10 delicious Rosh Hashanah recipes for the whole family

Welcome in the Jewish New Year, mama!

chala

A version of this story was first published September 15, 2020. It has been updated.

Let's face it—any holiday happening during COVID times may feel weird, especially when it comes to holidays with big meaning. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated from Monday, September 6th to Wednesday, September 8th, 2021—and like last year, it may feel quite different for your family.

You may be opting to attend services virtually this year, choose for a small outdoor gathering or perhaps you are choosing to skip the big family gathering all together.

The good news is that with holidays like Rosh Hashanah, maintaining the traditions that are possible (even during a pandemic) will help the time to feel special and reminiscent of your fondest memories. And what is one of those oh-so-important Rosh Hashanah traditions? The food!

We know people have strong opinions about the traditional recipes of Rosh Hashanah: Are you on #TeamGefilteFish or #TeamNoThankYou? But one thing's for certain: The rich and beautiful traditions of Rosh Hashanah can never be taken away. So blow the shofar, light the candles and enjoy the celebrations. Shanah tovah!

Here are 10 delicious Rosh Hashanah recipes to help you celebrate the Jewish New Year.


Honey whole wheat challah

Serves: 2 small loaves or 1 large loaf

Total time: 8 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2-2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks + 1 tsp water + 1 tsp honey
  • Whole flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds (optional)
  • Thick sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine yeast, 1 tsp sugar and lukewarm water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
  2. In a large bowl mix together 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, salt and sugar. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture along with oil and honey, and mix well.
  3. Add another 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup regular flour and eggs, and mix until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.
  4. Add another 1 1/2 to 2 cups of mixed flour, mixing thoroughly and then remove from bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead remaining 1/2 cup flour into dough, continuing to knead for around 10 minutes (or however long your hands will last).
  5. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise at least 4 hours, punching down at least once if possible.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Braid challah, and allow challah to rise another 90 minutes, or until you can see the size has grown and challah seems light. This step is very important to ensure a light and fluffy challah.
  7. In a small bowl beat 2 egg yolks with 1 tsp water and 1 tsp honey.
  8. Brush egg wash generously over challah. Sprinkle with seeds and thick sea salt if desired.
  9. If making one large challah, bake around 28 minutes; if making two smaller challahs, bake 24 to 26 minutes. When making round challot, make sure the middle has cooked through, which might require an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.

Recipe from The Nosher

Gefilte fish

Serves: 10-15

Total time: 4 hours

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 lb whitefish filets, coarsely ground (head, bones and tail reserved)
  • 1 lb yellow pike filets, coarsely ground (head, bones and tail reserved)
  • 1/2 lb carp filets, coarsely ground (head, bones and tail reserved)
  • 6 medium yellow onions, peeled
  • 8 medium-large carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups club soda
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 1 package of cheesecloth (9 square feet)
  • 3 packets of gelatin, optional (kosher options do exist)

