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How to find the perfect pair of jeans for all (four!) pregnancy trimesters

If denim is a mom’s best friend, then the perfect fitting pair of jeans is her Fairy Godmother.

How to find the perfect pair of jeans for all (four!) pregnancy trimesters

If denim is a mom's best friend, then the perfect fitting pair of jeans is her Fairy Godmother. The truth is that it takes a bit of magic to find the perfect pair.


With 70's style gracing the pages of every fashion mag, denim is having a moment right now. But not all denim is created equal. The key to avoiding the “mom jean" trap is to find the right silhouette, fit, wash, and rise.

Rather than break it down for you by body type (how many times have we seen that?) I'm excited to share this denim style guide for the various phases of motherhood—from your 1st trimester to your 4th.

1st Trimester:

For first time mamas, it's likely that very little change is happening to you below the belt other than typical bloating. This is the time to focus on stretch fabrics and take advantage of trends that you may have to pass on in the coming months. It's also the time to shop your own closet. No need to buy anything to fit the bump until you need to.

Super Stretch Boyfriend Jean

These soft cotton, cropped boyfriend jeans by Goldsign are a closet staple. We love the simple pocket detailing and light distressed look.

Trend to Try Before Bump = Denim Culottes

Made of distressed denim, these over the top wide leg culottes are a fantastic addition to a mama's wardrobe. Pair yours with a classic white blouse and easy to wear loafers for a day of parent/teacher conferences and PTA meetings or add sophistication with heels and a blazer for an edgier downtown vibe. Looking for a sexy look for a night out with the hubs

2nd Trimester:

In the next 3 months, your belly will go through the “beer belly" phase. It's the most difficult to dress because it's not a fully formed bump yet. You are probably not ready for full on maternity jeans, so it's best to try elastic waist denim. No I am not referring to the “jegging" which is basically the modern version of “mom jeans." Many premium brand denim companies are making them. They're super chic and super comfy. They also offer richer and more flattering washes. As thighs expand (and they often do during pregnancy) it's best to go with a darker, less distressed wash.

Elastic Waist Worn Under Belly

These black skinny jeans can be dressed up or down easily depending on your mood and events of the day.

Trend to Try with “Beer Belly" Bump = Denim Joggers

Sometimes, comfort is key. And with these easy sweat pants by Ice Wash you can be comfortable without sacrificing style.

3rd Trimester:

The bump has popped! Time to show it off! And most likely time to buy (or borrow) legit maternity jeans. It is also a good time to bring denim into your wardrobe by way of tops, jackets, and vests. If you are now living in maxi dresses and leggings, then layering jean jackets and chambray shirts can bring new life to the maternity pieces that you are so tired of wearing.

The skinny

These sleek skinnies look perfect with pretty much anything. These should be a staple in your maternity wardrobe.

The wide leg

Thankfully, 7 For All Mankind has us covered throughout all stages of life, including pregnancy.

The boyfriend

These casual, cool boyfriend fit AG Jeans are perfect for end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall weather.

Trend to Try = The Denim Jacket

Everyone needs a solid fitting denim jacket in their closet. Rachel Comey has the answer for us with this stunner, ladies.

4th Trimester:

A lot of 1st time mamas are unfamiliar with the 4th trimester. For those of us not given the genetic make-up of Gisele or Heidi, it will take a moment (or a lot of moments) to get the baby weight off. This is a good time to go back to the styles that worked for you during your 1st and even 2nd trimesters. That said, it's also the time to invest in you. I see so many mamas that don't buy clothes until they “lose the weight." I assure you that if you invest in you and feel good about yourself, the weight will come off even faster. High-rise, soft washes are your friends. Though if you had a c-section, you may want to stick with joggers and denim styles up top. No matter how soft or stretchy, it can still aggravate your scar.

All Hail the High Rise

Post baby? High rise is the way to go. They will keep you feeling confident, comfortable, and cute.

Trend to try = Elastic Waist Novelty Denim

These daring zebra leggings are the hottest mom jeans on the market.

In many ways, denim is the easiest item in our closet. It almost goes with anything. It's most important to focus on the fit. Don't beat yourself up if you never fit into your “pre-baby" jeans, and don't force it either. If it's time to buy a fresh cut or a new chic wash, this is the time to splurge.

This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

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

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

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

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

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.

$189

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

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The new top 100 American baby names, according to the Social Security office

Did you have a baby in 2018? Did your name make the top 10?

kasietannerphotography.com

[Editor's note: We know that being pregnant can be, well, a lot. And understanding what you really need versus what's just a nice-to-have takes time . With your needs in mind, we've selected the best products for pregnancy in The Motherly Shop. We've got you, mama.]

No one can beat Emma when it comes to naming babies in America. This week the Social Security Administration announced its annual list of the most popular baby names in America and Emma has the top spot on the girls' side for the fifth year in a row. On the boys' side Liam took the top spot for a second consecutive year.

According to the Social Security Administration, these were the top 20 baby names in America in 2018:

Girls: Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Charlotte, Mia, Amelia, Harper and Evelyn

Boys: Liam, Noah, William, James, Oliver, Benjamin, Elijah, Lucas, Mason and Owen

How do those top 10 lists compare to the top baby names of 2017? Well, the girls' list is nearly the same except that Mia and Charlotte switched spots, and Harper (a name that fell out of the top ten the previous year) is back and has ousted Abigail. On the boys' side, Lucas kicked Jacob out of the top 10.

The real changes happened lower down in the data. Let's take a look at the popular baby names that were trending hard in 2018:

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