Nursing & Pumping Tuesday: Wrap Tee

wrap tee for pumping mothersA wrap top — either worn by itself or layered with your favorite nursing camisole — can be a great option for pumping and nursing moms. Easy access — and you can reclose it entirely after each nursing or pumping session, the fabric won’t get too loose. Nice! This pretty gray one is only $21 at Nordstrom, avaliable in gray and pink (down from $35). Wrap Tee

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

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  1. I posted last week about false labor and wanted to report back in case anyone goes through something similar… apparently it’s called prodromal labor and it’s normal/somewhat common (though no one I know irl has had it).

    Basically it feels just like real labor – painful contractions, sometimes as close as a few minutes apart for an hour or more, but doesn’t progress. It’s not Braxton Hicks.

    I wish I’d known because I thought I was going crazy and was being a huge wimp about BH – but my midwife assured me that these are REAL contractions and that yes, it feels like your pelvis and upper thighs are being ripped apart when you have contractions.

    Bed rest doesn’t do anything for it because unlike BH, hydrating/resting won’t stop the contractions. So lucky me, still working through this!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I’m sorry – that sounds awful! Then again, at the first sign of a real contraction, I told the nurse that I was ready for an epidural. So I’m a huge wimp about contractions. Good luck getting through the next few days/weeks!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I’m sorry pogo- I was just thinking about you yesterday hoping you’re OK! That doesn’t sound very fun at all. Hang in there

    • Ugh, I’m sorry! This happened to me too…I was in prodromal labour for about four days before actually giving birth. I thought I’d go without an epidural, but by the time I actually got to the hospital I was just exhausted from not sleeping terribly well for four days. Happily, by the time I got there I was already 7cm dilated so they were like ‘Would you like an epidural?’ and I was like ‘YES PLEASE THANK YOU’. So hopefully it’s helping you make progress on the dilation/ effacement front?

  2. shortperson says:

    we are visiting seattle this weekend for a wedding and have time for one toddler activity. we are staying downtown without a car and my 2.5 year old loves museums. deciding between aquarium, seattle art museum and childrens museum — any thoughts? any other suggestions? thanks!

    • 19 Weeks says:

      We just did the Pacific Science Center with our almost-3 year old (as recommended by the board a few weeks ago), and he loved it. Do wish we had checked out the children’s museum though – looks cool, too!

  3. Oh no! That’s awful – hoping both these babies make a speedy arrival. I’m due in for a sweep on Thursday.

  4. I’m pregnant with kiddo #2 – Horaay! Even though I’m very early, this pregnancy is already so different than #1. I have practically no morning sickness this time around, but it was SO BAD with my first pregnancy, even this early on. Logically, I know every pregnancy is different. But of course, I’m now irrationally concerned that something is wrong with this pregnancy because I’m not sick as a dog. Did anyone else have very different pregnancies? Can you aussage my fears?

    • Congrats! I’m 8 months pregnant with #2, and so far this pregnancy has been a LOT easier than my first. I’m not sure why – both kids are boys and I’m not doing anything particularly different. Perhaps it’s just a matter of being busy and distracted with my preschooler, or maybe our bodies get used to the hormones and don’t react as strongly? I wouldn’t worry about it though. Just enjoy not feeling so sick this time!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Congrats! I’m pregnant with #2 as well and am having the opposite experience!
      my first pregnancy I had some nausea, but it didn’t start until around 10 weeks, and I probably threw up 3-4 times the entire pregnancy. Early on I had fatigue, but my chest area didn’t hurt (avoiding moderation by not saying the body part), etc. Looking back, compared to this pregnancy, I basically had no symptoms. The end result of that one was I have a healthy 7-year-old boy :)

      This time I’m in the “sick as a dog” camp.

    • Delta Dawn says:

      Congrats! My two pregnancies have been total opposites. Just like yours, but switched– my first pregnancy was so lovely, I was never sick a single day, I had a lovely glow, blah blah blah. This time, I have thrown up pretty much every day for twenty weeks. My skin is a war zone. Anecdotally, I think your experience is normal, and I’m glad you get the easy pregnancy this time!

    • Spirograph says:

      Is your first a boy or a girl? I had quite different symptoms with different-sex babies. I don’t know if it’s an old wive’s tale, but I’ve heard that it’s common to have much more morning sickness with girls than boys. (I didn’t really have much nausea with any pregnancy, but I had very intense food aversions when I was pregnant with my daughter.)

