Pumping Tuesday: Soft Touch Scoop Neck Tee

Top for Pumping at WorkI may be the only person on the planet who considers simple t-shirts the perfect pumping/nursing attire, but — especially when paired with a nursing camisole to cover your belly — an easy care, affordable, polished tee is exactly what you need. A friend was just singing the praises of this shirt as being the perfect “nice” t-shirt you can layer beneath suits, and I like that it’s down to only $25. It’s available in several different colors over at White House | Black Market. WHBM Soft Touch Scoop Neck Tee

Here’s a cotton/modal plus-size option.



  1. Sorry for the immediate thread jack but I am looking for some new baby advice from the hive. I’m home on maternity leave and so far..my baby’s sleep habits are not great (I know very few babies actually have “good” sleep habits). He really sleeps for more than two hours straight at night and I have lots of trouble getting him to take naps anywhere but on me. Will things get easier?! I am going back to work in a month and I am a bit overwhelmed at the idea of being this sleep deprived day after day at work. On a related note, does anyone have any infant sleep books they would recommend? And on an unrelated note, any recommendation for nursing tanks? I got a few at Target but find them pretty uncomfortable. TIA!

    • EB0220 says:

      This sounds pretty typical. I highly recommend babywearing (or friends/family who like to cuddle babies) to help with the only-naps-on-mom phase. Just remember…when you go back to work, naps are mostly the domain of your childcare provider. For nighttime, I think frequent wake-ups are par for the course for some babies and it should get better. You could assess your baby for signs of reflux as this has kept many a baby awake at night.

      • EB0220 says:

        Oh, also – I actually still wear my Target nursing camis because they’re so comfortable. Have you tried sizing up (way up)?

    • Momata says:

      Deep breath. You’re doing great. Don’t worry about going back to work yet — take it one day (or night, or hour) at a time. How old is the baby? Where and in what is the baby sleeping? Is he swaddled?

      It will get easier.

      • Thanks guys. My post should have said that he “rarely” sleeps more than two hours at night. Oddly enough he doesn’t seem to love being worn. He has always liked to stretch his legs out so he refuses to let me wear him in a wrap with his legs tucked inside the wrap (I made sure they were positioned in such a way that I knew he was not in pain) so when I wear him, his legs are out. I suspect he just doesn’t feel as cuddly in that position. He is 7 weeks old and after buying pretty much every swaddle product on the market we have settled on “the miracle blanket” though I suspect that once we are past the swaddle phase, he will be a thumb sucker. Thank you for the supportive responses. I am tearing up in my hormonal, sleep-deprived state!!

        • Oh and my issue with the target camis is mostly that the fabric feels a bit rough now from all the washing maybe.

          • And we have only succeeded in him sleeping in a rock n play with the exception of one 20 minute nap in his crib a few days ago. He has taken a few 40 minute naps in the rock n play as well but he usually refuses to nap in the rock n play and cries and cries. He will nap a lot of times in his stroller so I have been taking walks that are about 1.5 hours long…

          • Meg Murry says:

            Since he’ll sleep in the stroller for a long nap, any chance you have someone in your life you could convince to take him on a long walk so you can get a nap or at least a shower and chance to sit down with your eyes closed? Your SO when they return from work, a friend, family member or a neighbor? Remember that person that said “let me know if there is anything I can do”? This is something anyone who can walk can cross the street by themselves can do for you.

            As far as the cries and cries and cries – is this new recently (past week or 2) or has it been since he was born? If it’s recent, it could be the 6 week growth spurt, where he will want to eat/nurse pretty much constantly for a few days straight, and no amount of swaddling/shusshing/rocking etc will do – but once you get past that he will start sleeping for longer blocks. When I was in the thick of the growth spurt I pretty much just spent all night in a recliner, and when baby would finally fall asleep I would just put him in the bouncer next to me and pass out myself for the 30-45 minutes he would allow for, then repeat all night. I was lucky in that I was able to call on my mother and MIL to come over during the day and do thinks like take him for a stroller walk so I could at least get 2 solid hours of sleep, and then repeat the cat-naps. It sounds terrible, but it was only for 3-4 days, and then I was able to move on to where 4 straight hours of sleep was miraculous.

        • It will get better! I remember about where you are being one of the harder points of maternity leave: knowing that I was headed back to work in a few weeks and thinking that I, therefore, should be getting my sh*t back together. In reality? Nope. Not in the least. Keep on keeping on day to day. Four weeks is a long time. You will figure out the working mom thing, but don’t borrow that trouble right now. Keep on just focusing on taking care of yourself and your babe. The rest will come with time.

          On a different note: if he likes letting his legs hang out in a carrier, then do that. Whatever works for right now. For infant sleep, I liked the sleep lady and Dr. Sears. The sleep lady gave me ideas for how I could improve things and Dr. Sears normalized what I was going through.

          • SoCalAtty says:

            Yep – I use the Lillebaby carrier and we both loved it. Baby’s feet can hang out but they are still snuggled up against you. He’d nap 2 hours at a time in that thing.

        • Anonymous says:

          An encouraging thought from the other side – mine did not sleep for more than an hour and a half until he was five weeks old, refused to sleep anywhere but on me or dad until around 2 months, and woke up every 3 hours at night until he was 15 months. He now sleeps like a champ from 7 pm to 6 pm, so I am living proof that you will survive and things will get better. One thing that SAVED us was the rock n’ play. The first night we put him in that to sleep he slept for four hour straight and I almost cried with relief. That was the best 70 bucks I ever spent in my entire life.

          Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and things will get better. Try to focus on the next hour or day rather than on the long-term. I am thinking of you and sending you encouraging thoughts!

          • This. Been there. It will get better. Deep breath. This is a really hard time – the combination of panic about going back to work, anxiety about having no idea what you’re doing, and sleep deprivation/exhaustion is so normal and so hard.

            Do you have any friends with small kids who you can reach out to? Just to get together, commiserate, feel less alone. It really helps.

        • Both my guys didn’t like their legs tucked. May I suggest wearing your little one in a K’tan using the “Hug Position.” My 4 week old still protests at first, but is out within 2 minutes. You’re doing great, mamma. It will get better, I promise.

