Menu
10 loving things you can do for your baby in the first trimester

Take a prenatal vitamin.


A photo posted by Mrs Meldrum (@mrsrmeldrum) on

Eating healthy foods is really the best way to provide your baby with everything he needs to develop. But it can be hard to get all those nutrients in. Taking a prenatal vitamin ensures you’re providing your baby with tons of awesome vitamins and minerals—folic acid to prevent neural tube defects, vitamin D to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and DHA to help your little smarty’s brain grow, to name a few.

Pro tip: If your prenatal vitamin makes you nauseated, take it before you go to bed.

FEATURED VIDEO

Take deep breaths.

A photo posted by Mrs Meldrum (@mrsrmeldrum) on

Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, pregnancy is stressful.

Your body is going through some big changes, hormones are surging and, oh yeah, you’re having a baby. Finding ways to relax and de-stress is not a luxury, it’s a necessity! In fact, yoga and meditation have been found to not only improve your health, but to improve your baby’s health (and behavior) after he’s born. Cool, huh? You can find prenatal yoga routines online and download apps like Insight Timer for guided meditations.

Namaste, mama.

Work out if you can.

A photo posted by Mrs Meldrum (@mrsrmeldrum) on

When you’re having a hard time keeping breakfast down, exercise may be the furthest thing from your mind. But if you can find a way to fit it in, do so. Exercise will boost your energy and help you sleep better, and it has tremendous benefits for you and your baby.

Check out our guide to learn more about the benefits and safety of working out with a bump.

See your doctor or midwife.

A photo posted by Mrs Meldrum (@mrsrmeldrum) on

Consistent prenatal care will help you and your baby to have the healthiest possible pregnancy and birth. You will likely have your first appointment around eight weeks. From there you’ll go in about once a month, then every two weeks starting in your third trimester, and then every week for the last four weeks (this varies, of course). Your health care provider will check your weight and blood pressure each time, do some screening tests and just make sure everything is progressing beautifully. And if questions come up in between visits, just call. Your doctor or midwife wants you to feel supported and cared for every day.

Eliminate toxins.

A photo posted by Mrs Meldrum (@mrsrmeldrum) on

Your baby gets exposed to everything that enters your body, so do what you can to make it all good stuff.

It’s not possible to eliminate it all, so don’t stress too much, but do what you can to avoid substances that could harm your little one.

Avoid cigarette smoke, alcohol and recreational drugs. Ask your doctor about prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and cut back on caffeine. (I know, I’m sorry! But the research shows that miscarriage risk goes up with every cup of coffee we have each day. Stick to one cup a day, max.) Limit the amount of mercury you consume, buy organic if you can and choose beauty products that are low in or free of harmful chemicals.

First of all... CONGRATULATIONS! We are so excited for you, and so happy that you are here. Early pregnancy can be a pretty surreal time: You know you’re pregnant, but without seeing the bump or feeling those sweet kicks, it can be hard to really wrap your mind around it all.

But there are some amazing things you can start working on now that will help your baby (+ you).

Ask for help.

A photo posted by Mrs Meldrum (@mrsrmeldrum) on

You’re already Superwoman (you are growing a person, after all). So instead of feeling like you have to continue doing it all on your own, reach out for help! Ask a friend to run an errand for you. Request that your partner take on more of the meal prep. Invite your family over to babysit your toddler. They really do want to help you. All you have to do is tell them how.

Rest.

A photo posted by Mrs Meldrum (@mrsrmeldrum) on

[Insert “sleep now because it’ll be the last time in 18 years” joke here.] Okay, bad jokes aside, resting in pregnancy is hugely important. Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety and depression, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and other health issues. Yes, it’s easier said than done, so check out our tips on getting plenty of sleep.

Survive.

A photo posted by Mrs Meldrum (@mrsrmeldrum) on

Not in the Katniss, Hunger Games kind of way (though yes, please literally survive).

What we really mean is that your motherhood journey starts now.

And it’s a tough one. From morning sickness to miscarriage worries to first-trimester fatigue, pregnancy is not only physically demanding, it can be emotionally draining as well.

We moms put so much pressure on ourselves to get every little thing right (which, P.S., isn’t possible—or even very interesting, for that matter). We are here to tell you that you are enough, just as you are.

So be gentle with yourself. And be in awe of yourself. Look what you’re doing! We think you’re quite amazing.

Journal.

A photo posted by Mrs Meldrum (@mrsrmeldrum) on

Pregnancy can be a bit of a whirlwind—all the logistics and planning can make it zip by pretty quickly. But take it from this mama of three: You’ll look back at your pregnancy with nostalgia when it’s over. (You definitely won’t miss the morning sickness, though.)

Take a few minutes each week to write about what’s going on—how you’re feeling, any big life events—and write a letter to your baby. And, of course, don’t forget to snap some photos of your ADORABLE growing bump!

Get connected.

A photo posted by Mrs Meldrum (@mrsrmeldrum) on

Find your tribe, lady. Pregnancy and motherhood are amazing, yes, but they are hard. Connecting with someone who gets it can make all the difference. If you have a friend who is currently expecting, that’s awesome. Or have a heart-to-heart with a non-pregnant mom friend and let them know you need them even more now. You can try joining a local moms’ group even before your baby arrives.

And guess what? Our birth class comes with an online community of moms ready to support you. So join us and be our friend!

Join Motherly

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


Keep reading Show less
Shop

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.

$30

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!

$75

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.

$40

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.

$120

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.

$30

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.

$100

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.

$40

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.

$121

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.

$100

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.

$45

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.

$179

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.

$100

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.

$33

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.

$88

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

Shop

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?

Keep reading Show less
Life