12 must-have baby gear items that'll make holiday outings a breeze

Bugaboo

As the saying goes, "failing to prepare is preparing to fail," and that seriously applies to parenting. With no fewer than one dozen items to wrangle before walking out the door on an ordinary errand, mamas have plenty on their mind. That is why one of the very best gifts you can give the mamas in your life this year is to reduce her mental load with some gear she can depend on when she's out and about.

Although it may be impossible to guarantee completely smooth outings with kids in tow, here are the items we rely on for making getting out of the house less of a chore.

1. Bugaboo Bee 5 stroller

This stroller is a dream come true for any mama on the go. (Meaning: All of us!) Lightweight, compact and easy to maneuver with just one hand, this is made for navigating busy sidewalks with ease—or just fitting in the trunk without a major wrestling match. It's designed for little passengers to love just as much, too, with a bassinet option for newborn riders that can be easily swapped with a comfy, reclining seat that can face forward or backward for bigger kids.

$699

2. Bugaboo wheel board

This wheel board will let big brother or sister easily hitch a ride on the stroller if their little legs aren't quite up for a full walk. We love the smart details that went into the design, including a slightly offset position so Mom or Dad can walk without bumping their legs. And because toddlers have strong opinions of their own, it's brilliant that the wheel board allows them to sit or stand.

$125

3. Nuby Keepeez cup strap

If you know a little one gearing up for the major leagues with a killer throwing arm, this is a must-have so parents aren't buying new sippy cups on a weekly basis. Perfect for tethering to high chairs, strollers, car seats and shopping carts, it allows Mama to feel confident she'll return home with everything she left with in the first place.

$6.99

4. Bugaboo footmuff

For those mamas who live anywhere where the temps regularly dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, this ultra-soft, comfortable footmuff is a lifesaver. Made with water-repellant microfleece, it keeps little ones dry and cozy—whether there is melting snow, a good drizzle or simply a spilled sippy cup.

$129.95

5. Bugaboo stroller organizer

Because we know #mombrain is no joke, we are all for products that will help us stay organized—especially when out and about. With multiple zipper pockets, a sleek design and velcro straps that help it easily convert to a handbag when stepping away from the stroller, it helps keep essentials from spare diapers to the car keys within reach.

$39.95

6. Bugaboo Turtle car seat

It may be called a car seat, but we love that this one is specifically designed to securely click into a stroller frame, too. (Meaning there is no need to wake up a sleeping baby for a car-to-stroller transfer!) More reasons to love it are the lightweight design, UPF 50+ sun protection shade and Merino wool inlay, meaning it's baby and mama friendly.

$349

7. Chicco QuickSeat hook-on chair

This hook-on baby chair will almost certainly earn a spot on your most-used list. Perfect for dining out or simply giving your baby a space to sit, it's portable and beyond easy to install. (Plus, it's a great alternative to those questionably clean high chairs at many restaurants!)

$57.99

8. Bugaboo stroller cup holder

Chasing after kids when out and about can work up a thirst, just like neighborhood strolls in the chillier months can get, well, chilly. So we love that this cup holder will help mama keep something for herself to drink close at hand. Designed to accommodate bottles of all sizes and easy to click onto any compatible stroller, it's a perfect stocking stuffer.

$29.95

9. Bugaboo soft wool blanket

Fair warning with this luxe stroller blanket: It's so cozy that you might want to buy another one for yourself! Made with Merino wool that helps it stand up to any elements parents might encounter during an outing, it will help baby stay warm during the winter and cool enough as the temps start to pick up.

$109.95

10. Munchkin silicone placemats

Made to roll and stow in a diaper bag, these silicone placemats will make dining out a (relatively) less messy experience. With raised edges that will help contain spills and a grippy bottom, they will stay in place on tables so that parents might be able to enjoy their own meals, too.

$8.99

11. Bugaboo Breezy seat liner

Designed to keep baby warm when it's cool and cool when it's warm, this seat liner will minimize fusses during all seasons—which is one of the very best gifts you can give a mama. Because accidents of all types can happen on the go, we also love that this seat liner is reversible! With a number of colors, it's also a fun way to help a stroller to stand out at the playground.

$79.95

12. OXO Tot Handy stroller hook

If you ever catch yourself thinking it would be nice to have another hand, these stroller clips are the next-best solution for when you are out and about. Perfect for lugging a bag or anchoring a cup, you'll want a set for every stroller you own.

$14.99

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

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At one of the most important nights of their career, celebrities made sure their hairstyles stayed put at the 26th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. As a collective, the hairstyles were beautiful—french twists, bobs, pin curls and killer cuts filled the red carpet on the night to remember.

And surprisingly, the secret wasn't just the stylist team, mama. For many of the celebs, much of the look can be attributed to a $5 hairspray—yes, you read that correctly.

Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray was one of the top stylist picks for celebs for a lightweight, flexible finishing spray, leaving tons of body and bounce. Unlike most hairsprays that can take several minutes (even a half hour) to set the look, this extra-hold one contains a fast-drying, water-free formula that helps protect your hair from frizz in minutes. As a result, celebrities were able to hold the shape of their styles with mega volume.