          And don’t forget to take care of yourself. Shower, get dressed, brush your teeth and eat something. It’s ok if you let baby cry for a few minutes while you do those things.

          • (was) due in june says:

            +1 to k’tan in hug position. DD hated the official infant position in the k’tan where she’s kinda curled on my side, but loved the hug position. I went to a baby wearing class to feel confident in the technique and positioning since the infant (kangaroo??) position was the only official position at that young age, but I felt a lot better about it after the class.

    • LegalMomma says:

      It will get easier. In terms of tank tops, I just relied on the regular long cotton wide strap tanks from Target – usually layered under a tshirt. There was plenty of room to just pull the top down.

    • Frozen Peach says:

      Hi mama!! Welcome to the tribe over here. You asked for resources, so here are mine:


      We swear by their advice and their non-judgmental, no-frills approach. It’s basically the user manual to your baby, written by two moms who were the on-call phone line nurses for a pediatric practice. They don’t pay me to say this. You don’t have to follow all their sleep advice to the letter to benefit from it. The white noise machine turned up loud was a huge game changer.

      We also had good luck with the advice in Happiest Baby on the Block, though save yourself the time and just watch the DVD (the book is sooooo redundant), and Bringing Up Bebe.

      I agree with the other commenters, be gentle with yourself!! This is the hardest time, the 1.5-3 month period, for many people. It does get easier!! Signed, mama whose kid slept 7:30-7:30 last night. And was a sleeper like yours at 2 months.

    • Due in December says:

      You are doing fine. At 7 weeks, just don’t worry about sleep habits. Your baby’s sleep will change dramatically (for better or worse, for me it was worse but for you it may be better!) and at this stage, just focus on getting him to sleep however you can. Don’t feel guilty if it is on you. Things may be entirely different in a month, and if not, you will deal with it.

      At this stage, I was spending most of my time at home in “sleep” mode. I would get ready for bed around 7 or 8, get the baby ready for bed, spend a half hour, maybe three hours actually getting the baby to sleep, wake up regularly during the night, let the baby sleep on me starting around 4am, maybe, and not actually “emerge” for my cup of coffee until 9. This way, even though it was in fits and starts and probably not the best sleep, I got enough to function, and my baby did too. FWIW, my baby also hated being worn.

      It did get easier. And then harder, and then easier again. No stage lasts forever.

      In terms of books, I liked reading Happiest Baby on the Block for soothing methods to try, and also the website Precious Little Sleep. But honestly, I don’t think any book will give you a tried and true, will always work method, especially for such a little one. We took suggestions and approaches from books and websites to try, but it was always a combo and trial and error to figure out what would work with our daughter. Still is.

      And in terms of camis, I like the Target ones but also GAP (though they are a little more form fitting, so less flattering immediately postpartum but more flattering later on, on my body at least).

      • Momata says:

        If he will sleep in the RnP, don’t worry about the crib transition yet. I would focus on building a good sleep routine around the RnP and on you as needed. I second what “Due in December” said — make the “night” as long as possible so that you and baby both accumulate enough sleep.

        You’re at what I consider the hardest part – the adrenaline has worn off, and you’re staring down the days on the calendar to going back to work. It will get easier, I promise.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bravado nursing tanks – they come based on cup size – they are amazingly comfortable and supportive.

      Original Baby Bjorn – I know this isn’t in fashion right now because the seat differs from Ergo/Tula etc but it always worked with my babies when their bellies were bothering them. It also fully unclips all the way around so I’d just unclip the whole thing and lay baby in crib on top of it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I noticed that you said he’s napping in the stroller. Can you just bring the stroller inside and let him sleep in that? My babies loved napping in the stroller. We often let them nap on the back deck in view of the kitchen (tablet as baby monitor in the stroller)

    • Butter says:

      Yes to Bravado tanks! So pricey but they are the best. I wear one most days at work too. I also liked the H&M nursing camis for cheap options around the house.

      Honestly, for me magic happened around the 8 week mark. At 7 weeks my LO was eating every 30 minutes for 45 minutes at a time, not sleeping well, and needed all hands on deck to take care of him. Between 8-10 weeks something happened and he started going 2-3 hours between feeds and sleeping in 4-5 hour chunks at night and generally just became soooo much easier to care for! It was like night and day, and I’m sure you’ll get there too. You’re in it right now, but almost out of the really really tough part!

    • octagon says:

      I had a whole passel of nursing tanks and by far my favorite are the Rosie Pope ones. Of course they were the most expensive, but the fabric is super soft and has held up well.

      No advice on the sleep, except to say that what you describe sounds normal, and it will get better before long. You’re doing great!

    • Carrie M says:

      Bravado and Glamour Mom tanks were great for me. I also often wore nursing bras and regular tanks (pulled up to nurse or pump). I like the Old Navy tami ones – super long, not maternity, but still covering everything, and very soft.

      You’re doing an awesome job. It sucks, but this does sound typical. When our first was a newborn, she never napped unless on my chest and only did the shortest stints at night. As other have said: This too shall pass. It will get better. Hang in there.

      We tried everything for sleeping: rock and play, momaroo, stationary reclined seat thing, car seat in the house, bassinette. Sometimes something would work for a day or a few days or a week. We took what we could get! Don’t be afraid to try new things. Your little one is still too young for a “routine” or for “bad habits” — so do what you need to do. In retrospect, I probably should have let her cry a little more. Around 8 weeks, I finally felt comfortable showering while she cried the whole time sitting in the car seat in the bathroom with me. She got over it. I got over it. I felt so much better after a shower! It’s okay for babies to cry. I can’t believe I waited that long to just say F it, cry a little kid while I get clean.

      On books: I read Weissbluth Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, as well as Happiest Baby on the Block. I didn’t follow any book to a T, but I liked getting different ideas and strategies to try. Remember: you know your baby best. Try what you’re comfortable with and what you think might work for your kid. Around 4 months, we ended up doing CIO. She’s had regressions here and there, but 90% of the time, our kid sleeps 10-11 hours at night without any issues. It just took us time to get there!

      Hang in there, mama!!! You’re rocking it!!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      That sounds like my kiddo! Wanted to stretch her legs, only slept on me, never slept long stretches. Motion helped my kiddo too; strollers and swings (when she would tolerate a swing) or her bassinet, which rocked itself. She would also fuss for 5 minutes in the Ergo, but eventually would clock out. You might have an active kiddo who craves stimulation. Have you considered one of those Fisher Price Aquarium things?

