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Early pregnancy weight gain linked to baby’s birth weight, says new study

If you are currently pregnant, you probably know that your midwives and doctors are pretty obsessed with your weight gain—we check it at every visit. The recommended total weight gain is between 28 and 40 pounds, depending on how much a woman weighed before getting pregnant.


The reason we check in so frequently is that healthy weight gain can decrease the risks of pregnancy and birth complications, and some longer term health issues for the baby. It can also play a role in how big a baby is when he is born.

The second and third trimesters of pregnancy are generally when women experience the most weight gain. The American Pregnancy Association tells us that women can expect to gain 1 to 4.5 pounds during their first trimester, and then 1 to 2 pounds per week during their second and third trimesters.

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While you may be the most aware of the extra pounds towards the end of your pregnancy, it turns out that the weight we gain in the beginning of our pregnancies may have the most impact on how big our babies are at birth.

A recent study of 1,164 women looked at pre-pregnancy weight, and then weight gain during 10 specific intervals during pregnancy. Researchers found that while pre-pregnancy weight impacted the babies’ birth weight, the only pregnancy weight gain that seemed to affect the birth weight happened in the first 18 weeks.

During week 1 through 14, for every pound a woman gained, her baby’s weight increased by 13.6 grams (0.48 ounces). And for every pound she gain between week 14 and 18, the baby’s birth weight increased by 26.1 grams (0.92 ounces).

I have to say, I find these findings comforting. So many women, in my experience, get really stressed by their weight gain during the second half of pregnancy—we now have reason to believe that they don’t have to stress.

Certainly, women should still eat healthy, exercise and aim to keep their weight gain within the recommended range. And, women that are thinking about becoming pregnant might consider making sure they are as healthy as possible before trying to conceive.

But, for all those mamas who sweat every pound towards the end, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Just do the best you can mama—your best is pretty amazing.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

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

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

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Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

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Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

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