Instructions

  1. Rinse the reserved fish trimmings (head, bones and tails) and place in the bottom of a fish poaching pot.
  2. Fill the pot to the halfway mark with water and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming any foam or impurities that rise to the surface. Note: Unless you have a special burner on your stove that will accommodate the poaching pot, set the pot across two burners to heat the pot evenly.
  3. Slice 2 of the onions into ½-inch thick rounds and lay on top of the fish trimmings. Place a rack inside the pot. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer while preparing the filling.
  4. Place the ground fish in a large mixing bowl. Coarsely chop the remaining four onions and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the onions 5 to 10 times until finely chopped, but not mushy. Add the onions to the ground fish. Coarsely chop four of the carrots and pulse in the food processor 5 to 10 times until finely chopped, but not mushy. Add the carrots to the bowl with the onions and fish and mix until evenly combined.
  5. Place the ground-fish mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, incorporate one egg at a time. Add salt, pepper and sugar. With the mixer still going, add club soda and matzo meal and mix until combined.
  6. Spread the cheesecloth, then fold it in half. Remove the cover of the pot and gently lay the cheesecloth over the opening so that there is about 1 to 2 inches of overlay around the edges of the pot.
  7. Using a large spoon or spatula, fill the cheesecloth evenly with the fish mixture (up to the top edge of the pot), being careful not to pack it down too tightly. Smooth the top of the mixture evenly with the back of your spoon, and tuck the edges of cheesecloth into the pot (you will need them again later to lift the loaf out of the pot). Essentially, you are creating a little cheesecloth hammock for the gefilte loaf to rest in and hold its shape while it cooks. Cover and lower heat to a gentle simmer.
  8. Cook for 1 hour, then lay the remaining whole carrots over the top of the gefilte loaf. Cover and let cook for an additional 1 1/2 - 2 hours. You may need to adjust the heat as it cooks to maintain a gentle simmer, so keep and eye on the heat while it cooks. The finished gefilte should be light in color, firm to the touch and the carrots should be cooked through.
  9. Remove the whole carrots from the top of the loaf and reserve for garnish. Carefully (and ideally with help from an extra set of hands), remove the loaf from the poaching pot by pulling up on the edges of the cheesecloth. Place the loaf, cheesecloth side down, on a large platter, plate or cutting board. Place another large platter over the top of the loaf and carefully invert so that you can easily remove the cheesecloth. Let cool, and then cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  10. For serving: Slice the loaf into ½-inch slices and the carrots into ¼-inch rounds. Serve on a bed of iceberg lettuce, with a few sliced carrot rounds and a dollop of beet horseradish.

Recipe from Jewish Food Society

Apple honey bowl

Serves: 4

Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 apples
  • 1 lemon's worth of juice juice
  • 1/2 cup honey

Instructions

  1. Remove the core of the apple and hollow out the sides, being careful not to cut through the sides or bottom.
  2. Rub lemon juice on the cut inside to keep it from turning brown.
  3. Fill the apple with honey and place it in the center of a plate. Surround your apple honey dish with lemon juice sprinkled apple slices for dipping.

Recipe from: Reform Judaism

Sweet kugel

Serves: 15

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins, craisins, dried chopped apricots or chopped drained pineapple
  • (optional)
  • 12 oz wide egg noodles
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 lb sour cream (2 cups)
  • 8 oz cottage cheese (1 cup)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened - OR farmer's cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Cinnamon and sugar for dusting
  • Your favorite kugel topping (streusel, crushed graham crackers, cornflakes, etc.).
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray

Instructions

  1. Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Cover the raisins with hot water and let them soak to plump while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles to the pot, bring to a boil and cook until tender (not overly soft), about 5 minutes. Drain and return the cooked noodles to the pot.
  3. In a food processor or blender, blend the eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sugar, melted butter and salt.
  4. Pour the egg mixture over the cooked noodles in the pot and stir until well combined.
  5. Drain the raisins. Stir them into the noodles.
  6. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking oil. Pour the noodle mixture into the dish.
  7. Top the kugel by sprinkling generously with sugar and lightly with cinnamon. Alternatively, you can use your favorite kugel topping.
  8. Bake the kugel for about 60 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, until the center of the kugel is set and the tips of the noodles turn golden brown. Remove from the oven.
  9. Let the kugel rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. Kugel can be served warm or cold.

Recipe from Tori Avey

Chopped liver

Serves: 3 cups

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken livers
  • 6 to 8 tbsp chicken schmaltz
  • 3 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound), 1 peeled but left whole with the root end intact, the rest finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Instructions

  1. Cleaning the livers. Rinse each under cold running water. With a sharp knife, separate the two lobes. Cut away any visible fat, membrane or green patches on the livers. Place in a strainer to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the schmaltz in a large 10 or 12-inch heavy pan. Add chopped onions and saute, over medium-high heat, until soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add cleaned, drained livers and saute until cooked through 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Add salt and black pepper. Allow any liquid that the livers release to evaporate as they cook. Remove from the heat and cool.
  5. If using a wooden chopping bowl, transfer cooked livers and onions to it. Using a metal chopping blade, chop cooked livers into small diced pieces. Some of the livers will turn into mush, others will hold their shape. The goal is to attain a spreadable combination of small pieces and paste.
  6. If not using a chopping bowl, chop each liver by hand on a cutting board using a very sharp knife, and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  7. Add chopped eggs, mix well, and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Adding more schmaltz will smooth out the flavor of the liver and the texture. Use your judgment. The chopped liver can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated at this point.
  8. On the day of serving, remove the liver from the refrigerator.
  9. Using a handheld box grater, grate the remaining onion into the liver, holding on to the root end to leverage. Mix well, taste and adjust the seasoning, which will have changed after sitting and chilling.

