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A letter to my brand new kindergartener about the ABC’s

I've been anticipating your first day with equal parts of sadness and joy since I filled out your registration papers.

A letter to my brand new kindergartener about the ABC’s

Dear little one,

It's here—your first day of kindergarten. Memories of these past five years are flooding my brain, making me melancholic.

Not long ago I was marveling at my increasing belly and the person who was growing in there. I was waiting for you, excited and anxious. I know you don't remember any of this, but I do. Just like it was yesterday.

I brought you, my sweet baby, home from the hospital. I was absolutely clueless about what I was doing. But we managed. We had lots of late nights together and what seemed like endless nursing sessions. You learned to hold a spoon and we fought your first cold and ear infections as a team. Together, we grew.

We raced to the bathroom when you needed to use the potty. We tore down your crib and put your new sheets on your big kid bed. You held my hand tightly as we looked both ways to cross the street. Then I wiped my tears as you started and mastered preschool.

And now, here we stand. I sit here quietly holding my breath at this milestone. Your crayons, markers and scissors are purchased. I've been anticipating your first day with equal parts of sadness and joy since I filled out your registration papers. Since that day is almost here, I want to remind you of your ABCs. This is the knowledge I hope I filled you with for the past five years. I hope you remember all of it so you can charge confidently ahead.

Always be yourself. You are smart, funny, and kind. You're going to meet lots of new friends—let them see how amazing you are.

Believe in yourself. I've watched you grow these past five years. You learned your shapes, your colors, how to hold a pencil and write your name. You, my darling, can do anything you put your mind to.

Clap your hands loud for your accomplishments and those of your friends. When you learn your sight words—be proud. When your friend learns to count to thirty tell him he did a great job!

Dream of what you want to be. You're just starting your academic journey. Dream big dreams because the world is your stage and you can and will go far.

Explore everything around you. There are different people, animals, and countries in this world. Learn and discover all of them, and don't be afraid of any of them.

Find friends. I hope you discover a good friend or two to share your lunch with and swing beside on the playground.

Give of yourself. If your friend forgot his lunch, share some of yours. If your classmate doesn't understand how to play Chutes and Ladders, take the time to explain the rules of the game to him.

Help. Help your teacher put away books. Help your classmate open her stuck lunchbox zipper. Help your friends clean up. Always be the one who lends a helping hand.

It's not a race. You don't have to be the first one who finished cutting the squares and pasting them onto the paper. Take your time to do your best work.

Jump high. Run. Kindergartner is for learning, but also for fun.

Keep your hands to yourself. Know your boundaries with others and their boundaries with you.

Laugh loud and hard with your new friends. Tell jokes. Enjoy the fun you're having.

March to the beat of your own drum. If your friends are playing a game and you don't want to, you don't have to join. If a classmate is doing something that will get him in trouble, have the courage not to partake.

Nice and neat. Clean up after yourself. Throw away your milk carton and napkins after lunch.

Other classmates may want to put together the puzzle you are working on or play with the kitchen set. Remember to share with them.

Pay attention. Listen to what your teacher says and follow directions.

Question, question, question. If you don't understand why you are grouping red apples on one side and green on the other side—ask. Never be afraid to inquire about something you don't understand.

Raise your hand high. If you know that one plus one equals two, have the confidence to raise your hand and let your teacher know.

Stride confidently and securely in who you are throughout the day.

Tell me anything. If you don't know how to write the letter B, let me know. If a child is teasing you or taking your lunch, tell me. If you said something you shouldn't have in school, share what you said with me. I only want to listen and help you grow.

Use your manners. Please, thank you, and no thank you are a good start.

Voice your opinion. If you are asked how you feel about the color green, let the world know it is your favorite color. Don't be timid—let people know what makes you, you.

Wash your hands. A lot.

X—You might get an X on your schoolwork if you get an answer wrong—and that's ok. It's fine to make a mistake. We all make blunders, you just have to remember to learn from them.

You, my kindergartner, have this. You are ready and so am I. You will shine.

Zip your backpack at the end of the day, clamor outside and know I will be there waiting for you, just like I was the day you were born, with my arms and ears open wide. We will always be a team, little one.

Love always,

Mommy

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We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!


A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.

$239.99

A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.

$219.99

A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.

$379.99

A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.

$29.99

A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.

$99.99

A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.

$15.99

A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.

$79.99

A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.

$99.99

An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.

$24.99

A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.

$59.99

And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

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

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