      Have you tried co-sleeping? It was not something I planned on doing, but it was the only way to get some sleep and not be a total zombie at work.

      I don’t have any other magic answers. It does get better – my kiddo usually sleeps at least 10 hours a night, and slept 11-12 hours a night from the time I did sleep training at a year.

      • Edna Mazur says:

        +1 on co-sleeping. Definitely not what we planned, would like to stop but kiddo doesn’t, but co-sleeping was literally the only I could get a somewhat decent night’s sleep.

        I’m about the worst person in the world to give advice on any kind of sleep training but co-sleeping saved my sanity.

    • SomeMamma says:

      At that age, my baby took short naps as well. I survived it by letting baby sleep wherever she would:
      – in the stroller
      – on my chest (with me on the recliner but wedged so that she wouldnt drop off if I dozed)
      – in my arms (with me dozing on the bed)
      – in the swing
      – on me (with me dozing on the bed)
      – cosleeping with me and still latched on.

      She woke up 4 times a night and I would nurse her to sleep each time, while cosleeping with her.
      Basically I did whatever worked and got me the most sleep in the short term. She is a year and a half now and has perfectly fine sleep habits – sleeps through the night etc. Dont worry about creating bad habits.

      • BTanon says:

        All of this! I dreaded transitioning from the swing/ rock n’ play, and thought it would never happen because I had created so many “bad habits”. My 10 month old now sleeps through the night just fine in his crib. We did a couple days of sleep training around 7 months, but until that point, it was whatever got us through.

        FWIW, I read Weissbluth’s book and hated the tone so much, but once I got past the multiple chapters about how badly I could be messing up my kid due to sleep deprivation, I did find it helpful. Happiest baby on the block was much more encouraging in my sleep-deprived state. Hang in there!

    • Anonymous says:

      When my daughter was trying to sleep for only two hours at night (though this was more like week 4 not 7) I focused on making sure she ate enough at feedings. I’d make sure she nursed on both sides (diaper change in the middle, etc.). She’d sleep for four hours if she was full enough.

    • Profesora says:

      Mine would only sleep in the rock and play for the first two months. My mom got us the magic merlin sleepsuit and we started using it around 10 weeks- miracle! He slept in his crib for the first time for longer than 20 minutes. We quickly got to just one night feeding. We just transitioned out of the suit at 6 months which i was worried about and after the first night with an extra wakeup he is not having any trouble (I was worried about this). Something to consider.

  2. Has anyone done something besides a crib for their baby? Our son was sleeping in a pack and play (still is) but I think he’s starting to feel a bit like a caged animal. I’m reluctant to move him to a crib because of some head banging behavior, and I also feel like the crib is kind of a waste since we have to get a real bed at some point (he is almost 10 months).

    I was considering a mattress on the floor with maybe some of those mesh side rails, but just wanted to see if anyone had done anything like this. A real bed now off the floor seems kind of dangerous to me. He’s not really crawling yet but will be any day now, I’m sure.

    • layered bob says:

      we do a very thin twin mattress (the thinnest Ikea mattress) on an Ikea slat frame on the floor (on slats to avoid mold; our house is damp). It is in the corner and halfway under our bed, so only one side is “open.” Kid is nearly a year old; she’s been sleeping there for a couple months. We moved her there when the Arms Reach co-sleeper got too small – she likes to sleep spread-eagle!

      Before she could crawl she rolled off if it a couple times; she would cry but was not really hurt since it’s only 4 inches off the ground. Now she can crawl on and off. She explored the “on and off” for awhile once she figured out she could do it, but now really stays on the bed until she’s ready to get up, at which point she will crawl juuuuust off the bed and then sit there with her blanket saying “mama” with her bedhead (SO CUTE).

      In another two months or so we will move the mattress to her own room. And then when she is older we will get a bed frame for it (when she is four or five probably).

      We love this set-up; we don’t own a crib and I don’t think we will get one for the next baby either.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Have you looked at the Montessori philosophy of setting up your baby’s room? I didn’t, but I recall that it includes a mattress on the floor. FWIW, my daughter started sleeping on a mattress on the floor on vacations at about 15 months. It was a tough first night or two, but she got the hang of it. You have to baby proof a lot more carefully than you would with a crib.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Yes, we have friends that went straight from a pack and play to a futon mattress on the floor, Montessori style. They had enough room in their house to have a separate playroom though, so they were able to make her bedroom extremely minimalist and childproof, and then put up a baby gate at the doorway.

        If you didn’t want to put a mattress directly on the floor, you can get a metal trundle bed frame for a twin mattress for under $100, and it could later roll under a “real” bed as an extra bed for guests, etc if you wanted to (or passed on to another person with a kid). When I was a little girl we didn’t have enough room in our bedroom (sloping ceilings) for a real bunk bed, so we had a slightly lofted bed and then a trundle that slid under it – the trundle was pretty much just a wooden frame and board bottom on casters, with a mattress in it, and that’s what I used as my bed until I was a teenager. If you have friends with older kids, you may be able to get a hand-me-down toddler bed, which is usually just a low box that holds a crib sized mattress.

        On the other hand, if you get a crib that has a side that comes off to turn it into a daybed, that can easily last as a “real” bed until the kid is 5 or so – my youngest was still sleeping in his until he was 4, and the only reason we moved him out was to pass the crib on to my niece, he could have stayed in it for another year or so probably.

    • My niece and nephew both went to crib mattresses on the floor. They both did really well with it!

  3. I think the answer is probably “because he’s a toddler,” but why is my toddler angry all the time?? Our formerly laid-back and smiley baby seems to be just always upset. About the dinner menu, his car seat, the dog eating the food he dropped on the floor, his toy not working the way he wants, whatever. It’s constant whining / fussy / crying for mama but I’m usually not able to fix whatever it is. He’s 20 months and has some words and signs but often not enough to tell me what exactly the issue is. I’m just exhausted by all the yelling and unhappiness and could really use some tips on how to cope.

    • To clarify, his yelling, not mine. I attempt to stay calm and use reason (“use your words,” “if you’re upset let’s take a break / have a hug”) but that’s really not getting us anywhere.