    • This was my mom’s experience with her two pregnancies. She had HG with me and threw up daily until she was 7.5 months pregnant and had to be hospitalized a few times. Amazingly enough after that experience, she wanted to get pregnant again and had literally no issues at all when pregnant with my sister. She told me that she basically didn’t even believe she was pregnant half of the time, since she felt so good. She ended up with two healthy girls, so I think you’re fine. :)

      This is my first pregnancy and my first tri was awful. If we do this again, I’m really hoping I get easier “unicorn” pregnancy the second time around.

    • Katarina says:

      I felt fewer symptoms with my second pregnancy. Both resulted in healthy boys. My second pregnancy I did not feel any nausea until after I had seen a heartbeat at 8 weeks, and it was pretty mild, while I felt nausea at more like 5 weeks with my first, and had aversions to basically all food.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations! I have had pretty opposite pregnancies. With the first, I had only mild morning sickness (threw up two or three times over the first trimester, ate more crackers than usual) and then had such terrible heartburn towards the end that I couldn’t eat many of my favorite foods. Also had terrible insomnia. I’m 28 weeks with #2 now and had absolutely miserable nausea the first trimester, threw up a ton, and lost 15 pounds from not eating. Now I feel great, no heartburn and no insomnia.
    So yes every pregnancy is different, even healthy ones! Maybe it means your baby will be opposite gender of your first!

  6. 2 yr old tantrums says:

    My 2 year old has begun having tantrums every night (and sometimes morning). The tantrums are the frustrating combination where he tells us what he does not want, but never what he wants. I have no idea how to deal with this, so I’m starting my research. If anyone has a book or suggestion, I would appreciate the advice.

    • How Toddlers Thrive is one that was sort of useful at this age.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      If the tantrums tend to happen around sleeping/waking times, it’s possible they are overtired toddler tantrums – he may not know what he wants because he doesn’t actually want anything. My kiddo tends to turn into a “No monster” when she’s overtired; I could offer her a bowl of ice cream and she would say no.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      These may be obvious suggestions, but how verbal is he? My daughter is very verbal, but when she doesn’t know the word she’ll just say “this, this” over and over again. It sometimes helps for me to hold things up for her and say, “do you want the book?” “do you want the truck?” and we can occasionally hit on the right thing. I think it helps her to see that she’s getting my attention.

      Sometimes in the evenings my daughter will have a meltdown because she’s a combination of tired and hungry, and therefore much more easily frustrated. Maybe a small snack before/after dinner could prevent some of his tantrums?

      I also find that my daughter is much more prone to tantrums in the evening when I don’t give her my full attention for at least a small period of time. Sometimes I just need to come home and play with toys for a few minutes before getting started on dinner / prep for the next day.

    • Frozen Peach says:

      We just crossed through this land of Tantrum with our 2-year old.

      Oddly enough, The New Basics, 123 Magic, Moms on Call, and Janet Lansbury all advocate the same basic response when a tantrum isn’t due to being overtired/hungry/sick. I find it hilarious that some of the crunchiest and some of the more conservative/authoritarian parenting experts completely agree about this. Gives me lots of confidence! And it works– after about 2 months we rarely see this behavior.

      – Acknowledge feelings, give kid choices about behavior, explain if tantrum continues, will give you some space to cool off, I count 1 2 3, which is frequently the end now after a few months of following the rest of the process
      – Without giving emotional response to tantrum behavior, pick kid up, deposit kid in room or other confined and childproof area, say “I’ll be right here when you’re ready to talk,” close door, let them display as many theatrics as they need to without an audience.
      – If child has not fallen asleep, when kiddo is calm, go back, hugs, snuggles, talk about feelings and the “lesson” of whatever triggered the tantrum.

  7. I am at a point where I sort of want to take a step back at work. I either want to work reduced hours or find something with more flexibility/work from home possibilities. How do you express that in your job search? A few recruiters reached out to me this week and I want to be able to say something to them along the lines that I’m not interested in a lateral move, I am more interested in an “outside the box” position. My current position has a heavy body in chair 50+ hrs per week component and due to the industry, that won’t get any better in the same position at a different company. I am paid well for my HCOL area, but I would be willing to take a somewhat significant paycut for a job with the right hours/flexibility. Usually when I talk to recruiters they aren’t interested once they know my salary (which they demand to know almost immediately).

    • Anonymous says:

      “I’m generally happy in my current position but I would be willing to consider other positions with more flexible schedules or fewer hours. My salary expectations could be flexible depending on the nature of the position. I am not interested in pursuing positions with an increased salary for similar or more hours.

