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They say that little girls are the most fun to dress. I won’t deny they are a joy to shop for, and I swoon (all the way to the checkout line!) over patent leather shoes, smocked calico dresses, and patterned leggings. But, here is a secret this mom knows that is not widely shared: boys can be as much fun to dress!


When I myself was still a child, surrounded by treasured girl dolls and a wardrobe of outfits for them, I thought: how could pants and shirts compare to dresses and accessories?

Then in young adulthood, I viewed footage of Jackie O and John F. Kennedy’s son, JFK Jr. or “John-John,” from his childhood. He wore captivating Eton suits and Peter Pan collared shirts. It opened my eyes to possibilities for boys beyond mini athletic wear (though this can also be very cute). Some of the timeless style of America’s prince, little JFK, Jr. is echoed today in England’s Prince George.

What are we teaching our children in a world where girls are the ones we spend extra time to dress while leaving boys out? This becomes problematic: as though we are decreeing that girls are worth showing off and boys are not or worse, as though girls are worthy of our extra time and attention, while boys are not. The child who is made to feel special is more likely to have a healthy self-image in adulthood, and a child dressed with extra care is more likely to present her or himself with extra attention to detail later in life when say, interviewing for a job. Is it really true that boys don’t look as adorable as girls in carefully crafted outfits that show off their bright, smiling faces? Hardly! A beautiful child is a beautiful child. Period. So why ignore the fun wardrobe potential of our little boys? The most well-rounded men in the world look incredible in clothes and know how to dress (or at least open to some great suggestions from their other halves!). So why not start our boys out with that foundation?

There is a boutique near my home that caters to fancy dress attire for children and I had occasion to go there recently. As we have all seen countless times, their girls’ section is three times the size of the boys’. This girls’ section is filled with dresses adorned with purple bows and white flowers; and celestial, eyelet-trimmed frocks. They are a treat for the eyes. But when I am there on a mission to shop in the boys’ section, I am quite able to walk past such beautiful clothing without drooling. I gleefully head to the back, (where it is inevitably less crowded) and feast my eyes on seersucker suits, striped like periwinkle blue and white candy canes. I ooh and aah over little navy and white saddle shoes. I admire smocked overalls in crisp, Fourth-of-July colors and sailor suits trimmed with storybook charm.

I purchased a seersucker Eton suit and happened to mention to the stylish and grandmotherly checkout woman that I love shopping for little boys’ clothes. “Really? I can’t remember the last time I heard that,” she said. “But I actually feel the same. I am a grandmother of six and I enjoy dressing my boys just as much as my girls. Wish more people felt that way!”

But they must, I thought.

Surely there must be others who enjoy it equally as well, even if in different ways. Then I got to thinking: how often have I heard someone say one of the many reasons she wanted a daughter was that she loved the idea of buying clothes for her? How often have I heard someone bemoan that boys’ clothing isn’t as cute? How often have I too treasured shopping for dresses with matching bonnets and socks trimmed with lace? And yet, much as I enjoy girls’ clothing, I don’t prefer it. Boys’ clothing is different, yes, but can be every bit as cute, and I think it’s time to celebrate the often undervalued potential for admiration that a boy’s wardrobe holds.

Admittedly, the beautiful boys’ clothing I have described thus far is traditional attire, classic garments from years of yore when dressing little boys was approached with as much attention to detail as their female counterparts.

Here are a few of the many versatile outfits that bring the joy to dressing your baby boy:

Like a man’s tuxedo or suit and tie, classic boys’ dress-wear never goes out of style. Sailor suits, short tail, saddle shoes... they were fashionable for tots in days of yore and they will assuredly remain standbys for many years to come.

For baby boys, I adore those insanely cute onesies with whimsical animals on the feet and tush, and t-shirts with ties silk-screened on to make your little guy look as spiffy as he feels comfortable.

For toddlers, I love relaxed fit t-shirts and shorts in prints that call to mind a nautical adventure or an exciting safari. Little boys and adolescents look amazing in kid-sized versions of their fathers’ most eye-catching clothes.

