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Few experiences are more magical than witnessing Christmas morning through your child's eyes. What's not so magical? Engaging in bedtime battles on Christmas Eve or waking to voices begging to open presents at 4:30 a.m. Christmas morning (especially after "Santa" was up well past midnight assembling brand-new bikes, dollhouses, play kitchens and more).

As much as you may be trying to stick to your regular routine, chances are that things aren't so routine the night before Christmas. And that's okay—it's part of what makes the season so special! Unfortunately, it can also cause kids to ramp up the resistance when you need them to do something they may not want to do like going to bed.


While nothing could be more Scrooge than threatening to keep the big guy at bay if little heads don't hit the hay, using these 10 phrases can help set the stage for a silent night:

1. "Christmas begins when the alarm clock dings."

Before the age of 7, kids have a very loose grasp on the concept of time. An alarm clock offers a more concrete way of letting them know when it's an acceptable time to get out of bed rather than simply instructing your child to wait until morning (after all, 5:00 a.m. is technically morning).

Set the alarm clock together and have your child press start so that they feel involved in the process. Remind your child that once the clock dings, Christmas begins and you can all go downstairs as a family.

2. "Let's go sledding!"

As tempting as it may be to tune in to a Christmas movie marathon, make it your mission to tire your child out on Christmas Eve. Carve out time to play outside during the day—such as taking a hike, riding bikes, sledding, having snowball fights, going ice skating, playing catch or walking around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. Even with all of the excitement and anticipation your child is feeling, if they're adequately exhausted at bedtime they'll soon succumb to sleep.

3. "If you wake during the night, remember to do the sleep wiggle."

Often, when kids wake at night they shuffle into your room simply because they don't know what else to do with their little bodies. Teaching your child the sleep wiggle provides a set of moves they can easily remember to help them return to sleep.

First, roll over on your tummy, grab your lovey, snuggle in and close your eyes. Be sure to practice the sleep wiggle together during the day.

4. "A good night's sleep will give you lots of energy to play with your new toys on Christmas Day!"

Use positive sleep speak at least three times during the day—especially if you have a child who struggles with sleep even when Christmas isn't around the corner. Praise your child for every successful bedtime and naptime. Saying things like, "Wow, you took such a big nap today!" or "I was so proud of you when you fell asleep on your own last night!" can make a difference.

Try naturally working positive sleep speak into your day.

5. "Alexa, set the timer for 10 minutes."

Try providing kids with plenty of warning before a transition occurs and be as clear as possible with your expectations: "When the timer goes off, we're going to walk upstairs and you're going to take a bath and get ready for bed."

6. "Let's play Zingo!"

Plan to power down all electronics one to two hours before bedtime. Research suggests that the light and stimulation from screens may interfere with the body's natural ability to fall asleep. Consider building a new tradition and playing a family-friendly board game before bed.

7. "I'll turn on the white noise machine so Santa doesn't wake you up."

With everything your child has to look forward to the next day, they may wake more easily at night or early in the morning. Using continuous white noise can help block out any sounds (like, ahem, Santa's workshop working overtime after the kids are in bed) that could cause your kid to stir.

8. "Here's a bedtime snack."

Offer sleep-inducing snacks such as warm milk, whole-grain toast with peanut butter and banana, a small bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, or cheese and crackers. These foods contain a variety of compounds such as protein and melatonin that can help soothe them to sleep.

Bonus: If festivities during the day meant they didn't eat well at meals, a bedtime snack could help quell grumbling tummies and buy you some extra time in bed come morning.

9. "Santa will arrive after everyone's asleep."

Consider this phrasing for a more encouraging, rather than threatening ("If you don't go to sleep, Santa isn't going to come!") approach. For extra creativity points, have a family member ring a little bell outside while you're putting your little one to bed and say, "I think I hear the reindeer flying by! Let's go to sleep so Santa can stop here!"

If you don't follow the Santa tradition, try saying things like, "your body is growing so big and strong when you're sleeping," to help place sleep in a positive light and make it more appealing for your child.

10. "In the morning, we're going to open presents, eat breakfast and then go to Grandma's house."

While many children may be buzzing with excitement about Christmas Day, other kids are going to feel anxious. They know it's different from a typical day, but they may not be sure what to expect. This can be unsettling and interfere with their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

If this sounds like your child, take a few moments at the end of the day to talk with your child about what they can expect at Christmas. Let them know that you're available to answer any questions, talk and remind them that you'll be together all day long.

With these phrases, you'll set a clear and positive tone when it comes to your child's sleep on Christmas Eve and you may just experience a Christmas miracle: a full night of rest before a very special day.

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When we buy baby gear we expect it to be safe, and while no parent wants to hear that their gear is being recalled we appreciate when those recalls happen as a preventative measure—before a baby gets hurt.

