cold, and can’t seem to get it together at work.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I want to quit my job. Mostly because I miss my kid and I was planning to exit the industry at the end of 2018 anyway. Also partly because my boss is being insane. She is never in the office (seriously – she has been at the office for 3 out of the last 30 days). She constantly comments on how much sick time I take. My kid is 11 months old, was a preemie and goes to day care, so yeah, he gets sick a lot. She doesn’t have kids, so she doesn’t get it. She asks me to make powerpoints for her when I am home with my sick kid (using sick time). She asks me to travel with 24 hours’ notice. When I try to push back, she makes comments like “Can’t your husband watch him for four days while you travel?” Yesterday, she was so jet lagged from traveling to our international office that she asked me to attend a conference in another city on the same dates as she had scheduled me for another conference in our city! I have talked to her about all this. The response is always “I hear you, but you need to work harder and show me that you’re dedicated to this team.” I’m applying for other positions in the company and elsewhere, but today I just feel like throwing in the towel.

    • I’ve been on both sides of this- I work full time, have 2 (and one on the way) kids, and used to have to travel a LOT-often on short notice- when I had my first. I 100% empathize with you. Because you didn’t mention it, IS your husband doing 50% of the coverage for your kid when he’s sick? Do you have other backup care options? If not, it is unfortunately a must-have with young kids and you should look into the options.

      I say this not because I think traveling for 4 days on 24 hours notice is reasonable *at all*–but because as a boss of many women with young kids, I’ve seen moms manage this very well, and some manage it very poorly thinking they must be at home with their kid all the time, and that nobody else can do it. Not dad, not a sitter, etc.

      And on the work travel…if your job involves travel, occasionally being asked to do same-week travel is something you ought to plan for and have contingency plans. If you have your kid in daycare, DH should be able to OCCASIONALLY with < a week's notice do Single Dad Duty on nights/mornings–and if that's not possible, talk to daycare teachers about driving your kid home after daycare until DH gets home. I knew lots of parents that used that as a back-up when traveling. If the travel is new and has never been part of your job, it's certainly reasonable to push back hard.

      • I really appreciate your perspective. You tapped into something here which is: even though DH is really supportive and does 50% of the child care anyway and is happy to watch LO for multiple days on short notice, I just don’t want to travel. My boss’ priorities and mine don’t align, and no amount of talking to her is going to fix that. I don’t feel that traveling is more productive than participating in Skype meetings. The satellite office colleagues actually tease me “Back again eh?” “Why are you here?” “Don’t you have a baby! I can’t believe you’re traveling!” so I know it’s not just my bad attitude coloring the situation. I just need to accept that it’s not the right situation for me and find something else.

    • Your boss is a lunatic. Expecting anyone to leave town for 4 days, with less than 24 hours’ notice, is not reasonable unless you’re the CEO or something.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s a bit of a leap – her boss is not *necessarily* a lunatic. Did she used to have to leave town for multiple days on short notice pre-kid? Then nope, not a lunatic. If this is a new ploy to force her out or make things difficult because she’s now a mom and this is punishment, then yes. That is awful But if a job involves travel, it’s not unreasonable for a new mom to travel also, unless she has somehow specifically contracted around that requirement.

      • I once had to fly to the other side of the world for two weeks with only about 30 hours notice, and have had to take countless trips ranging from a few days to a week with about 2 days notice. It really depends o the job whether that is a reasonable expectation.

        Having Sadie that, OP can logically decide that a job that requires this is not for her.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Regardless of whether your boss is or isn’t reasonable, it sounds like the job isn’t a good fit for your current stage of life – I know I would be very unhappy in a role that required me to travel frequently or on short notice, because there is a lot of juggling that goes into work travel when you have a kid. And I haven’t had much luck with changing bosses’ behavior…I would look for a different role.

      I know this is a tough truth, but it’s so important to have a network of backup care for a sick kid or closed daycare. Does your employer offer backup care? If not, suggest that as a benefit to HR; it really benefits the employer as much as the employees, because it keeps workers at work. I sometimes feel bad when I can’t be home with kiddo when she is sick, but her dad/grandparents/uncles/aunts and my employer-provided backup care are critical to my continued career success, and she loves the cuddles with special people who aren’t mom.

