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5 must-have products to help mamas + babies survive winter

Must-haves for chilly bedtimes, stuffy noses and freezing trips to the store.

5 must-have products to help mamas + babies survive winter

Winter is coming. (Isn't it always?) And when the temperature drops, life can get a little tougher for everyone. But when you're a new mama in negative degrees? That's just unfair. Before you give up and hibernate, though, we've rounded up a few products that can help winter suck a little bit less for moms and their littles. Stay warm, mama!


1. To get out without getting offline: Skip Hop Tech Ready Hand Muff

If you can't imagine giving up your afternoon walks this winter, we've got good news: You don't have to — just make sure you're prepared. The Skip Hop Tech Ready Hand Muff attaches to your stroller bar to fend off frozen fingers, and it comes equipped with a window so you can use your smart phone without exposing yourself to the elements. Game, tech, match, winter winds.

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Pro tip: Pair with the Skip Hop Stroll and Go Three-Season Footmuff to keep your little as cozy as your hands.

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2. To stop the hairbrush battles: Static Schmatic for Kids

You love the spark in your baby's eye—not so much the sparks flying from their hair in the winter. Static Schmatic was created by two mamas out of all-natural ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, and salt so you can rid your kid of static in their hair and clothes. It doesn't leave any sticky residue, is hypoallergenic, and smells like cookies, meaning applying it is one less battle this winter.

Pro tip: Get Static Schmatic for Clothes for a non-toxic substitute for dryer sheets year-round.

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3. To keep naptime snuggly: aden + anais cozy muslin swaddles

These super-soft swaddle blankets have the same lightweight feel you expect from aden + anais, but the Cozy Muslin Swaddles' premium flannel muslin ups the cozy factor to eleven. They're also machine washable (perfect for all those newborn spit-up incidents_ and won't lose their softness in the wash.

Pro tip: The swaddles big size (they're almost four feet long!) mean they're perfect to use as stroller blankets or a play mat.

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4. When the colds come inside: Babyganics Cold Relief Chest Rub + Vapor Bubble Bath

Nothing brings you down in the winter like a stuffy baby. If the sniffles have made their way to your house, give your little one some relief with Babyganics Cold Relief Chest Rub and Vapor Bubble Bath with natural menthol, rosemary, and eucalyptus to help open congested noses. (Bonus: Caught your kid's cold? Bathing your baby in the bubble bath will give you the benefit of the vapors as well.)

Pro tip: When you're finally ready to leave the house, toss a Babyganics Organic Lip + Face Balm Stick in your diaper bag to fend off chapping on those round cheeps and that tiny nose.

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5. For serious hibernation: Nested Bean Zen Sack Winter

It's hard enough to wake up during winter (how does that floor get so cold?), the last thing you need is a baby keeping you up in the wee hours. Fussy baby, meet the Zen Sack. This weighted sleep sack mimics the soothing pressure of mom's touch with a lightly weighted pad and plush upper panel on baby's chest that have been shown to promote better, longer sleep in babies. (Don't believe the claim? Our cofounder's daughter slept 15 HOURS straight the first night she wore it. SERIOUSLY.) The winter sack also features poly-fil for extra warmth when the temp starts to plummet.

Pro tip: Sleep, mama. You've earned it ?

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6. To keep Jack Frost from your baby's toes: Bugaboo High Performance Footmuff

Not only does Bugaboo's High Performance Footmuff guarantee a cozy baby in even freezing temperatures, it's also designed with mom in mind. An outer Teflon coating makes the muff wind, water, and stain-resistant, and the inner dirt shield protects the muff from muddy boots—oh yeah, and it's machine washable (easy cleaning for the win!).

Pro tip: With two detachable covers (one filled with polyester for spring and fall and the other with down for the winter), you might be able to avoid “put on your coat!" toddler battles all year round.

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After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

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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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

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