Is there anything cuter than the look of dapper accessories like fedoras, suspenders and boat shoes for toddlers? I have yet to see a little
prince in any of the above accessories who did not look adorable.

Have you noticed the bow tie is making a big comeback in men’s fashion? It is in boys’ fashion, too. The bow tie adds instant appeal to an outfit,whether worn with khakis, seersucker pants or jeans.

It could be argued that this is a lot of fussy detail, considering boys tend to be little athletes who love to play outside and get dirty without having to worry about mussing their clothes. Yet these days, the same can be said of girls. Both boys and girls need to be able to rough it sometimes with a wardrobe that allows for simple sweatpants, t-shirts and sneakers.

So yes, a mother can delight in buying clothes for her son, and though in different ways, just as much as she delights in dressing her daughter. A friend recently told me, “Every time I dress my daughter up in a beautiful outfit, I am reminded that one day I will be the one getting her ready for prom. And further down the road, I hope to someday tie the sash on her wedding dress and watch her walk down the aisle. I feel like the pretty outfits along the way are all leading up to that hugely special moment between a mother and daughter.” Knowing that one day your little girl will be dressing for prom and perhaps someday picking out a wedding gown can definitely color all the outfits that precede with a rosy, sentimental hue. Think that magic doesn’t exist with boys? Think again.

Someday, you’ll see the little boy you raised all grown up, and wearing a suit with a tie and matching pocket square. Your eyes will rim as he adjusts his cuff links and he may even ask your help fastening his boutonniere. As you accidentally graze your finger with the straight pin, you’ll tell him how very handsome he is. Secretly, you’ll see the little boy who once wore miniature suspenders over a t-shirt with a smiling frog and sneakers that glowed when he walked.

You may have to go to a few more stores before you fall in love with an outfit, since many retailers still give their girls’ sections more options. In some ways, your creativity has more room, since popular opinion still holds that girls are more fun to dress. But whether you are shopping for clothes your boy can wear to school, to a wedding or on a camping trip, I guarantee it can be as creative and rewarding an endeavor to clothe him as it is her. Skeptical? Give it a fair shot. You may just have a great time. And when it comes time for your little boy to wear his new duds? You’ll get a few big smiles and nods from others who share the secret that boys can be awesome to dress, and exclamations of surprise from those who never realized just how worthy of attention a little boy’s attire can be.

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We spend a lot of time prepping for the arrival of a baby. But when it comes to the arrival of our breast milk (and all the massive adjustments that come with it), it's easy to be caught off guard. Stocking up on a few breastfeeding essentials can make the transition to breastfeeding a lot less stressful, which means more time and energy focusing on what's most important: Your recovery and your brand new baby.

Here are the essential breastfeeding tools you'll need, mama:

1. For covering up: A cute nursing cover

First and foremost, please know that all 50 states in the United States have laws that allow women to breastfeed in public. You do not have to cover yourself if you don't want to—and many mamas choose not to—and we are all for it.

That said, if you do anticipate wanting to take a more modest approach to breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a must. You will find an array of styles to choose from, but we love an infinity scarf, like the LK Baby Infinity Nursing Scarf Nursing Cover. You'll be able to wear the nursing cover instead of stuffing it in your already brimming diaper bag—and it's nice to have it right there when the baby is ready to eat.

Also, in the inevitable event that your baby spits-up on you or you leak some milk through your shirt, having a quick and stylish way to cover up is a total #momwin.

2. For getting comfortable: A cozy glider

Having a comfy spot to nurse can make a huge difference. Bonus points if that comfy place totally brings a room together, like the Delta Children Paris Upholstered Glider!

Get your cozy space ready to go, and when your baby is here, you can retreat from the world and just nurse, bond, and love.

3. For unmatched support: A wire-free nursing bra

It may take trying on several brands to find the perfect match, but finding a nursing bra that you love is 100% worth the effort. Your breasts will be changing and working in ways that are hard to imagine. An excellent supportive bra will make this so much more comfortable.

It is crucial to choose a wireless bra for the first weeks of nursing since underwire can increase the risk of clogged ducts (ouch).The Playtex Maternity Shaping Foam Wirefree Nursing Bra is an awesome pick for this reason, and because it is designed to flex and fit your breasts as they go through all those changes.