      • Thanks for your thoughts. I am looking. I guess I should have mentioned in the original post that he’s a foster baby, so just anyone can’t watch him, unfortunately. We purposely live far from our families, so they’re not available for backup care (though they would be my last choice anyway). I do need to step up and find a foster certified babysitter though for sick days and times when DH and I need a little break. I will commit to doing that this week!

  13. Redux says:

    I had a no-gifts party for my 4-year old and all her little daycare friends. Do I have to write thank you notes? Many, but not all, brought cards. A couple included a token gift like a sheet of stickers. Asking for no gifts was not a calculated move to avoid writing thank you notes, but I’m starting to wonder if I could hang my argument on that :)

    I am generally a pro-thank you notes person, and plan to instill this particular kindness into my kiddo, but there were 17 kids altogether, none of them are old enough to read (or appreciate) a thank you note, and I feel like I have too much on my plate right now to take this on with joy.

    • Mama Llama says:

      No way! I am a big thank you note person, and I would never send a note for a card, even if it had stickers in it. To me it’s akin to sending a thank you note for a thank you note. Plus, did you give out a party favor? That’s technically a “thank you” for attending the party. If your child got gifts from grandparents or other relatives, you can have her send notes to them if you want to instill note-writing in her.

    • Anonymous says:

      NO! You don’t have to send thank you cards. I would think it was weird…like,” here’s a thank you for coming to my party…and not bringing anything [even though I told you not to bring anything, I’m sending this thank you note to make you question whether you made a bad impression by actually not bringing anything.]”

      But also, that is awesome that people actually didn’t bring anything!

      And also this: “none of them are old enough to read (or appreciate) a thank you note” – I’m a big fan of thank you notes but not when they seem gratuitous, as they kind of do when the kid doesn’t even get to understand them.

      Finally, what I’ve done with success is be deliberate about taking pictures of the guests with their parents or just the little guest looking cute (often with a cute background and/or props) and then I send those out via email to thank people for coming. The email is less intense than a card, and people LOVE getting pictures of their cute kids (especially digital so they can add them to their own photo albums or whatever).

  14. Not sure if I’m posting too late in the day for responses. I have a 3 year old son. For a while, my husband and I had a lot of discussions on whether to have a second kid. He was firmly on the YES side and I was much more ambivalent. We are both lawyers working full time. Life is already hectic with one. I grew up as an only child, and it’s not a crazy thing to me (but he grew up with a sibling and it seems a lot of people with siblings feel sorry for only children). We had many many arguments/discussions about it, that ranged from very civil and mature to low and manipulative. At some point, I got SO tired about having the same argument/discussion that we agreed to leave it up to…higher powers. I took out my IUD. Low and behold, I’m now pregnant. I had kind of hoped that my emotions would catch up, but…now, I’m still so ambivalent. I have good days and bad days. Sometimes I can almost anticipate my post-partum depression that I will certainly have. Even now, I’m having trouble enjoying time with my existing child because when I look at him, I think – another one of this!?!?! Growing up as an only child, I had a lot of solitude and calm – time by myself to watch TV, read, write, draw, paint. What I hate most about parenthood is that total loss of calm alone time. (Sure, you can carve out a few hours for yourself here and there with sitters or switching off, but it’s not the same.) With 2 kids, I just see chaos and disorder for the next 18 years of my life! I don’t know what I’m looking for…encouragement? Sympathy? We have resources to hire more help and honestly my parents are local, and they already help a lot (my mom has been living with us for the past 2 weeks, doing a lot of childcare.) No matter how much help you have, it’s still a juggling act, no? So we have it better than most, but I feel like I just need to make peace with this and I haven’t yet. At this point, I just hope my basic human decency will kick in and I will care for and love this child as I would any other innocent creature that’s been brought into this world.

    • Anonymous says:

      If it helps, to a certain extent, I was you. We had a 3 yo who was the light of our life, we had talked about a second, but couldn’t pull the trigger on actually “trying”, had not prevent in 3 years and nothing had happened, so we decided we were one and done. And the month we scheduled my H’s vasectomy, I ended up pregnant. I was beyond ambivalent. I was a frustrated, uncomfortable pregnant person who complained nonstop, even though I had a relatively simple pregnancy. All that said, I love my second more than I could have thought. The experience, for me, of a second baby was wonderful. I had the easy birth I wanted the first time around, which totally rewrote the birthing process for me. And I knew what to expect, so being home with a newborn and on leave was honestly just really, well, better, for lack of a better way of saying it. Yes, it’s a juggle. An extra body to lug around. An extra schedule to juggle. An extra chance at sick days. But the baby makes the older one so, so happy, which makes me happy. It’s ended up being so worth it.

