I can’t even handle the cuteness of baby rolls 😍

I mean—is there anything sweeter than chunky baby thighs? (No. The answer is no.)

I can’t even handle the cuteness of baby rolls 😍

You know what we don’t talk about enough? Baby rolls. Chubby, squishy, beautiful baby rolls.

There are SO many great things about motherhood, for sure. The way my kids look at me when I’m making them laugh. Hearing them say, “I love you, Mama.” Watching the look of pride on their face as they do something on their own.

But what about the rolls? Let’s talk about those rolls. They’re amazing. Like, sometimes I actually want to eat/bite them. (Okay/not okay? I’ll look into this…) And if we all talked about them more, as a whole, I think this world would be a more peaceful one.


So, yes—what I’m saying is that my 6-month-old daughter’s adorable rolls *are* the solution to world peace. And I don’t know what kind of prize she gets for that, but she typically accepts payment in the form of milk, sweet potatoes, splashing in the bath or time to roll around in the nude, FYI.

Because you know what baby rolls are made of? Beauty and wonder and milk and formula and hope and promise. They are round and plump and beg for kisses and nibbles and awe. They represent babyhood. They represent happiness. I mean—is there anything sweeter than chunky baby thighs? (No. The answer is no.)

They remind us that we did that—we have nurtured those healthy, beautiful rolls.

They remind us that our babies need us and they love us unconditionally.

They remind us that life is pure and good. That people are inherently pure and good. After all, everyone started out as a baby with cute, cute rolls. (Even those people who frustrate you the most.)

I was nursing my baby the other night, while she was just in her diaper. We were transitioning out of the busyness of the day and into the calm of night. I put my phone down, I quieted the noise in my mind, and I just looked at her—her round cheeks, her plump belly, her chunky, rolly thighs.

She smiled up at me as I sang her a song, and my heart just about burst at the feeling of her soft, warm skin against mine. Skin-to-skin has always been a favorite moment of motherhood for me, and this was just what the doctor ordered today.

Her beautiful, delicate rolls are symbolic. They are the epitome of babyhood. They are reminders of marathon breastfeeding sessions and starting first foods, of sleep sacks and footie pajamas, of rattles and pacifiers. They seem to scream: “I AM STILL DEPENDENT ON YOU. I STILL NEED YOU, MAMA.”

My two older daughters are in-my-face examples of the quickness of time. They have shed their baby rolls, and the stark contrast of having a new baby around makes this realization so obvious now.

My 4-year-old is a true kid. She’s all about school and reading and making friends and helping around the house and being more and more ‘her’ every day. My 2-year-old has lost almost all of her baby rolls, the very last of it lingering in her chubby little toddler fingers. Her language is expanding more and more every day as well as her independence, as proven with each, “I do myself” that I hear.

I still hold my mother’s hand sometimes. We’ve never been afraid to show affection in our family. I wonder if my mother cried bittersweet tears when she held my tiny little chubby toddler hands, realizing that they can’t stay that way forever? I wonder if she holds my hand now, just like I’ll hold my grown daughters’ hands one day, and wonders how they grew to be the size of her hands, so fast?

Watching my children stretch and grow out of their baby rolls fills me with a heavy sadness. These moments are more prominent as I now watch three different children at three different stages of childhood.

It’s been said that “nothing lasts forever.” And that’s good news and bad news, really. We may want to hold on to these moments of our motherhood journey with all our might—because they’re incredibly sweet, defining moments for us and our children. But, the reality is that, we can’t.

I have to make peace with that because if not, I fear I’ll continuously live in the past. I don’t want that. I want a life of living in the nownow when my baby has her baby rolls, in 10 years when my babies are teenagers, and 20 years when they’re figuring out how to be adults.

I don’t want to miss anything. I am probably (okay, definitely) going to be the woman who wants to hold and squeeze other people’s babies whenever I get the chance to. Because they’ll remind me of the time when I had my own babies to squeeze and love on. But what I’m not going to be, or what I’m going to try not to be, is afraid of the future.

Sure, saying goodbye to parts of our children’s babyhood is sad. But, in a way, there is such beauty in sadness of life. There’s beauty in these bittersweet transitions of motherhood. There has been beauty and pain in the process of shedding the skin of my “pre-mom” self and there’s been beauty and pain watching my children grow, needing me less and less.

The fact of the matter is that life is happening. Now. We can’t stay in any one moment for longer than that moment allows. Time is not up for negotiation. We can’t control it; we can only appreciate it and be grateful for it.

Just like we’re grateful for those absolutely, breathtaking, hard-earned chunky baby rolls. (Can I get an amen?!?)

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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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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 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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Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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