    • Thank you!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I’ve started telling recruiters that it’s my policy to not share my current salary, but only share my compensation expectations for the job I’m seeking. Some states are also prohibiting employers from asking about your current salary, so it’s a reasonable policy.

      I’m not actually looking for a job right now, so my “compensation expectations” to woo me away from my current role are pretty high. FWIW, I tend to discuss total comp rather than salary alone; my current role is salary heavy with almost no deferred comp/bonus expectations. I’d take a salary cut for the possibility of significant bonus upside, or for guaranteed paid time off (as an hourly biller, I have flexibility but it’s hard to step away for a long vacation without gutting my hours pipeline; I would take a pay cut for the ability to take 4-5 weeks off each year without worrying about hours).

      • +1 to this. Think like a politician and answer the question you want them to ask.

        If they ask you your current salary – “In order to leave my current job, I’d expect a salary plus bonus to be in the range of X-Y.” If they continually push, “I don’t see how my current salary is relevant to this discussion. Can you explain why that matters more than what it would take to leave, which is X-Y?” Sometimes they claim they HAVE to fill in a box on a form. “Great! Feel free to enter X-Y, which is what I need to leave.”

  8. AltaLitGirl says:

    I’m going back to work in 6 weeks after baby #1. My little girl is slated to start at a daycare centre at the beginning of September and she’ll be 8 months old at that time. I know we still have a lot of time before she has to go to daycare but I already feel like I’m starting to fall apart. The centre is very professional and well organized, and I’m scheduled to take her in for a few hours each day the last week in August to help with the transition, but the thought of leaving her there all day without me makes me feel really sad.

    My firm is very supportive of the mat leave I have taken so far, and I’m not stressed about returning to work (and pumping 2-3 times a day at work). It’s my plan to try to return 4 days a week to start so that I can still have one day a week at home with my baby, and I think that will be helpful as long as I don’t get too busy right away and can maintain it.

    I’m just really struggling with the thought of leaving my baby all day, even though it is the best thing for our family financially and for me professionally. Any tips/advice for how to stay strong and make the transition back to work as easy as possible for my LO and I?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. Live one day at a time. Have you ever tried mindfulness? It really helps me to practice savoring the current moment when I am worried about a future event.

    • Aww, it’ll be ok. For me, the anticipation of daycare / leaving the baby all day was so much worse than the reality. The infant room is always the gentlest, sweetest place, where all the babies do is nap, eat a bit, play with soft toys, and get cuddles. It only takes a week or two for the infant teachers to go from strangers to trusted members of your village.

      As for transitioning back to work, let yourself feel all the feelings. The first week or two will be hard, and then you’ll slowly get your groove back.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Make sure to take tons of photos and videos so you can look at them during the day. Talk to other parents who’ve been through this recently and tell them you’ll need some extra moral support for the first few weeks. Texts from people telling me it would get better were invaluable.

      And do what you need to do to make yourself feel better/in control — I slept with the sheet that she would have in her pack-n-play for the week before she started daycare so it would smell like me (I’m sure she could care less but it made me feel like I was doing something!). Also fun — ordering cute labels for all her stuff at daycare.

    • Delta Dawn says:

      This is exactly how I felt after baby #1. I could not imagine leaving him with strangers. As CHJ said above, I quickly learned that the infant teachers were wonderful angels and that daycare was a magical place. They know so much about babies– things I would have probably never figured out on my own. They would give me tips of things to try at home, tell me things that my particular baby likes/doesn’t like, and made me feel so much more capable. They were his teachers, but I really felt like they were my teachers too. Now, for baby number two, I’m already excited for the day I get to take him to daycare, because I know that will be a positive turning point. I think once you start going to daycare, you will feel much better about it.

      • avocado says:

        This. My daughter and I both learned so much from day care. Who knew that one-year-olds could be taught to wash their own hands and clear their dishes, or that two-year-olds could put on their own coats? Certainly not me! You will also enjoy meeting the other babies and parents.

      • Yes. Daycare teachers are angels and experts and every bit of amazing. They advised me if a 99* fever was calling-dr-worthy, told me that Triple Paste would clear up bad diaper rash, reassured me she was within normal ranges for hitting milestones.

        They also did all the stuff I would have never thought to do – sensory bins and playing with snow and finger painting (as a 7 month old!!). They had all these cool toys that my kid got to play with. They had a million different napper-type devices so we could figure out which one worked for my kid. They made us mothers day/ fathers day gifts that I still treasure. They sand Hanukkah songs and made Christmas ornaments and played at a water table outside in the summer.