4. For maximum hydration: A large reusable water bottle

Nothing can prepare you for the intense thirst that hits when breastfeeding. Quench that thirst (and help keep your milk supply up in the process) by always having a water bottle with a straw nearby, like this Exquis Large Outdoor Water Bottle.

5. For feeding convenience: A supportive nursing tank

Experts recommend that during the first weeks of your baby's life, you breastfeed on-demand, meaning that any time your tiny boss demands milk, you feed them. This will help establish your milk supply and get everything off to a good start.

What does this mean for your life? You will be breastfeeding A LOT. Nursing tanks, like the Loving Moments by Leading Lady, make this so much easier. They have built-in support to keep you comfy, and you can totally wear them around the house, or even out and about. When your baby wants to eat, you'll be able to quickly "pop out" a breast and feed them.

6. For pain prevention: A quality nipple ointment

Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but the truth is those first days can be uncomfortable. Your nipples will likely feel raw as they adjust to their new job. This will get better! But until it does, nipple ointment is amazing.

My favorite is the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. We love that it's organic, and it is oh-so-soothing on your hard-at-work nipples.

Psst: If it actually hurts when your baby latches on, something may be up, so call your provider or a lactation consultant for help.

7. For uncomfortable moments: A dual breast therapy pack

As your breasts adjust to their new role, you may experience a few discomforts—applying warmth or cold can help make them feel so much better. The Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack is awesome because you can microwave the pads or put them in the freezer, giving you a lot of options when your breasts need some TLC.

Again, if you have any concerns about something being wrong (pain, a bump that may be red or hot, fever, or anything else), call a professional right away.

8. For inevitable leaks: An absorbing breast pad

In today's episode of, "Oh come on, really?" you are going to leak breastmilk. Now, this is entirely natural and you are certainly not required to do anything about this. Still, many moms choose to wear breast pads in their bras to avoid leaking through to their shirts.

You can go the convenient and disposable route with Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads, or for a more environmentally friendly option, you can choose washable pads, like these Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads.

9. For flexibility: A breast pump

Many women find that a breast pump becomes one of their most essential mom-tools. The ability to provide breast milk when you are away from your baby (and relieve uncomfortable engorged breasts) will add so much flexibility into your new-mom life.

For quick trips out and super-easy in-your-bag transport, opt for a manual pump like the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump .

If you will be away from your baby for longer periods of time (traveling or working outside the home, for example) an electric pump is your most efficient bet. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is a classic go-to that will absolutely get the job done, and then some.

10. For quality storage: Breast milk bags

Once you pump your liquid gold, aka breast milk, you'll need a place to store it. The Kiinde Twist Pouches allow you to pump directly into the bags which means one less step (and way less to clean).

11. For keeping cool: A freezer bag

Transport your pumped milk back home to your baby safely in a cooler like the Mommy Knows Best Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag. Remember to put the milk in a fridge or freezer as soon as you can to optimize how long it stays usable for.

12. For continued nourishment: Bottles

Nothing beats the peace of mind you get when you know that your baby is being well-taken of care—and well fed—until you can be together again. The Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Gift Set is a fan favorite (mama and baby fans alike).

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

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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.

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A viral video about car seat safety has parents everywhere cracking up and humming Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

"I like safe kids and I cannot lie," raps Norman Regional Health System pediatric hospitalist Dr. Kate Cook (after prefacing her music video with an apology to her children."I'm a doctor tryin' warn you that recs have changed," she continues.

Dr. Cook's rap video is all about the importance of keeping babies facing backward. It's aptly called "Babies Face Back," and uses humor and parody to drive home car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

"Switching from rear-facing to forward-facing is a milestone many parents can't wait to reach," Dr. Cook said in a news release about her hilarious video. "But this is one area where you want to delay the transition as long as possible because each one actually reduces the protection to the child."

Last summer the AAP updated its official stance on car seat safety to be more in line with what so many parents were already doing and recommended that kids stay rear-facing for as long as possible. But with so many things to keep track of in life, it is understandable that some parents still don't know about the change. Dr. Cook wants to change that with some cringe-worthy rapping.