"Dove hairspray works well by holding curls in place with maximum hold and ultra shine, while still maintaining soft, touchable texture that is easy to brush out," says Dennis Gots for Dove Hair, who styled Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the SAG Awards. Translation: It's great for on-the-go mamas who want a shiny hold that lasts, but doesn't feel sticky.

Here are a few awesome hairstyles that were finished with the drugstore Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray at the SAG awards:

Lili Reinhart's French twist

"I sprayed Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray all over Lili's hair to lock in the shape and boost the shine factor, making the whole look really sleek," says stylist Renato Campora who was inspired to create the look by Reinhart's romantic gown. "Lili's look is sleek and sharp with a romantic twist."

Cynthia Erivo's finger waves

"This look is classic Cynthia! I knew I wanted to keep it simple, but it's actually quite detailed and intricate up close," says stylist Coree Moreno. "While the hair was still wet (yes—I needed to work fast!) I generously spritzed on the hairspray for all night hold without flaking. The hair continued to air dry perfectly while she finished up makeup."

Nathalie Emmanuel's curly high pony

"Nathalie wanted a retro Hollywood glam for the SAG Awards, so I used her natural texture and created a high pony with loose tendrils framing her face and neckline," says stylist, Neeko. "I finessed the look with the hairspray to lock in the style while keeping her hair looking and feeling touchable."

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's slicked back bob

"I used duckbill clips on different areas of her hair to keep the shape and curl while the hair air dried. Air drying the hair allowed for maximum shine and then I sprayed lots of hairspray all over to truly lock in the sleek shape and enhance the shine," says stylist Dennis Gots, who was inspired by a 90s vibe for Waller-Bridge's look.

Dove Style+Care Micro Mist Extra Hold Hairspray

Dove Style+Care Micro Mist Extra Hold Hairspray

Who doesn't want a hairspray that makes your hair feel as good as it looks? Dove Style+Care Extra Hold Hairspray holds body, volume and enhances shine. It gives your hair touchable hold while fighting frizz, even in damp or humid conditions.

$4.89

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Beauty + Style Shopping Guides

Keeping up with a skin care routine isn't as simple as it seems when you're a busy mama. When you're trying to bathe kids and get them to bed, or rush out the door in the morning, the last thing on your to-do list is probably using a serum. Plus, figuring out which masks work for your skin type, or what is *really* worth that hefty price tag seems overwhelming.

Until now.

Amazon launched its first-ever skin care line called Belei last year. It featured 12 products that can complete your skin care routine, from moisturizers and serums to cleansers and masks.

Our favorite features? (Aside from the fact that you can Prime these goodies straight to your door).

  • Clean—free of sulfates, parabens and phthalates
  • Affordable—everything is under $40
  • Dermatologist tested + not tested on animals
  • Offers satisfaction guarantee—if not satisfied, they'll refund within a year

Right now, each product is up to 20% off so it's the perfect time to try it out. Here are some of the products we're adding to our cart:

1. Triple-Peptide Eye Cream

Amazon skin care line eye cream

For those inevitable nights with little sleep. Complete with caffeine to reduce puffiness and ingredients like shea butter to minimize the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

$14.40

2. Charcoal Balancing Mask

Amazon skin care line charcoal mask

Have five extra minutes? Lather this on to absorb excess oil, deep clean and balance your skin.

$14.40

3. Retinol Refining Moisturizer

Amazon skin care line retinol moisturizer

Retinol has so many benefits, from smoothing your skin to helping it retain moisture, but it often comes with a price—not this one, luckily.

$28

4. Blemish Control Spot Treatment

Amazon skin care line spot treatment

You can't always stop breakouts from happening, but you can fight blemishes with this.

$17.60

5. Dark Spot Solution

Amazon skin care line dark spot solution

Your body has gone through a lot and that usually means your hormones have fluctuated. For some, that causes dark spots or uneven skin tone. This is packed with rich ingredients to even everything out.

$17.60

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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If you're visiting a new mama, it's customary to bring a little something to celebrate. This person just went through a monumental, life-changing event and most people focus on bringing stuff for the new baby, who has no idea what has happened—they just want all the snuggles and food. But we say to go ahead and celebrate mama. You can bring flowers or her favorite dish from that restaurant she loves, a little note with a gift card—it doesn't have to be expensive or shiny, just something that shows you care about them.

If you need ideas, Frida Baby, the brand that creates those super useful tools (looking at you, nose-sucker) has you covered.

This Frida balloon was just launched by the company and it's funny, real and will most definitely make any new mama feel seen.

Check it out:

It's a Mom balloon

It\u2019s A Mom Balloon

Everyone is likely familiar with the traditional "it's a boy" or "it's a girl" balloon that every hospital store sells, but it's time to celebrate moms with this "it's a mom" balloon. Sure, it's funny, but also super real. Also, keep in mind that this ships flat so be prepared with some helium to make it float.