Recipe from Jamie Geller

Vegan chopped liver

Serves: 10-12

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (use white, baby bella, or cremini)
  • 3/4 cup roasted cashews (see note)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Sauté the onions slowly over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until nicely browned. Add the mushrooms and cook until they've wilted down.
  2. Combine the onions and mushrooms with the remaining ingredients in the container of a food processor. Process until smoothly pureed, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Serve at once with matzo, matzo crackers, or raw veggies. Or store in a tightly lidded container in the fridge until needed, and bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe from VegKitchen

Sweet and sour brisket

Serves: 10

Total time: 11 hours

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds beef brisket
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Instructions

  1. Heat brisket in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook until browned on all sides.
  2. Stir in water, ketchup, vinegar, onions, garlic, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Continue simmering until tender, turning brisket occasionally, 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  4. Remove brisket and allow to cool before slicing the meat against the grain.
  5. Place brisket slices in a 9x13 inch baking pan or large platter and pour gravy on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove any excess fat and reheat before serving.

Recipe from All Recipes

Sweet + spicy roast chicken with carrots, dates + pistachios

Serves: 4-6

Total time: 1 Hour 15 minutes, plus 6 hours marinating time

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 6 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, from 2 oranges
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks and breasts)
  • 3 cups 1/4-inch sliced carrots
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced dried dates
  • 2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
  • 2 scallions, light and dark green parts, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped salted pistachios, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the marinade: In a medium bowl whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, mustard, honey, red pepper flakes, garlic, thyme and salt.
  2. Place the chicken, carrots, onions, and dates in a large sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade and seal shut. Massage to make sure everything is evenly coated with the marinade. Place the bag on a rimmed sheet pan to protect against leakage and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  4. Transfer all ingredients from the bag, including the marinade, to a rimmed sheet pan (do not line the pan with foil). Turn the chicken skin side up. Roast until chicken is lightly browned and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. About halfway through cooking, stir the carrots so that they don't burn around the edges of the pan.
  5. Turn on broiler (leave pan on middle rack), and cook 1 to 3 minutes more, or until skin is golden brown and crispy. Watch carefully: the honey in the marinade can cause the skin to burn quickly.
  6. Transfer the chicken, carrots, onions and dates onto a platter, along with the sauce in the pan. Sprinkle the parsley, scallions and pistachio nuts over top and serve.

Recipe from Once Upon a Chef

Roasted carrot and sweet potato tzimmes

Serves: 8-10

Total time: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients

  • 6–8 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 pounds carrots
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound shallots (about 8 large)
  • 1/2–3/4 pound dried plums or pitted prunes
  • 3–4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white or black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Using a swivel-blade vegetable peeler, remove the zest in large strips from 2 of the oranges and the lemon. Be sure to press down only hard enough to capture the colored part of the skin, not the bitter white pith. Juice enough oranges to yield 2 1/2 cups juice. Reserve the lemon for another use.
  3. Peel the carrots and cut them crosswise into 2-inch chunks or lengthwise into 2-inch chunks (if carrots are very fat, first halve them lengthwise).
  4. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into large bite-size chunks. Peel and quarter the shallots lengthwise. Use kitchen scissors to snip the dried fruits in half.
  5. Use a roasting pan large enough to hold all the vegetables in more or less a single layer. Place carrots, sweet potatoes, shallots, dried fruit and lemon and orange zest in the pan. Toss with enough olive oil to coat evenly, season with salt and pepper, and pour the juice over it all.
  6. Roast the vegetables, turning them once or twice during cooking, until they are tender and are browned in places and most of the juice is absorbed, about 1¼ hours. If you want a saucier finished dish, add another ½ to 1 cup juice during the last 20 minutes of cooking. The juice should thicken slightly.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from Amelia Saltsman