The AAP recommends:

  • Babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
  • Once they are facing forward, children should use a forward-facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible. Many seats are good up to 65 pounds.
  • When children outgrow their car seat they should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, between 8 and 12 years old.

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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.]

Suicide rates for girls and women in the United States have increased 50% since 2000, according to the CDC and new research indicates a growing number of pregnant and postpartum women are dying by suicide and overdose. Suicide rates for boys and men are up, too.

It's clear there is a mental health crisis in America and it is robbing children of their mothers and mothers of their children.

Medical professionals urge people to get help early, but sometimes getting help is not so simple. For many Americans, the life preserver that is mental health care is out of reach when they are drowning.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg just released a plan he hopes could change that and says the neglect of mental health in the United States must end. "Our plan breaks down the barriers around mental health and builds up a sense of belonging that will help millions of suffering Americans heal," says Buttigieg.

He thinks he can "prevent 1 million deaths of despair by 2028" by giving Americans more access to mental health and addictions services.

In a country where giving birth can put a mother in debt, it's not surprising that while as many as 1 in 5 new moms suffers from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, more than half of new moms who need mental health treatment don't get it. Stigma, childcare and of course costs are factors in why women aren't seeking help when they are struggling.

Buttigieg's plan is interesting because it could remove some of these barriers. He wants to make mental health care more affordable by ensuring everyone has comprehensive coverage for mental health care and by ensuring that everyone can access a free yearly mental health check-up.

That could make getting help more affordable for some moms, and by increasing reimbursement rates for mental health care delivered through telehealth, this plan could help moms get face time with a medical professional without having to deal with finding childcare first.

Estimates from new research suggest that in some parts of America as many as 14% or 30% of maternal deaths are caused by addiction or suicide. Buttigieg's plan aims to reduce those estimates by fighting the addiction and opioid crisis and increasing access to mental health services in underserved communities and for people of color. He also wants to reduce the stigma and increase support for the next generation by requiring "every school across the country to teach Mental Health First Aid courses."

These are lofty goals with a lofty price tag. It would cost about $300 billion to do what Buttigieg sets out in his plan and the specifics of how the plan would be funded aren't yet known. Neither is how voters will react to this 18-page plan and whether it will help Buttigieg stand out in a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

What we do know is that right now, America is talking about mental health and whether or not that benefits Buttigieg's campaign it will certainly benefit America.

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[Editor's Note: Welcome to It's Science, a Motherly column focusing on evidence-based explanations for the important moments, milestones, and phenomena of motherhood. Because it's not just you—#itsscience.]

If you breastfeed, you know just how magical (and trying) it is, but it has numerous benefits for mama and baby. It is known to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and cuts the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by half.

If this wasn't powerful enough, scientists have discovered that babies who are fed breast milk have a stomach pH that promotes the formation of HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells). HAMLET was discovered by chance when researchers were studying the antibacterial properties of breast milk. This is a combination of proteins and lipids found in breast milk that can work together to kill cancer cells, causing them to pull away from healthy cells, shrink and die, leaving the healthy cells unaffected.

According to researchers at Lund University in Sweden, this mechanism may contribute to the protective effect breast milk has against pediatric tumors and leukemia, which accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancer. Other researchers analyzed 18 different studies, finding that "14% to 19% of all childhood leukemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for six months or more."

And recently, doctors in Sweden collaborated with scientists in Prague to find yet another amazing benefit to breast milk. Their research demonstrated that a certain milk sugar called Alpha1H, found only in breast milk, helps in the production of lactose and can transform into a different form that helps break up tumors into microscopic fragments in the body.

Patients who were given a drug based on this milk sugar, rather than a placebo, passed whole tumor fragments in their urine. And there is more laboratory evidence to support that the drug can kill more than 40 different types of cancer cells in animal trials, including brain tumors and colon cancer. These results are inspiring scientists to continue to explore HAMLET as a novel approach to tumor therapy and make Alpha1H available to cancer patients.

Bottom line: If you choose to breastfeed, the breast milk your baby gets from your hard work can be worth every drop of effort.

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