        Basically, they took all the pressure off of me to be an awesome mom. I knew she was taken care of perfectly for 50 hours a week, and I got to spend the rest of the time cuddling and reading and playing and just being with my kid, which means that I got to be a better version of myself.

        I freaked out about leaving my baby with “strangers” but very soon they were the people who love my kid just as much as I do. My daughter has an awesome village who wants her to succeed. It’s amazing.

        • AwayEmily says:

          Perfectly articulated. I feel the same way about our amazing daycare — it makes me a much better parent.

        • CPA Lady says:

          ^ every bit of this. I cried looking at the “graduation” pictures from my kid’s daycare because I got really upset thinking about her graduating in a few years. She’s 2.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Yes! It’s still heartbreakingly hard to be away from baby, but she will thrive at daycare! And it will be wonderful for her to grow up with you as an example of how to be a successful professional AND a dedicated mom. You’re gonna do great.

        (I cried so so so much when I went back to work/baby went to daycare. Though, actually, I cried SO MUCH the weekend before that by the time my first day rolled around, I was less weepy than I expected.)

  9. Bbyardley says:

    I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy at about 6-7 weeks and had zero nausea/food aversions. I was like well no nausea = because it was a mc, but then I got pregnant right after with my daugher and had no nausea again until like 8-9 weeks when I had some aversions and gagged on a turkey sandwich. I have had multiple friends have very different pregnancies! So both pregnancies the healthy and the mc were no nausea, the first absence of nausea wasn’t necessarily because of the mc.

    • bluefield says:

      When I got pregnant with #2, I had nausea and food aversions for about 2 weeks and then miscarried at 8 weeks.

  10. AwayEmily says:

    Has anyone successfully moved a kid’s wakeup time later? My 16-month old wakes up at 5:50am every morning, and has for the last 6 months. Her light-up clock turns green at 6:30 and she is very quiet until then but we can tell on the monitor that she is awake and chilling. The issue is that she’s midst of dropping her morning nap, which currently happens at around 9. We’ve been in the stage of sometimes-she-takes-it and sometimes-she-doesn’t for over a month now. I don’t want to rush her, but I think one of the reasons she’s having so much trouble is that she wakes up so damn early. If she could get even an extra half hour in the morning I suspect it would make the nap-dropping much easier.

    Bedtime is currently 7pm. We haven’t tried moving it later because she is very ready for bed by 7 — goes to sleep within five minutes almost every night. The few times we’ve put her to bed before 7, she wakes up even earlier. She naps for about 2 – 2.5 hours total a day regardless of whether she takes her AM nap.

    So, any strategies for helping her get an extra half hour or so would be very welcome. Do I need to disrupt her schedule for a few days (for example, by keeping her up super late) so she “deprograms” herself from her 5:50 wakeup? I am at a loss. Or should I just give up and assume it will regulate itself? (feel free to tell me to just chill out — sleeping is the one parenting “thing” that I’m probably way too crazy about).

    • Anonymous says:

      honestly I would do nothing and be glad that you have such a great situation. Baby sleeps 7pm-5:50am after an easy put down and happily waits until 6:30am to bug you? I wouldn’t mess with anything for fear of screwing up a good thing. Maybe go to bed an hour earlier yourself so 6:30 doesn’t seem so early?

      • +1 – you’ve got it good. 16 months is a terrible age for sleep, in my limited experience, and she will likely start sleeping later once she drops the nap. If you do want to try a shift I think you have to move the afternoon nap later if you want to successfully move bedtime later – everything has to move later. But for 30 minutes, I’m not sure I would bother.

    • mascot says:

      Instead of messing with bedtime and wakeup times, how about moving towards dropping the morning nap? My kid dropped his when he moved up to the toddler room around 12 months (daycare likes to consolidate the nap early). You can start the afternoon nap a little earlier if she needs it.

    • bluefield says:

      I think you need to disrupt her whole schedule for a few days. For every nap transition it was 1-2 weeks of difficulty and hard transitions before everything worked itself out. I wouldn’t keep her up late though, I don’t think you’re going to get benefit out of that. I would push back her nap by half hour increments until you get it where you want it to be, and she’s sleeping for 2-3 hrs at that time. It could take a few weeks of too-short naps & earlier bedtime to compensate.