Arabic date and honey cake

Serves: 8

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup salted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8-10 whole, pitted dates

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter.
  3. Beat together the eggs, sugars and vanilla until the mixture whitens in color. Drizzle in the melted butter and continue to mix well. Sift together the flour and baking powder, then add to the batter while stirring gently.
  4. Pour the batter into the spring-form pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. While it is in the oven, start preparing the topping. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugars, honey, almonds and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour the topping gently on the cake and return it to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  6. Let the cake cool, then release it from the spring-form pan and plate on a cake stand or serving platter.
  7. Line the edge of the cake with the dates. Serve with coffee.

Recipe from The Wanderlist Kitchen


Kristen Bell and Jackie Tohn on how they’re ‘sneak teaching’ kids with their new show "Do, Re & Mi"

The best friends created a musical animated show that's just as educational as it is entertaining

Amazon Studios

This episode is sponsored by Tonies. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Kristen Bell and Jackie Tohn have been best friends since they met as young singers and actors more than 15 years ago, and now they're collaborating on a new Amazon Original animated kids series called Do, Re & Mi. The show, which follows best birds Do, Re and Mi as they navigate the world around them while also belting out catchy tunes, is just as educational as it is entertaining.

On the latest episode of The Motherly Podcast, Bell and Tohn talk to Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety about how they're "sneak teaching" kids with their new show and why music is such an important focal point.

"It was basically our mission from the very beginning to 'sneak music education' into kids' lives, hands, brains, all of it," Tohn admits.

"There's so much science and data to support that [music] helps kids, their brains grow with math, with social skills. It literally can change your neuroplasticity. You can put music of their favorite genre or timeframe on, in an Alzheimer's ward, and they will come back online for a couple minutes. I mean, it's crazy," Bell, who has two daughters of her own, adds. "You know, music can bind a lot of families together. It can bind friendships together. And it's just a show that you can feel really good about. We want to get it in front of as many kids as possible, because I don't like the fact that some kids won't have exposure to music. Their brains deserve to grow just as much as everyone else's."

The first season of Do, Re & Mi premiered on September 17th and its creators recorded 52 different songs for the show that range from reggae and pop to country, blues and jazz.

"That's what's so exciting about this show," Tohn gushes. "Not only are the lessons we're teaching for everyone, but every episode has a musical genre, a musical lesson and an emotional lesson. And so there really is so much to learn."

Elsewhere in the episode, Bell tells Tenety about how she made literal toolboxes that carry different regulation tools to help her kids calm down (one is "find a song you love and sing out loud") and why having a village is crucial to surviving motherhood, especially in a pandemic, while Tohn details her special friendship not only with Bell, but with her daughters, too.

To hear more about the show, Bell's experiences in motherhood, and her enduring friendship with Tohn, listen to The Motherly Podcast for the full interview.

Entertainment

12 baby registry essentials for family adventures

Eager to get out and go? Start here

Ashley Robertson / @ashleyrobertson

Parenthood: It's the greatest adventure of all. From those first few outings around the block to family trips at international destinations, there are new experiences to discover around every corner. As you begin the journey, an adventurous spirit can take you far—and the best baby travel gear can help you go even farther.

With car seats, strollers and travel systems designed to help you confidently get out and go on family adventures, Maxi-Cosi gives you the support you need to make the memories you want.

As a mom of two, Ashley Robertson says she appreciates how Maxi-Cosi products can grow with her growing family. "For baby gear, safety and ease are always at the top of our list, but I also love how aesthetically pleasing the Maxi Cosi products are," she says. "The Pria Car Seat was our first purchase and it's been so nice to have a car seat that 'grows' with your child. It's also easy to clean—major bonus!"

If you have big dreams for family adventures, start by exploring these 12 baby registry essentials.