    • Is he getting enough sleep? I think they still need 13 or so hours at that age?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I think I pulled the Ergo out and started doing some hardcore toddler wearing at that point for the same reason. So much clinginess!

      I also found at that age, if I identified the big feelings for my kiddo and just sat with her for a while, she’d get over it quicker than if I tried to “fix” the issue. For instance, “I can see that you are mad, mad, mad! You didn’t want dog to eat your food. Mad kiddo!” and then we would both make grumpy faces at each other for a minute. I think “fixing” the issue or insisting on her “using her words” just upped her anxiety levels because it made a big feeling into an “action item” instead of a passing emotional state? I dunno.

      Book recommendation: The Whole Brain Child.

      • Interesting – thanks for this. It does seem like sometimes he just wants to be mad.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Yeah, I’ve noticed that my kiddo often comes home from a great day of daycare and wants to pound on me/pinch me/etc., like she’s held in a bunch of big feelings all day and needs to release them in a safe place.

          • Anon in NYC says:

            YES! My 14 month old has started doing this lately. Great day at daycare and then collapses in a puddle of sadness and crankiness at home.

          • Momata says:

            THIS. We went through a phase for several weeks at around 22 months where my daughter completely fell apart the second – no exaggeration – her foot hit the threshold of our house. Like she’d been holding it together all day and just could NOT. anymore. It seemed to help when we would drop everything when we got home and just sit with her and her feelings for a while.

          • Closet Redux says:

            Amazing! My 2.5 year old told me yesterday after daycare that she was “sad because she played too much.” I figured she meant to say “tired,” but maybe she really was sad!

      • October says:

        This sounds like the strategy in “Happiest Toddler on the Block” (which maybe you’ve recommended before?) I haven’t really put it into practice yet because my 12 mo old is just starting to enter toddler territory, but I think it makes a lot of sense. Basically, logic and reason don’t work until the kid has calmed down to a certain point (and even then it may not work, because toddler); primarily, you need to let him know you hear/understand/acknowledge his feelings.

        • I haven’t read that – will check it out.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          It is the communication strategy from Happiest Toddler (echoed in How to Talk so Kids Will Listen). I think it has become my default communication method when things get hairy at home…

          One caveat on Happiest Toddler; it recommends a pretty involved discipline strategy that includes regular time outs starting at age 1. It seemed strange to me, and my pediatrician confirmed that it wasn’t necessary. She said a parent’s role with a child under 2 is helping them identify and cope with big feelings, not punishing them for using the wrong means of expressing their feelings.

        • I heard a podcast about this once – that you’re actually supposed to just agree with the toddler even if they’re not making any sense (screaming “I want to go outside” when it’s pouring rain and 40 degrees or demanding a purple water bottle when you don’t even own one, etc). Not let them have their way, but basically be like, “I know, I wish we had a purple water bottle too! That makes you so mad, huh? Do you want a hug or to be alone?” You can’t reason with a toddler, was the point of the story, so it’s best to just agree with them and validate their anger.

          • This is what we do. To a toddler, it really IS a big deal that they can’t have a purple water bottle – it probably really is the worst problem they’ve ever had in their life. Validating those emotions, naming them, and helping them express them are all part of parenting. We do exactly above and just model a good action for that emotion. “I wish we had a purple water bottle too! I can see that you’re very mad! When I’m mad, I like to scream into my pillow. Do you want to try it too? Let’s do it together!”

            My 3 year old does NOT want to go to daycare this week because she wants to watch TV at home. I’ve done a lot of foot stomping about how I don’t want to go to work either. And then I take a deep breath and decide I can go after all, maybe I’ll see a friend while I’m there and we can laugh together. And then maybe I’ll get to watch one TV show tonight. I can practically see her teenage self rolling her eyes at me.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 to babywearing. I actually leave the Ergo out and visible and ask toddler if he wants up when he seems grumpy. Sometimes he brings it to me by himself. Often he’s satisfied with 10-20 minutes of snuggles. Learn back carry – then you can cook dinner while he watches from your back.

    • anne-on says:

      I hate to say it, but, because he’s a toddler. that being said – anyway you can anticipate/avoid some of the meltdowns? For example – my kiddo was just DONE by Thursday evening of daycare. Which was why we started making that the night for his favorite dinner, extra cuddles/book, a bit more tv time if necessary, and earlier to bed. Ditto for us being militant about snack times/naps – a hungry or tired toddler = full on meltdown.
      Distraction was also HUGE for us at that age, as was offering (set) choices. Mad about being in the car seat? Lets point out all the cars in your favorite color I can find! and emergency vehicles! and singing songs! Offering up two choices of dinner that are easy, offering up two-three choices of toys/etc.
      And wine for you ;)

    • Famouscait says:

      No advice, but my kiddo did this exactly. I seem to recall it prefaced a major cognitive breakthrough and/or teeth. It will get better!

      • Thank you. I sure hope so. More words would also be helpful (fingers crossed). Although he recently started saying “no” so I guess there’s a lesson in careful what you wish for …

        • Meg Murry says:

          I think the lack of words is a big factor in it – he’s probably getting frustrated because he’s trying to tell you something or he wants something in particular but he doesn’t have the words to tell you exactly what he wants.

          My favorite “mad toddler” story was from when my son was just learning to talk, and we must have spent an hour going back and forth with a miscommunication about his toast. He was sitting in his high chair in the kitchen, and he had specifically asked for toast (one of his first words, and one of his the clear-er things he said). So when the toast popped out of the toaster, I cut it in half and offered it to him, and he said “No! Toast pub-buh-buh! while smacking his hands together. I thought he was saying “peanut butter” (which he often had on toast), so I went and got it from the pantry and got out a knife to spread it. And he burst out “no! no! no puh-baba! So I offered him the plain toast, and he shoved it back at me and insisted “toast pub-buh-buh!”
          We went around and around in a circle like that – me offering him the toast, him saying no and saying something that sounded to me like peanut butter, him making a fuss when I tried to put peanut butter on the toast, him making a fuss when I tried to hand him plain toast. Then I tried everything else I could think of – I offered him butter, jam, hummus – pretty much anything I could spread on toast, with no luck. I tried taking him out of the high chair. I tried offering other food. I tried just walking away before I completely lost it on him. He kept going on with “no puh-buhbuh, toast puh-buh-BUH!” – which made no sense to me. In one of the flailing, the toast got dropped on the counter, and when I picked it up, I stacked the 2 pieces face to face, and he started shrieking excitedly and pointing at the toast. I handed him the plate, and he said to me “toast puhbubu!” again, but in a happy voice, and proceed to eat the toast with the 2 pieces stacked together like a sandwich. So apparently he was saying he wanted the toast *together* like a sandwich, and he was mad when I was offering it side by side, and offended that I didn’t understand his caveman toddler speak.

