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baby sleep

Immediately following those cozy, cuddly moments of skin-to-skin just after your bundle of joy is born, you might have a moment of worry when you realize that they need to eat around the clock. Or, when you realize that getting baby to sleep more than a few consecutive hours at a time is... challenging, at best. While there are no one-size-fits-all solutions (sleep training and how you tackle it, after all, is a very personal decision!), there are a few products that you can get to help ease those sleepless nights and get baby in a full REM cycle.

We asked the Motherly team for their most-prized sleep-inducing possessions—and good news they're all available to register for at buybuy BABY®. Plus, we circled up with our resident sleep expert Rachel Gorton, certified pediatric and maternity sleep consultant and founder of My Sweet Sleeper, to understand why, exactly, each is so magical.

Here are the items you'll want to register for right now:

Marpac Hushh™ portable sound machine

marpac sound machine

"I am a huge fan of a noise machine with ocean sounds for my baby. It's super soothing and blocks out any noise from his older brother stomping through the house." —Ashley, Strategist

Sound, like so many aspects of your little one's first months of life, is all about familiarity, says Gorton. "Contrary to popular belief, babies don't sleep best in a completely quiet environment. For 9 months they lived in a pretty noisy womb, which is why white noise machines not only help promote self-soothing but give babies that familiar sound for sleep."

$34.99

Woolino® 4 season baby sleep bag

woolino sleep sack

"[I love] Woolino sleep sacks to keep them cozy all year long but also contained so they don't try climbing out of the crib. They even come with a slit for the sleepsack to be worn in the car seat which makes driving at night and transferring into crib soooo easy." —Conz, Editor

Not only are sleep sacks ultra-comfy, but they're also a really safe option, according to Gorton. "The AAP does not recommend the use of a blanket for the first year of life, so sleep sacks/bags are a great way for your child to stay warm and give them that snug feeling. Many babies will create a positive association with sleep sacks which can help promote longer stretches of sleep, as well."

$99.99

Ergobaby™ Original Swaddle

"New Mom Nightmare #234: A child with startle reflex in full swing that 'hulks' out of every swaddle you have in the house. My lifesaver? The Ergo Swaddle. It allowed my baby to sleep in a natural arm position securely while having the free movement of her legs that she clearly wanted. After a few weeks, she was also able to sleep with one arm up while still remaining swaddled. The versatility and strength of this swaddle were just what she (and I) needed to rest well."

—Mary, Sales

This, Gorton raves, is a tried and true tactic. "Swaddling is an art that has been around for hundreds of years and for good reason! It's a great way to help your newborn sleep soundly by recreating that feeling they had in the womb and helping to manage the moro reflex (that startling motion babies make with their hands during sleep) which is most prevalent in the first few months of life."

$24.99

Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier

pacifiers

"When my son was a few months old, we quickly learned how useful a pacifier could be (they don't call them pacifiers for nothing!) to soothe him when he was fighting sleep. The aptly-named Soothie one in particular was great because it was similar to the form factor of his bottles so he caught on pretty quickly." —Renata, Editor

It may not be obvious, but offering a pacifier to your little one for the first 12 to18 months of life is a great way to teach them the skills they need to help get themselves back to sleep on their own eventually. "Pacifiers not only help promote self-soothing," explains Gorton, "but the Soothie is made in one piece, not two, per the AAP guidelines."

$4.99

HALO Bassinest Glide Bedside Sleeper

bassinest

"My daughter loved the Halo Bassinest. Plus, having the mesh siding helped me feel better about her sleeping, and the fact that it swiveled made those nighttime feedings easier." —Elizabeth, Account Manager

Bassinets are a wonderful option for sleep in those early days, says Gorton. "The AAP recommends that you room-share (not bed-share) for the first year of life and these types of bassinets that give you quick access to your newborn to feed or soothe, which can make a huge difference in the first few months as you are all adjusting."

$189.99

Tommee Tippee® Groclock Kids Training Alarm Clock

training alarm clock

"My toddler was waking up super early and struggled with understanding when it was an okay time to get out of bed. Once we got this clock, it put things into perspective for him and he started to understand when it was okay to get out of bed or call for us. It worked wonders for naps, too—even if he was awake, he knew he couldn't call for us until the clock turned on." —Katherine, Marketing

"I am a huge fan of okay-to-wake clocks as it helps promote independence for your child and include them in the process of routine, especially when early risings are a concern," Gorton agrees. Trust us mamas, when those toddler years hit, you're going to relish every last minute of time they spend quietly in their beds!

$39.99

Miracle Blanket® Swaddle

miracle blanket

"Both of my kids were sleeping through the night (I'm talking 12 hours, 7 pm to 7 am!) by 8 weeks, and I'm convinced the Miracle Blanket Swaddle was a huge part of the reason. Yes, great sleep training helped, too, but this is the only swaddle that I both felt confident doing myself (I never mastered the real, from-scratch wrap) and kept both little ones snug all night long. It's my baby gift of choice to all new mamas now." —Daisy, Writer

"I am personally a huge fan of these types of swaddles, which are not only easier to use (especially for those of us who aren't skilled in the art of swaddling) but they also tend to create a tighter swaddle for ninja babies who can break out easily," says Gorton. Because the last thing you want to be doing is laying in bed wondering if you swaddled your baby tightly enough. Best of luck, mamas, and sweet dreams to you both.

$29.99

Make sure to shop these items during buybuy BABY's Spring sale starting 3/27-3/29.

This article was sponsored by buybuy BABY. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

Gracious Gobbler

I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

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This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

Stylish storage cabinet

Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

White board calendar + bulletin board

With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

Bamboo storage drawers

The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

Laminated world map

I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.

Letterboard

From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

Expandable tablet stand

Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

Neutral pocket chart

Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

Totable fabric bins

My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

Work + Money

Do you need a family emergency kit? (Hint: Yes, you totally do)

It only takes a few minutes to be better prepared for emergencies.

Right now is understandably a time for concern, but the same message applies: Prepare, don't panic. We parents have a responsibility to care and provide for our children, ensuring their well-being before and after any disruptive event, whether it's a natural disaster or an outbreak that forces temporary shutdowns and closures in our community. When it comes to emergency preparation, I always tell parents one thing: You want to have a plan just in case the worst really does happen.

As a mom of three young kids with a firefighter husband, I'm constantly anticipating potential problems—and thinking ahead about how to cope. Thinking ahead and planning has saved me many nights of pacing the floor, and has made me feel more confident as a parent.

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