Dear NICU mama—I’m the nurse who sees you, everyday

I know you have a million questions and that’s ok.

Dear NICU mama—I’m the nurse who sees you, everyday

Dear NICU mama,

I see two types of families come through the NICU—those who had a pretty good idea their babies would be there (for example a mother or baby who has an ongoing condition), and those who are entirely taken by surprise.

A family that expected a NICU stay most likely spoke to a neonatologist beforehand and discussed what may happen, what to expect, and may have even toured the unit and met some staff. The second group is completely blindsided and usually in shock.

But to be honest, no matter what 'group' you are in, it's not fair. You walk into a unit that is bright and loud, filled with babies big and (very) small. It is beyond intimidating.


There are so many things I want to say to you, mama of a NICU baby—

I know you have a million questions and that's ok.

You will be overwhelmed with all kinds of information and I don't expect you to remember it all after the first time you hear it. If you need me to, I will explain it again (and again) until you're comfortable. There's somebody watching over your baby 24 hours a day, so when you're tossing and turning at 3am and your mind is racing with what if's—call me.

I will celebrate every milestone with you and those milestones will genuinely make me happy.

The first time that breathing tube is taken out, when you breastfeed for the first time, when those phototherapy lights are turned off, when they don't need that feeding tube anymore, or when (one of my favorite duties) I take your baby out of their isolette for you to hold for the first time. There is nothing better.

Speaking of holding the baby.....Please don't ever be afraid to ask to hold your baby. Sometimes things can get crazy busy, and I may forget to ask. So remind me. It's ok, and you're not bothering anybody. I know firsthand how good kangaroo care is for the baby (and for you!) and want you to be able to do it as much as possible.

I know you feel helpless.

The simple joy of being able to feed, hold, and care for your baby has been taken from you. We will try to involve you in your baby's care as much a we can but I know it's not the same as being at home. But please believe how important you are. You are a member of the team, just as much as I am. You make a difference in your baby’s life every day.

I recognize all the hard work you're doing.

Pumping around the clock, to give your baby the nourishment only you can provide. Pumping, collecting in our tiny containers, washing pump parts in the middle of the night...your efforts do not go unnoticed. Be proud of that freezer stash that has accumulated!

You’re also coming to spend time with your baby, every chance you can. Maybe you are recovering from a c-section. Maybe you have another little one at home. Life is so hard right now, but you are trying so hard, and I see you.

I know it's really hard to watch the other babies in the unit come and go.

It's hard not to be envious of the family whose baby only had to stay for a day or two while you may be there for weeks (or even months). You're sitting there watching your baby through their plastic isolette while the family next to you is joyfully putting on that adorable 'going home' outfit and adjusting those car seat straps, ready to head out the door.

After what may seem like endless hours, days, and weeks, slowly but surely that will be you.You will be putting your baby in that adorable outfit and hat that's too big. You'll tighten those car seat straps and walk out the door and take your precious, beautiful baby home. There's nothing that makes me happier.

Just don't forget to come back and visit.

Being your baby’s nurse is such an honor. Thank you for trusting me to take care of her for you. Remember that I am here for you too.


Your nurse

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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