          So yes, it’s probably him being a toddler and wanting something in particular, and being mad that he can’t express that particular request yet. It does get better when they calm down a little and learn that no matter how many times they say it, shrieking for candy every morning for breakfast and to wear their flip flops in the snow does *not* result in candy and flip flops :-)

          • CPA Lady says:

            Oh gosh. That is hilarious. We had a similar hysterical meltdown situation, probably the worst tantrum my daughter has ever had in her life a week or two ago over a word we could not understand. She kept saying “tay-toh, tay-toh”, which I thought could possibly be tomato, potato, or play-doh. After offering her all those things, and her becoming so hysterical she almost threw up because she was crying so hard, we discovered she was trying to say either “paper” or “crayon” (? still not sure) because she wanted to color. Now when she says “tay-toh” we get out the paper and crayon and she happily goes to town. Poor toddlers. And poor parents who have to try to figure out what they’re saying.

            That said, OP, my child is a clingy little tantrum monster right now too. She’s 22 months. Sometimes she’ll flip out over something and be tantruming on the floor and I’ll ask if she needs a hug. She’ll say “uh huh” and come over and hug me while blubbering. It’s so sweet and usually helps her calm down.

          • Yes, that is exactly where we are! He says something that sounds like a word but I’m unable to decipher what it is he actually wants. And it seems to be something super specific.

          • Meg Murry says:

            @CPA Lady and RDC – it does get better eventually. Can you ask at daycare or other parents in the same daycare class if they have any idea what those words might mean? I’m wondering if “tay-toh” isn’t “art table” or “craft table”?

            What’s funny is that eventually you’ll learn these quirks (like that “tay-toh” means paper and crayons) and forget that they aren’t real words. It gets especially funny if you interact with a bunch of kids from the same daycare class that all use the same slang/shorthand and then you interact with other kids the same age but not from that group. For instance, my son and our neighbor girl both started saying a phrase like “pay-bi-gart” which apparently came from the teacher saying “time to play in the big yard” to mean “play outside” or “go to the playground”, whereas a different 2 year old in our friend group would say “go-siiiide” to mean “go outside and play”.

      • My 23 month old is starting to break through this, after a MAJOR language burst. He can mimic many words, and is using words I was not aware he knew. End is in sight!

    • Edna Mazur says:

      It gets better as they age. What works for us, when things are really just making him angry is telling him it is time to rest his body. He then either lays in his crib with comfort objects (blankie, teddy, yes, sometimes binkie) or, if he is really worked up kiddo and mama/daddy rest their bodies together in mama’s/dada’s bed. Dim lights, comfort objects, just lay there together. After awhile we can start talking, singing songs, reading books, but sometimes just removing almost all stimulation really helps.

  4. maxi cosi says:

    Anybody have the maxi-cosi pria 70? We have a subcompact suv, so looking for a smaller seat, and also am drawn to the claim of a cooling fabric for my sweaty, sweaty little man. Deciding between this and the Chicco Nextfit. Part of me thinks its silly to not just buy the top-rated carseat…

    • I have a friend with a fiat who has a Chicco. I’d guess if it fits in the Fiat, it will fit in your subcompact SUV.
      FWIW, we considered all the options you mentions and went with an UB and have been very happy.

      • maxi cosi says:

        Uppababy makes a convertible carseat? We used a borrowed NextFit in my parent’s car over the weekend (standard SUV) but it required the front seat being pulled up pretty far with it being rear-facing. Is this just the case for all of them?

        • (was) due in june says:

          Our nextfit is massive and fits in my husband’s SUV but not my old sedan. UB does not make a convertible car seat.

        • MDMom says:

          We have a nextfit in a rav4 and an accord with no space issues (then again, we aren’t very tall so it’s not like driver’s seat is all the way back anyway). The nextfit allows for a lot of angle adjustment which should help with the seat issue.

          My baby is sweaty too and the nextfit fabric seems better than his infant seat (Britax) but he’s still sweaty on long trips. If you do get the pria, I’d be curious how the fabric performs.

    • JB, JD says:

      I have the maxi-cosi pria 70. It’s in our VW Gulf, behind the passenger seat. I’m 5’9″ and I feel just a wee bit squished for long trips with it but not too bad. As far as the cooling fabric – most of this summer I’ve been impressed. But last weekend I went to put Birdie in there and it felt really hot. Other than that, I’ve been pretty pleased with it.

  5. NYtoCO says:

    How unrealistic am I to think that my dreams of being a life-long, world-wide traveler won’t be affected that much by having kids? My husband and I love to talk about how we’ll keep doing all the same things, traveling, etc. but will just bring the kids along or be totally OK leaving them in someone else’s care (grandparents, etc). Are we crazy? Can anyone confirm that they’ve done this successfully?

    • Anonymous says:

      So my husband and I used to travel all the time. We circled the ring road in Iceland, spent a month in Paris, sailed off the coast of Turkey, honeymooned in Morocco, did a long weekend in Barcelona… All sorts of trips like that before kids. I have traveled to six continents.

      Aaand we basically go where we can drive these days or a short flight. We have two under two and thats just all we are up for. I think the answer for us is that travel is on hold and I am excited to take our kids on cool trips with us one day. Of course everything will be twice as expensive and twice as much luggage and all of that, but I am super excited for family adventures. So maybe think of it like that?