That's the case with the recent recall of Baby Trend's Tango Mini Stroller. No injuries have been reported but the recall was issued because a problem with the hinge joints mean the stroller can collapse with a child in it, which poses a fall risk.

"As part of our rigorous process, we recently identified a potential safety issue. Since we strongly stand by our safety priority, we have decided to voluntarily recall certain models of the Tango Mini Strollers. The recalled models, under excessive pressure, both hinge joints could release, allowing the stroller to collapse and pose a fall hazard to children. Most importantly, Baby Trend has received NO reports of injuries," the company states on its website.


The strollers were sold through Amazon and Target in October and November 2019 and cost between $100 and $120. If you've got one you should stop using it and contact Baby Trend for a refund or replacement.

Four models are impacted by this recall:

  • Quartz Pink (Model Number ST31D09A)
  • Sedona Gray (Model Number ST31D10A)
  • Jet Black (Model Number ST31D11A)
  • Purest Blue (Model Number ST31D03A

"If you determine that you own one of these specific model numbers please stop using the product and contact Baby Trend's customer service at 1-800-328-7363 or via email at," Baby Trend states.


[Editor's note: While Motherly loves seeing and sharing photos of baby Archie and other adorable babies when the images are shared with their parents' consent, we do not publish pictures taken without a parent's consent. Since these pictures were taken without Markle's permission while she was walking her dogs, we're not reposting them.]

Meghan Markle is a trendsetter for sure. When she wears something the world notices, and this week she was photographed wearing her son Archie in a baby carrier. The important thing to know about the photos is that they show the Duchess out for a walk with her two dogs while wearing Archie in a blue Ergo. She's not hands-free baby wearing, but rather wearing an Ergo while also supporting Archie with her arm, as the carrier isn't completely tight.


When British tabloids published the pictures many babywearing devotees and internet commenters offered opinions on how Markle is holding her son in the photo, but as baby gear guru Jamie Grayson notes, "it is none of our business."

In a post to his Facebook page, Grayson (noted NYC baby gear expert) explained that in the last day or so he has been inundated with hundreds of messages about how Markle is wearing the carrier, and that while he's sure many who messaged with concerns had good intentions he hopes to inject some empathy into the conversation.

As Grayson points out, these are paparazzi photos, so it was a private moment not meant for world-wide consumption. "This woman has the entire world watching her every move and action, especially now that she and Harry are leaving the umbrella of the royal family, and I honestly hope they are able to find some privacy and peace. So let's give her space," he explains, adding that "while those pictures show something that is less than ideal, it's going to be okay. I promise. It's not like she's wearing the baby upside down."

He's right, Archie was safe and not in danger and who knows why the straps on Markle's carrier were loose (maybe she realized people were about to take pictures and so she switched Archie from forward-facing, or maybe the strap just slipped.)

Grayson continues: "When you are bringing up how a parent is misusing a product (either in-person or online) please consider your words. Because tone of voice is missing in text, it is important to choose your words carefully because ANYTHING can be misconstrued. Your good intentions can easily be considered as shaming someone."

Grayson's suggestions injected some much-needed empathy into this discourse and reminded many that new parents are human beings who are just trying to do their best with responsibilities (and baby gear) that isn't familiar to them.

Babywearing has a ton of benefits for parents and the baby, but it can take some getting used to. New parents can research safety recommendations so they feel confident. In Canada, where the pictures in question were snapped, the government recommends parents follow these safety guidelines when wearing infants in carriers:

  • Choose a product that fits you and your baby properly.
  • Be very careful putting a baby into—or pulling them out of—a carrier or sling. Ask for help if you need it.
  • When wearing a carrier or sling, do not zip up your coat around the baby because it increases the risk of overheating and suffocation.
  • Be particularly careful when using a sling or carrier with babies under 4 months because their airways are still developing.
  • Do not use a carrier or sling during activities that could lead to injury such as cooking, running, cycling, or drinking hot beverages.

Health Canada also recommends parents "remember to keep your baby visible and kissable at all times" and offers the following tips to ensure kissability.

"Keep the baby's face in view. Keep the baby in an upright position. Make sure the baby's face is not pressed into the fabric of the carrier or sling, your body, or clothing. Make sure the baby's chin is not pressed into their chest. Make sure the baby's legs are not bunched up against their stomach, as this can also restrict breathing. Wear the baby snug enough to support their back and hold onto the baby when bending over so they don't fall out of the carrier or sling. Check your baby often."

Meghan Markle is a new mom who was caught off guard during a moment she didn't expect her baby to be photographed. Every parent (no matter how famous) has a right to privacy for their child and the right to compassion from other parents. If we want people to learn how to safely babywear we can't shame them for trying.

Mama, if you've been shamed for wearing your baby "wrong" don't feel like you need to stop. Follow the tips above or check in with local baby-wearing groups to get advice and help. You've got this.