    • Anonymous says:

      What worked for getting my kiddo to drop morning nap (she started to drop it on her own and on days she got the morning nap didn’t want an afternoon nap and was a disaster by dinner, so she needed a little push) was a 10:00 activity and an 11:30 lunch. And keeping her awake in between the two. Sometimes this meant her walking home from the library or being carried part way to avoid sleeping in the stroller.

      Now that it’s summer she often eats her lunch at the park (especially on water play days) and is asleep by 12. This also makes it easier to get a second activity in during the afternoon (the past couple days it’s been rainy and she hasn’t gotten out as much so she’s not napping until 2pm so that makes afternoon activities tough and makes winding down at bedtime just a smidge harder.)

      I’d just try to get her to stay awake until an early lunch (drop morning snack if she has one) and see how that goes.

    • AwayEmily says:

      You all are just the best. We are actually moving at the end of this week, and your comments give me some hope that it might actually be beneficial for her sleep — both the schedule disruption and her new daycare, which has a slightly earlier afternoon nap than her current one. Here’s hoping it will make it easier for her to drop the morning nap.

  11. Midwest Mama says:

    Do any of you regularly give your kids melatonin or magnesium to help them sleep? My almost 6 yo has such a hard time settling down and going to sleep at night. She always says she’s just not tired, and I feel for her because it’s hard for adults to sleep when we’re not tired. But now that she will be starting kindergarten and getting up earlier, I’m worried that she won’t be getting enough sleep. Or will school tire her out enough that she will be able to fall asleep easier?

    • mascot says:

      We’ve done melatonin to correct short term sleep interruptions. School will make her tired so you may need to adjust her bedtime and try to keep the schedule roughly the same for the weekends. You may also want to let her nap on the weekends as needed- my 6 year old needs a “rest hour” many weekends. He can read or sleep in his room, but no screens and no toys.

      • Midwest Mama says:

        Thanks. Maybe I’ll try melatonin for the short term to get her back to a “school” sleep schedule and then let it sort itself out once school starts. We’ve gotten into terrible habits this summer with her staying up until 1 am and then sleeping in until 11 am!

    • Sassyfras says:

      Melatonin is not something I would use on a regular basis but I think is okay for short-term to try and correct her sleep cycle. Magnesium would not be harmful as long as the dosage was correct. I agree with mascot to try and keep the schedule the same on the weekends and that will (hopefully) help her to adjust to an earlier bedtime.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Curious – isn’t magnesium also a laxative (like, milk of magnesia)? I’ve never heard of it for sleep before.

        • Midwest Mama says:

          I hadn’t either, but I was talking child sleep issues with my sister-in-law, and she mentioned that her mom used to give her magnesium in a cup of warm milk every night before bed to help her sleep…(?)

        • Sassyfras says:

          Taking too much can definitely cause laxative type effects, but in low doses is good for relaxation. Google tells me that magnesium bonds with GABA which is what causes the effect. I personally take a magnesium product called NaturalCalm before bed and do think that it helps me fall asleep but I’ve never thought to give it to my daughter. But she’s 2 and it doesn’t taste great so I don’t think it’s worth the fight :)

    • FTMinFL says:

      If you want an intermediate option to try before jumping straight to the melatonin, try a glass of tart cherry juice 30 minutes before (desired) bed time. Tart cherries have a slightly more bioavailable form of melatonin than the typical tablet and is generally ok for long term use. I have a long history of trouble winding down to sleep and now a toddler with the same problems. This plus a solid 30-40 minute wind down routine gets us both down relatively easily.

    • Have you tried just waking her up earlier? Then she will be tired earlier. I think you need to gradually work back to what you think bedtime should be.

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably school is going to wipe her out (I have seen this before — many times.)

      What about exercise? Or meditation? 30 minute dance party and a quick cool-down shower? My parents used to sit on our porch and make my brother run laps around the house.

      There’s a whole bunch of interventions before even mild OTC meds.

  12. Newborn Photography - Yay or Nay? says:

    I’m debating whether or not to book a newborn photoshoot for our first LO. Part of me really wants to do it and worries that I may regret not having nice photos of her squishy little baby phase (since I know iPhone snaps of newborns aren’t quite the same!), and the other part of me (and DH) says it’s a waste of money. I’m finding that this type of photography runs around $800 in our HCOL area. There are some cheaper options ($500-$600), but I don’t like their style of photography as much. We can afford it, but I also cringe a bit at adding another almost-$1k to our baby costs. I also really want to do a birth announcement, so I’m not sure what photos we would use if we didn’t have some professional shots.

    Any thoughts/opinions from those who did or didn’t do them?