    • I love traveling with my son (3 y.o.), and many of my friends who like international travel still travel with their young kids. It’s not as easy as traveling without kids, obviously, but it is doable and rewarding if it’s something that you value. You might have to scale back to places with shorter flights (Europe rather than Australia, etc.) for a few years and slow down the pace a bit, but I also think traveling with kids gives you a whole different insight into the places you visit. One of my favorite travel memories is taking our son to a playground in Sicily where he played with a bunch of little Italian kids and the parents all tried to get their kids to speak English with him (they were all in English-immersion preschools! So cute!) And just off the top of my head, I know people with toddlers who have gone to Spain, France, England, Greece, Italy, Iceland, USVI, and Mexico this year. So you can do it – it’s very fun.

      And we haven’t left him with grandparents to do our own trip, but I know a lot of people who have done that and been happy with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      We travel to Europe every year to visit family but also travel around besides. It’s totally doable. We’ve done Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and England.

      You have to pace yourself with toddlers/preschoolers – generally one event/activity per day. Art museums are not on the list at all. We have three kids. If we had two, we’d plan each adult to have a ‘day off’ to do adult things wherever we’re visiting.

      Look up local playgrounds – it’s a slower pace of travel but tons of fun and much more connection with local culture. We always stay in accommodation with a kitchen so we can eat breakfast and supper at home (kids go straight to bed after supper). We got our kids used to napping in strollers or baby carriers at home and often did this when on the go.

      • Anonymous says:

        adding that if family size is still a consideration for you and you want to do a lot of travel – I’d stop at 2 kids. We’re significantly limited because we’re outnumbered by kids. If we’re each carrying a toddler (like while hiking) then we’re limited by how far the preschooler can walk. If we had two parents and two kids it would be easier for sure.

    • mascot says:

      I’m not as prolific a traveler as some other- but I am really experienced in having my child spend a week at a time with grandparents. (Sadly for us, most of these revolve around long school breaks when DH and I need to work) They started keeping him overnight at a really young age so there was never this big anxiety about leaving him for the first time. There are some harder parts- differences in parenting philosophy, the re-entry after being with the grands for a week, etc. But those are all things you can overcome and in the end, your child has a good relationship and good memories of time with their extended family.

    • SomeMamma says:

      YOU TOTALLY CAN do it.
      The caveat is – you’ll be able to manage this somewhat with one kid, but if you have more than one then you have to wait until your youngest child is about 4 before really doing big world travel trips.

      With one child, at the right age, you still can do some travel. We traveled to Australia when first kid was 1.5, in my Ergo all day and we took public transport around Sydney, rode boats, etc. Stopped for meals and diaper changes, kiddo napped twice a day in the Ergo and it all worked out fine. Then we had the second kid and couldn’t do that same type of travel (still did vacations, just more relaxing ones).
      Once the youngest kid is over 4 (or 5 – what a magical age! how reasonable they become! a real mini person!) you can do all your dream trips. They can walk, ride a bus etc right there with you and can use the bathroom and tell you when they’re hungry and be interested in the world and ask great questions and learn and grow right there with you!

      • SoCalAtty says:

        You’ve confirmed what I think is that magical age mark! We’re at 11 months right now. We’ve done some travel with him so far – Hawaii, Yosemite, around California – but I don’t know how we would do it with more than one. At least I know a fun age for travel is just around the corner!

    • CPA Lady says:

      What exactly do you mean by life-long, world-wide? One big awesome vacation a year? Going to Europe every two months? African Safari? Going to a third world country and hiking through the jungle? If you’re talking about a big vacation a year, yeah, that’s totally doable.

      If you’re talking about frequent travel all over the world, I think it COULD work… Based on what I’ve seen with my sister, who has traveled very extensively with kid(s), these are some things that help/things to consider:

      -flexible, laid back, easy-going kids
      -a lot of money
      -an extreme zen-like tolerance for hassle, lack of sleep, and whining
      -realistic expectations about not being able to do as much for the first several years of each of your children’s lives
      -being OK with your kid getting medical treatment in whatever country you’re going to (this may be me and my hypochondria though)
      -grandparents that are in good enough physical and mental health to take care of your kids while you are away
      -being OK with your child’s extra-curricular activities not being as high a priority for your family as travel is

      I think you can pretty much do whatever you want fairly easily if you have an only child. I have seen that in my friends. The ones with an only tend to do a lot more, take the kid to Europe, etc. It just gets more complicated, difficult, and expensive once you have two or more. But you’ll definitely still be able to do some stuff.

      My sister and her husband lived in Europe for several years and traveled all over after their first kid was born. I think by the time my niece was 2 she had been to 20 countries. My sis is a SAHM, so never had her kid on a schedule as far as meals and naps, the way my daycare kid is, which made traveling a lot easier. She also was accepting of the fact that her kid (and she) would not sleep well when they were traveling, which is something I don’t think I would handle as well. She also got her daughter to sleep and wake on the schedule that was convenient for them, which is something like 9 pm-9 am sleep, as opposed to my kid who is more of a 6:30-6:30, which would be really boring and lame if we were traveling, because I dont just want to sit in a hotel at 6:30, you know? Anyway, they moved back to the US and now have a second kid. They still do a lot of smaller local trips happily and successfully, but haven’t done a big international trip with both kids because plane tickets are so expensive for four.

      • Anon at 12:31 says:

        For time zone changes traveling USA to Europe actually works really well.

        If a kid is on a 7-7 schedule at home, it’s like 1am – 1pm in central Europe so you can get away with keeping them on a 9/10-9/10 schedule while travelling in Europe even if you’re only there for a week or two – makes for an easier transition home too.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Do you ever read Emily Henderson’s blog? She is an interior designer who was on HGTV for a while, but she has a toddler and a baby right now. She recently posted about traveling with children, and mistakes she’s made and best ways to do it. I’ll try to find it if I have a chance.

      Travel with an infant is fun and relatively easy, as long as kiddo will sleep in a chest carrier. Travel with a baby/toddler from crawling through about 2.5 years old is much more challenging, because they want to be mobile and don’t have the attention span to be distracted while seated. It’s gotten easier now that my kiddo can spend 30-40 minutes doing one task (coloring, watching a movie, covering an airplane seat with painter’s tape, reading a book, etc). But naps are still important, and they go to bed so early that you are really limited in the activities you can do unless you can trade off adulting.