At one of the most important nights of their career, celebrities made sure their hairstyles stayed put at the 26th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. As a collective, the hairstyles were beautiful—french twists, bobs, pin curls and killer cuts filled the red carpet on the night to remember.

And surprisingly, the secret wasn't just the stylist team, mama. For many of the celebs, much of the look can be attributed to a $5 hairspray—yes, you read that correctly.

Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray was one of the top stylist picks for celebs for a lightweight, flexible finishing spray, leaving tons of body and bounce. Unlike most hairsprays that can take several minutes (even a half hour) to set the look, this extra-hold one contains a fast-drying, water-free formula that helps protect your hair from frizz in minutes. As a result, celebrities were able to hold the shape of their styles with mega volume.

"Dove hairspray works well by holding curls in place with maximum hold and ultra shine, while still maintaining soft, touchable texture that is easy to brush out," says Dennis Gots for Dove Hair, who styled Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the SAG Awards. Translation: It's great for on-the-go mamas who want a shiny hold that lasts, but doesn't feel sticky.

Here are a few awesome hairstyles that were finished with the drugstore Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray at the SAG awards:

Lili Reinhart's French twist

"I sprayed Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray all over Lili's hair to lock in the shape and boost the shine factor, making the whole look really sleek," says stylist Renato Campora who was inspired to create the look by Reinhart's romantic gown. "Lili's look is sleek and sharp with a romantic twist."

Cynthia Erivo's finger waves

"This look is classic Cynthia! I knew I wanted to keep it simple, but it's actually quite detailed and intricate up close," says stylist Coree Moreno. "While the hair was still wet (yes—I needed to work fast!) I generously spritzed on the hairspray for all night hold without flaking. The hair continued to air dry perfectly while she finished up makeup."

Nathalie Emmanuel's curly high pony

"Nathalie wanted a retro Hollywood glam for the SAG Awards, so I used her natural texture and created a high pony with loose tendrils framing her face and neckline," says stylist, Neeko. "I finessed the look with the hairspray to lock in the style while keeping her hair looking and feeling touchable."

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's slicked back bob

"I used duckbill clips on different areas of her hair to keep the shape and curl while the hair air dried. Air drying the hair allowed for maximum shine and then I sprayed lots of hairspray all over to truly lock in the sleek shape and enhance the shine," says stylist Dennis Gots, who was inspired by a 90s vibe for Waller-Bridge's look.

Dove Style+Care Micro Mist Extra Hold Hairspray

Dove Style+Care Micro Mist Extra Hold Hairspray

Who doesn't want a hairspray that makes your hair feel as good as it looks? Dove Style+Care Extra Hold Hairspray holds body, volume and enhances shine. It gives your hair touchable hold while fighting frizz, even in damp or humid conditions.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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We often think of the unequal gender division of unpaid labor as a personal issue, but a new report by Oxfam proves that it is a global issue—and that a handful of men are becoming incredibly wealthy while women and girls bear the burden of unpaid work and poverty.

According to Oxfam, the unpaid care work done by women and girls has an economic value of $10.8 trillion per year and benefits the global economy three times more than the entire technology industry.

"Women are supporting the market economy with cheap and free labor and they are also supporting the state by providing care that should be provided by the public sector," the report notes.


The unpaid work of hundreds of millions of women is generating massive wealth for a couple of thousand (predominantly male) billionaires. "What is clear is that this unpaid work is fueling a sexist economic system that takes from the many and puts money in the pockets of the few," the report states.

Max Lawson is Oxfam International's Head of Inequality Policy. In an interview with Vatican News, he explained that "the foundation of unpaid work done by the poorest women generates enormous wealth for the economy," and that women do billions of hours of unpaid care work (caring for children, the sick, the elderly and cooking, cleaning) for which they see no financial reward but which creates financial rewards for billionaires.

Indeed, the report finds that globally 42% of women can't work for money because of their unpaid care responsibilities.

In the United States, women spend 37% more time doing unpaid care work than men, Oxfam America notes in a second report released in cooperation with the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

"It's an economy that is built on the backs of women and of poor women and their labour, whether it's poorly paid labour or even unpaid labour, it is a sexist economy and it's a broken economy, and you can only fix the gap between the rich and the poor if at the same time you fix the gap between women and men," Lawson explains.

According to Lawson, you can't fight economic inequality without fighting gender equality, and he says 2020 is the year to do both. Now is a great time to start, because as Motherly has previously reported, no country in the world is on track to eliminate gender inequality by 2030 (one of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 United Nations member countries back in 2015) and no country will until the unpaid labor of women and girls is addressed.

"Governments around the world can, and must, build a human economy that is feminist and benefits the 99%, not only the 1%," the Oxfam report concludes.

The research suggests that paid leave, investments in childcare and the care of older adults and people with disabilities as well as utilizing technology to make working more flexible would help America close the gap.

(For more information on how you can fight for paid leave, affordable childcare and more this year check out

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