$6.99

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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My favorite part of the day, hands down, is when my freshly bathed son is all snuggly in his PJs and he's about to sit down in my lap to tuck into a good book before bed. My least favorite part, though, is when he goes to his bookcase and grabs the same book we read earlier that day and the night before (and the night before that). I almost always say, "That one? But do you want to try something new?" (Spoiler: He doesn't.)

So I take a deep breath and remind myself about the research that says reading the same book to your kids over and over helps their brain development. And I dive into the world of Pete the Cat or Piggy and Gerald, and before we know it I'm wrapped up in the magic of that world, too.

We recently asked #TeamMotherly to share the books their kids want to read over and over (and over) and you didn't disappoint. Here's what you're reading (or, more likely, have already memorized):

What the Ladybird Heard

What Ladybird Heard

Kim says: "He's not even two yet and has it memorized!"

$9.31

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late

Danielle says: "These are at least twice daily for weeks. More if they're kept downstairs!"

$11.15

Aliens Love Underpants

Aliens Love Underpants

Hope shares: "After two years of constant reading pages are missing and/or torn but he still keeps going to them."

$10.83

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Nelly shares: "When I went to the hospital to have my daughter, my sister and brother-in-law watched my two boys. She FaceTimed me because they were crying and upset. They wanted mommy to read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom because Auntie Cj wasn't doing it right.

"I cried as I recited Chicka Chicka boom boom from my hospital bed. I wanted so badly to be there to hug them and read it in person. They were really missing their mommy and were worried about the doctor cutting open my belly to get the baby out. I recited it all from memory of course. I cried. My sister cried. And my boys finally stopped crying. 🤣

"I went home two nights later and read it to them, never more happy to read the same book for the 315th time. ❤️"

$5.00

Pig the Pug (and the rest of the series)

Pig the Pug

Michelle says: "We have them all and I swear he knows them word for word."

$10.78

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

Tara says: "Anything Pete the Cat and especially 'I Love My White Shoes'!"

$10.35

Good Night Good Night Construction Site

Good Night Good Night Construction Site

Nanako says: "Read it so many times I can recite the whole book!"

$5.00

I Love You Night and Day

I Love You Night and Day

Samantha says: "I have read this book to my son at bedtime since I was pregnant and he's 7.5 months. His eyes light up and he gets the biggest grin and laughs now when I show it to him. ❤️ It's one of my favorite special times with him."

$5.00

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Stefania shares: "My 3yo loves the book, the song, the movie and even the Bear Hunt yoga for a year. Needless to say, her 3rd birthday will be themed ...you guessed it 🐻🤪"

$5.00

Dragons Love Tacos

Dragons Love Tacos

Neveen says: "My 1.5 yo loves [it]."

$10.96

Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups

Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups

Rainy says: "Just had to hide [this book] bc we've been reading it on repeat (sometimes 4-5x in a row) lately."

$10.86

Home Sweet Home: a Lift-the-Flap Book

Home Sweet Home Lift the Flap Book

Pegah shares: "I can read it page by page without even looking at it. Pointless to read bc my impatient LO just goes to the flap lifting before I can finish a sentence 🤣🤣🤣"

$6.99

Never Touch a Dragon (and the rest of the “Never Touch” series)

Never Touch a Dragon

Lindsay says: "He doesn't like to sit long enough to read unless there's hands-on stuff involved 😂"

$5.74

The Bear Snores On

Mira shares: "Every time, over and over…"

$7.49

The Monster at the End of This Book

The Monster at the End of this Book

Rebecca says: "It's so much fun to read as a parent too."

$4.99

The Little Blue Truck (and the rest of the series)

The Little Blue Truck

Kate says: "I have the Halloween one memorized haha."

$5.00

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See

Kristina says, "My 2-year-old can recite it from memory because we read it so much! It's a game now when we aren't even reading it. 'What did the teacher see?' 😂"

$5.79

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Beejal says: "My 18-month-old daughter especially likes the page with all the food. It's so cute to hear her trying to say what each item is."

$5.76

Good Night Moon

Good Night Moon

Charliena shares: "We have to read [it] every night…"

$5.00

The Wonky Donkey

The Wonky Donkey

Leann says: "My little one is just altogether a fan of reading already..." (And check out this hilarious viral video of a grandma reading it to her grandchild.)

$4.99

May I Please Have a Cookie?

May I Please Have a Cookie?

Monika shares: "[It's] my daughter's fav book."

$4.99

10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes

10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes

Shawn says: "It's so sweet to count your LO's fingers and toes and give three kisses at the end 😊"

$6.89

Stick Man

Stick Man

Rosemary shares: " She loves all of [Julia Donaldson's] books. We have most of them!"

$10.49

Clifford’s Bedtime Story Box

Clifford's Bedtime Story Box

Thais says: "It has been almost six months of big red dog every single night. Thankfully, there's more than one book about Clifford."

$9.85

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Janet says: "I guess it was so easy to relate to!!!" 😂

$7.29


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