      I’ve heard it gets easier still at age 5-6 because the kid can pull their own wheeled suitcase and entertain themselves somewhat independently, and naps are mostly done.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Found it! https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/traveling-with-kids-our-successes-and-failures

        As for us, we loved to travel pre-baby, and are still gamely trying to do it. We have just adjusted our near-term expectations and plans accordingly. Some of the things Emily Henderson mentions, we’re doing. Like, we rent apartments/houses now. We try to do more relaxed places (beaches, hiking, nature-y things) where we won’t feel like we missed out because we didn’t get a chance to go to XYZ museum or, we went to the museum but the LO had a meltdown so we left.

        I’m also using small children as an opportunity to travel to domestic locations that I otherwise would have bumped down my list of priorities in favor of other more “exciting” places. But I also think there’s something exciting about discovering places in the U.S. that I’ve never been before.

    • EB0220 says:

      We traveled extensively with my first. It’s easy from 0-8 months, a pain in the butt from 8-24 months and then easier again once they are reliably communicative, potty-trained and eating people food. Personal experience – it’s harder to travel with 2. It’s much more expensive once you’re paying for seats for multiple kids. There’s no way around the troubles that come w/ time zone changes. But it can all be done, and it’s always been worthwhile for us. Nothing has restored my faith in humanity more than traveling with my kids. People are unfailingly polite and helpful and great.

    • My 4.5 year old just returned from visiting both sets of grandparents for a week (had to fly with them and everything). He did awesome! It’s a know your kid situation but like someone mentioned above, if you start doing overnights at an early age, it’s much easier. It was a gift for all of us and I can’t wait until we will be able to send our younger son, too. So, yes, this part is totally feasible (I assume your asking because you have parents/in-laws capable of providing this kind of care. Ours are relatively young, though they were both tired out by the end–they each took him for 4 days)

    • Anonymous says:

      When grandparents are caregiving we have flown them to our location. Child stays in daycare full time to give grandparents a break in the daytime. Keeping the daycare routine the same also helps child adjust to us being away.

    • NYtoCO says:

      Awesome! Thanks guys. This makes me feel infinitely better.

      Definitely not like… extreme travel. More like one or two big trips a year, probably mostly to (relatively) more accessible locations like Europe and South America. We do want 3 kids, so that’s a really good point about there being a big difference between 2 and 3. I guess if we do have three, we’ll just have to accept that there will be a few years when the third is ages 1-3 where we won’t be able to travel that much with them.

      We don’t love art museums anyways, but prefer to just wander around/act like locals/eat amazing food. Hopefully that’s a relatively compatible travel style with kids :)

      Thanks again!!

      • EB0220 says:

        This made me think of the Root of Good blog. Early retiree with three kids who does awesome, long trips with his three kids. Maybe not totally like your situation but a fun read!

    • I just got back from a 6 week long trip through France, Italy, and Spain with my almost 2 year old daughter and it was great! She was an adventurous eater (octopus, escargot, rabbit liver, etc!) and a great traveler. It helps that she is pretty flexible as a kid (does well with routine, but is never bothered to diverge from it). She sat through 2 hour dinners every night and in Italy where they start serving food around 9pm, was cool about staying up until 11 or 12 (we all slept in!). She’d also nap as needed in the baby carrier (about half the days we went back to our place to nap and the other half she napped in the car). We feel like we’ve gotten lucky–she’s just an easy-going kid, but it also helped that go out to long dinners regularly while at home and we take her to a lot of social gatherings regularly. We had to make some changes in how we travel from before (ie. one museum a day was her max and we needed to make playground visits or something similar a regular occurrence so there were things just for her too). One thing that helped is that we used Air BnB and stayed at apartments, so more room to roam–and sometimes even apartments where people had kids, so there were toys there for her. I’m not sure all kids can handle what we did in the same way she did, but I also think most kids are pretty flexible and will live up to the expectations that you have for them.

  6. I know it varies for everyone by a wide margin, but out of curiosity, how long did it take you to get pregnant after going off of hormonal birth control? Did you experience any physical or emotional side effects from stopping birth control?I am (hopefully) going off hormonal BC by the end of this year to start TTC after 10+ years on it, and I’m curious what others’ experiences were like.

    • Due in December says:

      I used barrier methods after going off hormonal birth control (for 4 months or so), per the advice of my ObGyn. Apparently there is a slightly higher risk of something, can’t remember what, when conceiving right after going off hormonal birth control, and also a slightly higher risk/chance/opportunity of multiples (for me, it was risk!). Also, I wanted to let my body have a bit of a chance to get used to being off hormonal birth control without me freaking out because I wasn’t getting pregnant, which I would do, even though there was no reason to.

      I didn’t experience a lot of side effects. Especially compared the the emotional rollercoaster that is pregnancy, the postpartum period, and BF’ing.

      I became pregnant practically immediately after pulling the barriers, so to speak.

      • Basically the same for me. Stopped hormonal at the end of Nov, used barrier in Dec, got pregnant halfway through Jan.

        Very few side effects, and the only weird one (intense attraction to basically everyone with a pulse) went away within a couple of weeks.

    • I went off it in September, but we didn’t really start Officially Trying (scheduling sex around my cycle) until November. I got pregnant in Jan and got a positive test in early Feb.

      With my second, I think I went off in March, started really trying in May, and got a positive in October.

    • Midwest Mama says:

      Sigh…well the first time around I got pregnant the first month off BCP after being on it for 12 years. Now, more than 5 years later, we’re in month 10 of TTC #2 and no luck yet. So, it varies!

    • Off BCP in June after 10 years, barriers until my period returned in August, pregnant that cycle. Kid #2: three weeks off BCP and right before we were going to start using barriers…

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I went off hormonal BC and got pregnant the first month. Apparently that’s a thing; you can have a “hyper fertile” cycle right after coming off BC, which is why there is a higher risk of multiples too. I didn’t know any of that and assumed it would take a few months to get pregnant, so I was shocked when the pregnancy test showed up positive.

      Also, I had horrible cramps before getting pregnant, so I knew that I could only suffer through a few cycles of no BC before I would have to go back on. Doing barrier method for 3 cycles before starting to try wasn’t an option unless my doctor was willing to prescribe strong pain killers for 2-3 days a cycle.

