These are the holiday gifts mamas *actually* want this year

Each holiday season, children write down their wish lists and we do our best to make some of their wishes come true. But we often forget about what we mamas actually want to find under the Christmas tree this year. No, it's not the latest television or a pair of fuzzy socks.

We asked #TeamMotherly to share their top wish list items and they delivered. (Spoiler: It involves a lot of sleep and some peace and quiet—and okay, a decent bra for once.)

Here's what they shared:


  1. "I'm a simple girl, I'll take a good night's sleep."—Karen Paz
  2. "A new stroller, sleep, some new eyebrows, time for the gym. Time to eat, time to use the restroom + shower. TIme to clean my car."—Estefani Acosta
  3. A full night's sleep, meals cooked, clean house, husband who gets a job and acts right, insurance to get teeth cleaned and my scans done that I have had to wait on, and every to be healthy."—Dana Giacchino
  4. "Sleep. Bathroom alone. A hot cup of coffee not reheated three times. No fighting for one day. Oh, and wine!"—Brooke Vanderpool"
  5. "Few days of extra sleep and no whining."—Christal Cardenas
  6. "Sleep and a clean house, but I really want Harry Potter sheets."—JohnBree Adams
  7. "A night of uninterrupted sleep and a chance to sleep in."—Tatjana S. Moedl
  8. "Sleep would be great but a massage, mani/pedi and haircut."—Audrey Murphy
  9. "Lots and lots of baby must haves and, sleep, we can't forget about sleep"—Conchita Barajas
  10. "SLEEP and hot coffee."—Julie Massana
  11. "SLEEP."—Natalie Bancroft
  12. Sleep, massage mani and pedi some wine, oh Lord."—Nancy Banda
  13. "A nap."—Deanna White
  14. "A very nice sleep no whining and more money to my account."—Salamatu Abdulazeez
  15. "A full night's sleep and a nice long hot shower."—Abby Iverson
  16. "✨Uninterrupted sleep"—Lauren McConnell
  17. "8 hours of undisturbed sleep, please."—Prachi Pradhan Lavekar

Things you can't buy

  1. "A safe world for my child to grow up in."—Liz Vollmer-Buhl
  2. "Time—I want more time with my daughters and husband."—Mary Caitlin
  3. "Enough resources to give my kids the magical Christmas they deserve."—Lora Dian
  4. "Safely deliver on term and lots of great things for my baby. ❤️"—Haska Shamla
  5. "I have everything I need. I just want everything to stay this sweet forever. ❤️"—Hailey Isaacson Buehler
  6. "I'm hoping Santa will finally come through and pay off my medical bills."—Rebecca Pittkin
  7. "A toddler who eats more than just two bites of anything, an infant who sleeps longer than four hrs at a go, for both of them to be happy and healthy." —Jenny Vehlow
  8. "Peace and quiet. Clean house. Someone else to cook. I don't wanna be too picky though."—Robyn Denise
  9. "Time to see and appreciate nature more and going on trips."—Precious Onuabueke
  10. "Sanity."—Lacey Loraine
  11. "Good time with my husband and kids."—Meryam Belhiah
  12. "Health and strength"—Lorraine Sobeck
  13. " Peace and joy."— Nicole Chowen Stott

Things you *can* buy

  1. "Tortilla press and tamales pot."—Shenandoah Brettell
  2. A hoodie that says 'Land of 10,00 Ice Rinks.' I live in northern MN and my stepson plays hockey. It's our life during the winter. I'd also like a gas card, because I'm driving all over the state for hockey and unlimited pouches because they are currently the only way our toddler will eat veggies."—Emily Gould
  3. New tennis shoes to keep up with my active life, my favorite Philosophy Gingerbread man body wash to help me wake up, and a pretty night gown to remind me that while I'm a mama, I'm still a woman."—Juliane McDavid
  4. "Functioning nursing bras/tops."—Michele Piechocniski Munoz
  5. "Slippers, a silpat and an uninterrupted bath."—Aleena Hodges
  6. "I asked for gift cards to get a new wardrobe after baby."—Jocelyn Waldahl
  7. "A house cleaning service—on my list every year!"—Jackie Muller LoSchiavo
  8. "One year supply of baby formula."—Karla Butiong Robertson
  9. "New pistol range bag with lots of fitted compartments, a weight set + bench, and an updated family photo with a dark wooden frame."—Sarah Joy Albrecht
  10. "I also want a flannel robe, a storage case for my essential oils, a new bra and a new pair of jeans."—Jenny Vehlow
  11. "Starbucks, Tyme Iron, and leggings. ❤️"—Amanda Higgins"Nursing clothes."—Kristina Rettler
  12. "New clothes that actually look nice and fit and more time with my son and husband."—Kerrana McAvoy Clément
  13. Some pampering makeover and the help not to engage in any house work."—Pearl Mwendia
  14. "A new coat for myself. My old one is a good 17 years old."—Courtney Crawford"
  15. A swing for my baby, new clothes, lovely shoes, and a car."—Ella Rapheals
  16. "Meals cooked for me and my house cleaned!"—Heather Heard
  17. "A wheelbarrow"—Kinsley Harlow
  18. " A Wildbird sling!"—Olivia Beaman
  19. "Bras "—Maria Akemi
  20. "A puppy!!"—Tiffany Prystay"
  21. "Ergo 360!"—Joanna Whiteman"
  22. "Fitbit."—Tzippora Wainstain
What's on your list, mama?

After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.


Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

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


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.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

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

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

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.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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