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7 photos you must take of baby in the hospital

Within weeks of welcoming baby, you’ll look back on pictures from those early days and struggle to believe your little one was really once so little. Soak up those moments as much as you can without any kind of screen in the middle, but because we know it’s impossible to resist taking a few (or a thousand) photos of your new favorite model, at least try to make them count.


You can capture those fleeting first days

...with the help of a newborn photographer. The good ones will even have some serious baby-whispering abilities, which can be helpful if your little one insists on being fussy whenever you break out the camera.

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But if you don’t have the time, money or energy for hiring out, you can still get some great shots of your own — no matter if you have the latest DSLR or a smartphone.

1. Fresh new family photo

No doubt you’ll remember the special moment when yours became a family of three (or more) for the rest of your life. But it doesn’t hurt to memorialize the big day with a family photo once you are feeling up for it. It doesn’t need to be a big staged event, either — we absolutely love this snap from Ashlee Kay Photography of a lovestruck mom and dad.

2. Baby in a blanket

You probably have a cute blanket or 100 at home, but there is something special about those generic swaddlers all babies are welcomed into the world with at the hospital. Mark the moment with a picture like the stunning one snapped by Sally Brewer Photography. We just suggest employing Dad, your own mom or a photographer to do it while you rest up in bed.

3. Dad holding his newborn baby

There is something extra special about a dad meeting his child for the first time. You’ve been intimately bonding with the little one for months and while your partner was surely supportive, the reality for them usually really sets in once baby has arrived. The two will probably quickly become snuggle buddies, so grab a camera during one of those precious moments. We can’t stop swooning over this one that Tamara Elise Photography took of her hubby and newborn daughter.

4. The new mama snuggling with her babe

Chances are you’ll spend a good bit of time behind the lens, snapping pictures of your cutie patootie’s every move. Be sure to hand the camera over for some baby and baby pictures, too. We adore this angelic self-portrait also shared on the That We Might Have Joy blog. She told us, “When their babies are grown and no longer so snugly, I’m sure every mother would love looking back and remembering the days when they spent much of their day cuddling their little ones.” So very true!

5. The newborn squishy baby faces

We guarantee you will think every face your baby makes is adorable, so we aren’t suggesting taking constant pictures. (Although that is easier said than done.) But you should snap some pictures at least one time when baby is alert and playful. We love this casual, yet beautiful photo shared by Ashley Vos Photography.

6. Little baby feet

You’ll probably spend countless hours kissing that sweet little nose, those ever-grasping hands and even those adorably small feet. But years from now, you’ll struggle to believe your grown child was really once so small. Show off those precious features in some pictures that focus directly on them, like this sweet one of 10 perfect toes from Touch of Joy Photography.

7. Baby + siblings

Welcoming a new baby is a family event, so be sure to include older brothers or sisters! We love this image captured by Los Angeles-based photographer Kristin Eldridge... Don’t those little guys just ooze pride with their new sibling? She said she used some little bribes and toys to get the older ones to cooperate, but no one will know that by looking at the adorable pictures.

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This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

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

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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All the things that were left unsaid during the first presidential debate and why it matters

What parents need to know about President Trump's first debate against Joe Biden.

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[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

Parents in America have been living in survival mode for half a year now. Mothers are depleted and burned out, but most plan to use some of their precious-little energy to vote in the upcoming presidential election. According to a recent survey by Peanut, 93% of moms will be voting on November 3.

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The "mom vote" will be very important in this election. The Democratic Party is counting on moms who are angry with President Donald Trump, while a Republican PAC called Moms for Safe Neighborhoods hopes its 30-second ad is scary enough to convince suburban moms to re-elect the sitting president.

But this election isn't about mom rage versus maternal fear. It's about looking forward to a future where both are reduced. That is what America's moms really want, and need.

The two men vying for the leadership of America would do well to remember that, and should be paying more attention to the issues that impact families every day.

On Tuesday night when they took the debate stage for the first time, President Trump and Joe Biden talked about a lot of topics (sometimes at the same time), but they missed some real opportunities to talk to American mothers.

Here's why that matters:

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