    • If it helps, I was strongly ambivalent through my pregnancy too. I was at risk for PPD so the midwives suggested I start therapy then so I would have a relationship with a therapist in advance of the pregnancy. Turns out I had depression while pregnant but actually not PPD, for which I count myself lucky, and really needed a therapist during that time. All that to say – can you think about therapy to talk about these feelings? It really helped me to be able to talk in a no-judgment environment about all the different feelings I was having. I know that doesn’t address everything in your post but I hope that it can help.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I kind of assumed that having one kid was the path to disorder and chaos, and each additional kid was an incremental addition. I know that sometimes I consider adopting a second kid just so kiddo has someone else to participate in her (incredibly boring) pretend games, so that I can sit on the couch with a book for 20 minutes….

      Which is just to say – projecting 18 years of chaos from an additional pregnancy sounds like catastrophic thinking, which is reason enough to find a good therapist now.

    • Everlong says:

      If you left it up to higher powers I would focus on this perspective… I learned so much by becoming a mother of one. I feel like motherhood really is taking your soul, putting you through a meat grinder, and spitting you out as a new person. Becoming a mother of two is having the same effect. Perhaps Higher Powers are using this little one to teach you something. I was an only child. The fact that I have two kids boggles. My. Mind. It’s a juggling act but it’s doable. They nap and go to bed at around the same time. There’s still alone time. They will have a fascinatingly different life than I did, because there are two of them and they are close in age.

    • DH and I weren’t sure if we wanted 1 or 2 because we both have siblings who we don’t get along with that well…and now we are expecting twins, so the decision was made for us. While I am now excited about the twin idea and would be beside myself if something happened to one of them, I have moments when I am mourning the concept of only having one child. I have quite a few colleagues with one- some by choice, some not. One of my colleagues who only has one always says that she wishes she had another so her child would have someone to play with. Yes, that means there would sometimes be fighting between her kids, but she said it is so hard that her daughter is always saying “mom, come play with me.” Even though as adults my sibling and I aren’t that close, as kids we played together all the time!

  15. @ Redux says:

    I say it’s your call. I’m on team Thank You Notes Are Inportant, and I have a 4 year old. She absolutely 100% understands and appreciates a thank-you note, so don’t make your decision based on that!!

    She also helps choose (even if it’s from my gift closet of misc junk) and wrap the gift and makes the card, so she’s part of the process.

    But like I said, nobody will expect one…but if you want your kid to get experience, you could print out 17 pieces of paper that say “thank you for coming to my party!” And have your 4 y/o color pictures and write his/her name. Done.

  16. @ Anon whonis prev with #2 says:

    My kids are 4.5 and 18 months and they play so well together now!! Yes sometimes it’s double the noise but often it’s double the alone/quiet time. My older one played school with her sister this AM and helped her eat breakfast while I got ready.

    The first year was rough and as two introverts, DH and I really struggled. But we came out the other side, and are really happy we added another.

    • mascot says:

      As the parent of an only, I haven’t found that it’s the path to peace and solitude. I sometimes envy my friends with multiple kids as my kid begs me yet again to be his playmate. I grew up with a brother who wasn’t always my first choice playmate, but certainly was better than nothing some days. We also had times where we did our own thing.
      And to the OP, it gets better soon when your kid can be more independent and self-sufficient.

  17. NewMomAnon says:

    How do we feel about naps in the office? I am so tired, but I have a 3 hour networking event that I MUST attend tonight. I could get in a 15 minute catnap on my office floor….

    Car is parked outside and it’s too cold to nap in there; we have a wellness room but it’s needed right now by people who have actual health issues.

    • I definitely slept on my floor more than once while pregnant; no judgment here!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m pro-nap in dire circumstances such as this one. Have you tried drinking a cup of coffee and then waiting 15 minutes and then napping for 15 minutes? It works!

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      I am neither pregnant nor ill, and I routinely nap in my office.
      DO IT!
      this is just smart living . . . we mothers do what we must to survive!

    • blueberries says:

      Lock your door if you do! I nearly had an ambulance called for me by an assistant who was worried because I decided to work while laying down on a mat while pregnant.

    • I have a yoga mat in my office exclusively so I can take naps on my floor.

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