    • pockets says:

      It took me 6 months after being on BC for 10+ years to get my period, at which point I got it once, didn’t get it for another 4 months, freaked out, and went straight to fertility treatments (I have a 2.5 year old now so it worked out ok). After birth my cycle took 6 months to become regular, and was then on a 29-31 day cycle. If you’re serious about TTC, I would get off BC now because it could take a while for your body to reset.

    • I went off hormonal BC in April and then had a very long cycle (50+ days) before things stabilized. I got pregnant in October after several months of actively trying, had a miscarriage almost immediately, and then got pregnant again in November with my son (now 3 y.o.).

      • Oh and for side effects, I gained 5 lbs but I also stopped getting migraines. So I’ll call that a win.

    • Anonymous says:

      I went off BC after many years on (10+) because I couldn’t remember to take it on time so I figured I might as well not take them. We used condoms for ~3 years. When we did TTC, it took about 8 months. I don’t remember immediate physical/emotional side effects of stopping BC other than an increase in my drive, so it was a good one!

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, and I was pretty regular from basically day 1 of stopping BC. So there were no cycle issues for me.

    • Lurker says:

      I stopped my BC at the end of Dec. Jan was barrier methods per the doc. Feb we started trying. My period returned right on schedule. I’ve been ovulating late in the cycle though (day 21-23) with a shorter than average luteal phase (7-10 days). This is my first cycle I haven’t spotted throughout my LP. My period is due tomorrow. I’ve been obsessively taking pregnancy tests. This is cycle 7 and I’m just ready to get my BFP.

      For side effects, I had some dizziness and nausea. A day or 2 I stayed home because of it. It wasn’t during my period though. I have pretty significant cramping during ovulation. Seems like an evolutionary defect because I don’t see how feeling miserable on the highly fertile days leads to procreation. I’ve been crampy, had a headache and nausea the last few days. I’m hoping it’s because I’m pregnant but it’s probably just my period.

    • EB0220 says:

      Took 3 months with #1 after being on BCP for about 10 years. Took longer with #2, but complicating factors included: wonky periods post-breastfeeding, traveling husband, toddler.

    • Spirograph says:

      I went off BC in early December and conceived in July. I’d been on the pill for almost 10 years, and I don’t know that I ever had particularly normal/regular cycles before that. Afterward, my skin was temporarily slightly less clear, libido slightly higher, but I didn’t have any huge side effects. I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and geeked out on treating myself like a science experiment, so I kept fairly detailed charts and am so glad I did. My cycles were really long and/or I didn’t ovulate for months. I was a little anxious about that, but I also found it a little comforting that I’d have all this data to share with my doctor if I needed to do a fertility consult. Then in May/June things suddenly became a lot more “normal” and the rest is history. I also knew I was pregnant within days of conception because of the temperature shift, which was pretty neat.

      • Lurker says:

        Tell me more. I get a temp shift to confirm ovulation. Do you mean that it was a shift higher than your normal post ovulation shift? Did you ever get EW CM? I only had that for real my first month off of BC and one other month. You are giving me hope!!!!

        • Spirograph says:

          Yup! I think TCOYF calls it a triphasic pattern, and not everyone has a distinct one, but it was really obvious in my case. One level for pre-ovulation, one for post-ovulation, and one even higher for post-implantation. It was a cool Eureka! Science! moment for me, even aside from the “holy ____ I’m pregnant” realization.

          No, I don’t think I ever did get ew cm, which was one of the things that made me anxious… But it all worked out. I hope you get good news soon!

          • Lurker says:

            Thank you for replying. I also just read something that blew my mind. Those early result pregnancy tests that say they can tell 5 days before your missed period? They are assuming a “normal” ovulation on day 14 and a 28 day cycle, so 10DPO basically. If AF is due 10DPO then the earliest you can test is still when AF is due, early test or not. Since I’m 9dpo today, I feel much better about my negatives earlier this week.

    • Katala says:

      Stopped BC in Jan. or Feb. after 12 or so years. Barrier methods until TTC in August, got pregnant the first month. I’d started tracking my cycles when I stopped BC and everything was very regular from the beginning. I don’t recall any side effects from stopping but I was super busy at work then.

      My period came back right away PP (maybe 6-8 weeks? I didn’t know for sure until the next cycle) and was again very regular until surprise pregnancy #2, so I think my cycle just likes to do its thing, circumstances be damned. Different for everyone it seems.

  7. Due in December says:

    Question for a close friend, who is in the very early stages (9 weeks) of her first pregnancy.

    She had a ultrasound at her last appointment that showed something that *could* be a cyst near the baby. She has a follow-up appointment next week to confirm whether or not it is, in fact, a cyst. Apparently if it is, it could mean her pregnancy is “high-risk.” She and her husband are worried, and I was hoping for anecdata, positive or negative, from anyone who has gone through something similar. I figure better to have anecdata from this community than from googling, which may be the alternative!

    • Maddie Ross says:

      I’ve had ovarian cysts with both of my pregnancies. If it’s a luteal cyst, it’s probably in part helping the baby because of the hormonal load it puts out. It may be painful (mine were) for the first 15 weeks or so. Mine did not grow though and were much less painful by the second tri. If they had become larger or more painful, my doc suggested that they could do surgery to remove them. He did not seem to think it would be a significantly high risk to the fetus if that happened (but also thought the chances of needing to do that were small – like 5%).

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve known two people with cysts during pregnancy. One was a non-issue (no action required, although they checked it at some extra ultrasounds), the other needed surgery and it went fine.

    • My sister had an ovarian cyst during her second pregnancy. It was very painful for a short time during the first trimester, but that resolved and it never got worse. She had to get more ultrasounds but everything was fine for her and baby!

    • My mom had an ovarian cyst when she was pregnant with me 33 years back. Probably she had it before she got pregnant. It grew over the course of the pregnancy and around 16 weeks, the ovary with the cyst was removed. I was born healthy :-). Then my mom carried and delivered my younger sister.

    • Anon for this says:

      Yes- I have dermoid cysts. More frequent ultrasounds and the risk of possible surgery was discussed. ( I have had 2 previous surgeries, knew I had them and accelerated baby plans accordingly). I had a miscarriage my first pregnancy, totally normal and healthy pregnancy the second time around. It was stressful, like any ‘complication’ with a pregnancy.

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