    • 19 Weeks says:

      We could have afforded it with our first, but we didn’t. I do not regret it. I have some super “great” phone shots that we took over the first few weeks. What are you going to do with the photos, other than the birth announcement? If you plan to blow them up (2+ feet) to make a canvas or something, I can see how you’d want higher quality shots, but —

      Re your question: “I also really want to do a birth announcement, so I’m not sure what photos we would use if we didn’t have some professional shots.”

      I mean… you use your iPhone shots, or your point and shoot (if you still have one), or you get a friend who has a DSLR to take some shots at home, if you want to be fancy and have good friends. Birth announcements are printed on 5×7″ paper size, right? You will get some adorable shots of your newborn on your own that everyone else will be very happy to receive.

    • AwayEmily says:

      We didn’t do them and I have zero regrets. We got a nice photo book printed of her first two months — the book included both candid iphone photos (which sometimes are the most adorable!) and some nicer posed ones we took with a point-and-shoot. I have liked having more (and more diverse) photos to remember the first few months by rather than just a few “perfect” ones.

      Now we use Chatbooks, which I seriously cannot recommend enough.

      I do kinda regret not getting a photo shoot when she was ~9 months old, though. She was much cuter and more “herself” at 9 months than when she was a newborn. It would have been nice to capture the final stage of “baby” before she turned into a toddler (and to get some professional photos of us as a relatively well-rested, happy family rather than as an exhausted mess of a family, which we were when she was a newborn).

      • avocado says:

        If you only want to do one professional photo shoot, I’d definitely do it between 6 and 10 months when baby can sit up and looks more like herself instead of during the newborn period. My daughter did not look at all like herself between about 1 week and 8 weeks, and I’m not terribly fond of any of the pictures I took during that time. Whenever I look at them I think, who is this weird skinny alien baby glaring at the camera?

    • Walnut says:

      With my first, we used the hospital photographer for $100 of newborn photos and loved them. With my second, we hired an awesome newborn photographer and spent $$$ to get newborn, family, and sibling photos. They were more affordable if I bought a package deal. While I don’t regret not having the fancy newborn photos for the first kiddo, I’m loving the newborn photos this time. The biggest difference is that we’re in a better place financially now than with our first, which made it easier to pull the trigger on some extra splurges.

    • Anonymous says:

      We did a lifestyle newborn shoot and I’m so, so glad we did. I love that we have real pictures of the three of us and especially of me and our son.

      • This. Cell phone shots just aren’t the same, and very rarely do you capture a “nice” photo of all three of you. (Or even a nice photo of just mom and baby.) There’s always a weird background or something not quite in focus or a someone not looking the right way. A good photographer takes care of all of that.

        Yes, cell phone pics are fine, for most daily stuff. But who’s taking the pictures? Usually the mom isn’t in them at all, or if she is, it’s just her nose, or her leg, or an unflattering angle because “who’s going to look at anything but the baby anyway”. Or you get someone to take a good photo of the three of you, but there’s a chair railing cutting through your heads. Or the baby’s onesie has spit-up on it. Or Partner has a strand of hair out of place.

        I insist on family photos once a year. That way, we have a dated, official, record of what we looked like, together, and can see how our family evolves through the years. To me, it’s a little like leaving a legacy. My kids will be able to look back and say “that’s what my mom looked like at my age” or “how did I look when I was 3” and not have to scroll through 5000 grainy unfocused cell phone shots to find one decent angle.

        • shortperson says:

          i agree on the once a year rule. we have moved to flytographer to capture travel as well while we’re at it. partially bc we live in a HCOL area so flytographer is actually cheaper than doing it at home.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I did them and love them. I too found the cost outrageous, but I paid $450. That was one of the least expensive options I could find in my area that would also come to my home and not make us travel to a studio.

      A few suggestions: you can see if your wedding photographer is interested in building a family photography portfolio or has a recommendation for a less-established photographer who might cost less. You could also ask around on parenting listservs/FB groups for recommendations.

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      I thought they were stupid. My husband is such a great photographer (amateur), so I thought they were an unneeded added expense. My husband actually insisted. They were ridiculously pricey, but I am so, so, so glad we got them. I love looking back and reminiscing and seeing them. I also love having them of our new “family” just three days in. the photographer made us seem MUCH more well rested with the poses (i.e., more adoringly looking at baby than smiling at camera). We didn’t even blow up any of ours to hang on the wall and I’m STILL so glad we bought them. if you have the money, do it.

