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Balancing work with a child at home is difficult for any parent to manage.


As a working dad, I look forward to weekends with my son since I never feel like I have enough time to spend with him during the week. I usually leave for the office either before or soon after my son wakes up in the morning and return close to his bedtime.

But as a pediatrician, I know how important the bond between parent and child truly is to the healthy development of kids and families.

So here’s what I do to maximize one-on-one time with my child—and how you can, too:


1. Talk to your child while getting ready for work activities.

I typically have about 15 minutes each day from the time my son wakes up until I have to leave for work. I try to use this time to talk to him by asking him to help me choose my socks (which I wear even if they don’t always match!) and, at 19-months old, he even enjoys helping me find and gather my wallet, keys and everything I need to get out (almost) in time.

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I also try to have breakfast with him whenever I can, even if it means occasionally having an unexpected smear of oatmeal on me when I arrive to work.


2. Come home early when you can.

Although this is not always possible when I have meetings or patients scheduled all day, on days when there is anything I can do at home after my son is asleep, I do. Leaving early gives me some extra time to see him at night and I can catch up on unfinished work after I put him to bed.

3. Put the phone away (or at least on vibrate.)

I have a tendency to take a lot of pictures of my son, which can often be distracting since he becomes more interested in touching the screen than with the activity we are doing together. I try to turn my phone off or leave it in another room altogether during this time I have with him, so I am never tempted to check emails or return texts that can wait until later.

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4. Leave your work day at the door.

This one is a hard one for me especially after a stressful day at the office. Be in the moment, try to leave work at work and focus on the time you do have with your child. Just last week, we spent time in the backyard and he helped me water the garden. He loved blocking the flow of water from the hose as it caused the two of us to get wet. I only had 20 minutes to spend with him and it was a great way for us to have fun together before bath time.

5. Prepare dinner with your child.

When I have time to prepare dinner after work, I put my son in a highchair so he can help out and be included. He has his pot and spatula in his hand and plays along. I also find this helps him eat what we make—helping to forge good eating habits.

6. Bath time can be quality time.

Even bath time can be quality time. My son loves choosing a

bathtub crayon to draw with. I use it to draw letters and animals on the tiles and make up a silly story. My son loves to draw with them and they wipe off the tub and tiles easily.

7. Make bedtime a daddy and me routine.

After his bath, my son and I sit in his room. He chooses a book that I read to him while he drinks milk. He often wants to read the book again and again. We end the night by brushing his teeth and turning out the lights in the house. I find that he loves having a set routine which helps him wind down and know it’s bed time.

8. Include them in every day activities.

I have my son help me with daily activities including putting away the dishes, the laundry, or groceries, and cleaning up his toys. It’s a win-win situation because he loves to be dada’s helper and I get what I need done, while still spending quality time with him.


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Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

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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