    • Someone else recently asked about this. I’ll echo everyone else, it is pricey, but I LOVE my son’s newborn photos and 2.5 years later still have them displayed. I even recently looked back at photos from that time period and DH and I just did not do a good job (lots of bad lighting, baby on the floor moving too much, etc) and I’m so so glad for the nice professional photos. If we have a second, I would absolutely spend the money again.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Can you cruise groupon for a deal? We bought those hospital newborn photos, and got some family ones done when kiddo was a year old, and then kiddo did some modeling (ha!) when she was two, so we have photos from that — and it’s just really nice to have some well lit, well shot photos to put in a frame in the hallway. Certainly not a necessity, but it’s far from the dumbest kid thing I’ve spent money on.

    • shortperson says:

      we did it and i love having them. saved a bit by booking a 4 pack all together, which was an insane expense but we loved so many professional photos from a time when she was growing so quickly. obviously not a necessity but if you can afford it it’s one of the great things to spend money on. i.e. did not get a fancy stroller even though we *could*

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t with my first and I totally regret it. In fact, that is one of the primary regrets I have regarding my first as a little one. We definitely did for my second in light of my regret. And I totally treasure them. Professional photos are just so different than what’s on your phone.

    • We did not do them because I think they’re usually cheesy (baby in a knit peapod type thing). This may be a how-you-grew-up thing; neither my husband nor I had families that took them, newborn or otherwise. My favorite family photos from my childhood are the ones where we’re on vacation and the kids are wearing mismatched clothes that they picked out themselves, but it’s capturing such a genuine moment in time.

    • ThatGirl says:

      I vote yay. We got “newborn” shots done of our 5 week old foster (with the knowledge that we’d surrender them to his forever family if he did not end up staying with us) and they are just so so sweet and well done. If you have the money, I wouldn’t think twice about doing it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m only just now pregnant with #1 but we’re planning not to do them. Like others, I find them very cheesy and I am adamant about not having nude photos of my child on the Internet (I know you could find a photographer who wouldn’t do nudes or would agree not to share them online, but most people I know who did newborn photo shoots ended up with nude pics on FB, so I have that association in my mind). I have a DSLR and am a decent amateur photographer (but by no means a pro) so I feel like newborn photos would mostly be to have photos of the three of us, since I’ll be able to take decent-quality baby shots. I think we’ll do family photos for the first birthday, but doing it with an infant seems too stressful and I’m guessing I won’t be feeling great about how I look immediately after birth, especially since I’m barely out of the first trimester and have already gained 10 pounds.
      I think if my only options were cell phone only vs. professional pics, I’d probably spring for the pro pics since cell phone photos print terribly. But if you have even a standard point and shoot camera, or a friend with a DSLR who could take some photos for you, I say it’s probably not worth it.

    • We didn’t do them, mostly because of timing. I had preterm contractions and was put on bed rest at 7 months. We didn’t know when Baby would arrive, or if he would be in NICU if he arrived early, etc., so I didn’t feel like I could schedule anything. Once he arrived (one month early, no NICU required), life just kinda passed by quickly, and we never got around to it. I don’t exactly regret not doing newborn photos, but I would have enjoyed having them. We did birth announcements using some candid photos from our nice camera.

      When DS was around 5 months old, we scheduled a “mini” family photo session for Christmas cards. I absolutely love those photos, and honestly, DS was way cuter then than when he was a newborn. It was also around $100-150 instead of $400-500, so that’s a plus.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1. Probably sacrilegious to say as a mother, but I think babies are soooo much cuter from about 3-4 months of age. Newborns are all blah to me, and while I loved my child deeply from birth I didn’t feel that urge to take ALL THE PHOTOS until around three months.

    • EB0220 says:

      I personally would. We got the newborn photos from the hospital. They were awesome with my first and I treasure them. They were terrible with my second and it makes me sad. So I vote yes.

  13. Newbie Momma says:

    If you can afford it, I don’t think you’ll ever regret having pictures. I did them, and probably shouldn’t have gotten so many enlargements right away, but I don’t regret having the pictures done to capture the itty bitty features so well. That being said I don’t think I’d regret it if I didn’t do it either. So basically, if the money is there why not?

  14. Thanks everyone! You’ve made me feel much better!

  15. That was to the Anon above about pregnancy #2. Not sure why I can’t get the reply to work.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Talk to me about your 2.5 to 3 yr old’s sleep schedules. I have a 3 year old who still naps for like 1.5 hrs and still needs the nap. But he can’t fall asleep at night until like 8:30 or 9, and is waking up consistently at 6:30. I don’t think he’s getting enough sleep in a full day. I’ve tried to put him to bed at 7 and I’ve tried to put him to bed at 8, and he still seems to have a lot of trouble settling. He turns 3 in September. Is this normal/roughly on track?

    • Hm, this seems “normal” to me (based on my 2.5 year old – turning 3 in November). He naps for 1.5-2 hours at daycare, but now refuses to nap at home so the only weekend naps are the occasional car naps. During the week, he goes to bed around 8:30 and wakes up around 6:30-7. On weekends, we try to put him to bed a little early to account for the lack of nap, around 8. Regardless of the bedtime, sometimes he falls asleep right away and sometimes it takes him a while.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks – helpful! I have an older child who has a 7:00 PM bedtime, and goes down like a rock. Always has. This monkey business at bedtime is a new one for me.

        • I’m jealous – we had a 7:30 bedtime that worked well until we transitioned to a toddler bed this spring, at which point it helped to get him more tired out before we put him down (in order to avoid longer delays before settling).

    • Spirograph says:

      Seems normal to me, too. My 2.5 year old still needs a 2 hour nap, even on the weekends. We shoot for an 8-8:30 bedtime. When she’s had a really busy afternoon/evening, she’ll go to sleep by 8 or so, but often she’s up til at least 9. She shares a room with her older brother and they both fight bedtime, sometimes for hours. I just don’t get into it. They can “read” or talk/sing as late as they want, as long as they stay in their bed and keep the lights off. She wakes up 7-7:30am. If she doesn’t get a nap, she’ll go to sleep earlier, but she’ll also be an absolute nightmare starting around 4 or 5. I’ll take a happy kid awake later than I’d prefer over a cranky one any day!

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      this seems fine to me. my three year old still naps 6 out of 7 days (and must stay in bed one hour reading regardless of whether falls asleep). When she naps, it frequently lasts 1.5 hours. She goes to sleep at 9-9.30pm and awakens around 8am.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      This is the schedule we’re on for my almost 3 yr old — maybe a little longer nap some days, but asleep between 8:30-9 and up between 6:15-6:30.

      We go off the rails when she’s either not had a good nap or doesn’t get settled into bed by 8:30. And by off the rails, she’s has a rough night and is more toddler like than usual in the morning. I’m really trying to push bedtime up by 30 minutes or so, but it’s hard when it’s still light out and because my H gets home between 7:45-8:15, so she gets a second wave of energy.

  17. One more bedtime question today – how do you handle the “have to go potty” stall tactic? DS is 2.5 and kind of potty trained – still wears diapers but also regularly uses the potty. After bedtime he often calls out that he needs to go potty, which turns into sobbing and continued yelling if we ignore him. He goes to the potty as part of his bedtime routine so he usually doesn’t actually need to go again. We’ve tried talking about staying in bed after bedtime. It’s driving me nuts since it draws out bedtime by 10-15 minutes (he wants to sit a while…). Any tips?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Oh! We did this! It drove me nuts. I’m not sure if my “technique” is what solved the problem or if kiddo just grew out of it, but FWIW. I started insisting that any bathroom trip after lights went out be done in the dark, solo, no adults or books/ipads/toys. If kiddo claims she needs to go potty, I say, “Ok, you can go.” And then she can make a decision either to sit by herself on the potty or go in her diaper (or not go, as the case usually is).

      The stalling stuff is just a way to prolong any interaction with mom and dad, even conflict. If you don’t interact, it usually stops. I kept trying to micromanage the delay tactics – sitting outside the bathroom and asking “are you done yet?” or “I think you’re done,” or threatening repercussions. All of that played directly into kiddo’s delay tactics. Now I just don’t interact after lights out, except to remind kiddo that lights are out and it’s bedtime.

      • This is part of the frustrating potty training phase and you just have to work through it. I agree with keeping interactions minimal and making it as boring as possible. Once the child is old enough to safely go alone, we started encouraging that after making sure that the bathroom had a nightlight and clear path.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Agreed on this too. 2.5 is this age when kids start understanding that they can wield power in small ways, and it’s intoxicating. You have to let them get over the excitement.

      • This is what we did too. Any potty request is in the dark and silent. The parent stands outside the bathroom door and at most says “do you need help wiping?”

    • Anonymous says:

      I ignore potty at bedtime (if it happens, great, if not, fine) and I take my LO to potty in her sleep about 1.5-2 hours after she falls asleep.

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