Tayla™️ XP Travel System

Flexibility is key for successful family adventures. This reversible, adjustable, all-terrain travel system delivers great versatility. With the included Coral XP Infant Car Seat that fits securely in the nesting system, you can use this stroller from birth.


Add to Babylist

$849.99

Iora Bedside Bassinet

Great for use at home or for adventures that involve a night away, the collapsible Iora Bedside Bassinet gives your baby a comfortable, safe place to snooze. With five different height positions and three slide positions, this bassinet can fit right by your bedside. The travel bag also makes it easy to take on the go.


Add to Babylist

$249.99

Kori 2-in-1 Rocker

Made with high-quality, soft materials, the foldable Kori Rocker offers 2-in-1 action by being a rocker or stationary seat. It's easy to move around the home, so you can keep your baby comfortable wherever you go. With a slim folded profile, it's also easy to take along on adventures so your baby always has a seat of their own.


Add to Babylist

$119.99

Minla 6-in-1 High Chair

A high chair may not come to mind when you're planning ahead for family adventures. But, as the safest spot for your growing baby to eat meals, it's worth bringing along for the ride. With compact folding ability and multiple modes of use that will grow with your little one, it makes for easy cargo.


Add to Babylist

$219.99

Coral XP Infant Car Seat

With the inner carrier weighing in at just 5 lbs., this incredibly lightweight infant car seat means every outing isn't also an arm workout for you. Another feature you won't find with other infant car seats? In addition to the standard carry bar, the Coral XP can be carried with a flexible handle or cross-body strap.


Add to Babylist

$399.99

Pria™️ All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

From birth through 10 years, this is the one and only car seat you need. It works in rear-facing, forward-facing and, finally, booster mode. Comfortable and secure for every mile of the journey ahead, you can feel good about hitting the road for family fun.


Add to Babylist

$289.99

Pria™️ Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

Want to skip the wrestling match with car seat buckles? The brilliant Out-of-the-Way harness system and magnetic chest clip make getting your child in and out of their buckles as cinch. This fully convertible car seat is suitable for babies from 4 lbs. through big kids up to 100 lbs. With washer-and-dryer safe cushions and dishwasher safe cup holders, you don't need to stress the mess either.


Add to Babylist

$329.99

Tayla Modular Lightweight Stroller

With four reclining positions, your little ones can stay content—whether they want to lay back for a little shut-eye or sit up and take in the view. Also reversible, the seat can be turned outward or inward if you want to keep an eye on your adventure buddy. Need to pop it in the trunk or take it on the plane? The stroller easily and compactly folds shut.


Add to Babylist
$499.99

Tayla Travel System

This car seat and stroller combo is the baby travel system that will help make your travel dreams possible from Day 1. The Mico XP infant seat is quick and easy to install into the stroller or car. Skipping the car seat? The reversible stroller seat is a comfortable way to take in the scenery.


Add to Babylist
$699.99

Modern Diaper Bag

When you need to change a diaper during an outing, the last thing you'll want to do is scramble to find one. The Modern Diaper Bag will help you stay organized for brief outings or week-long family vacations. In addition to the pockets and easy-carry strap, we love the wipeable diaper changing pad, insulated diaper bag and hanging toiletry bag.


Add to Babylist

$129.99

Mico XP Max Infant Car Seat

Designed for maximum safety and comfort from the very first day, this infant car seat securely locks into the car seat base or compatible strollers. With a comfy infant pillow and luxe materials, it also feels as good for your baby as it looks to you. Not to mention the cushions are all machine washable and dryable, which is a major win for you.


Add to Babylist
$299.99

Adorra™️ 5-in-1 Modular Travel System

From carriage mode for newborn through world-view seated mode for bigger kids, this 5-in-1 children's travel system truly will help make travel possible. We appreciate the adjustable handlebar, extended canopy with UV protection and locking abilities when it's folded. Your child will appreciate the plush cushions, reclining seat and smooth ride.


Add to Babylist
$599.99

Ready for some family adventures? Start by exploring Maxi-Cosi.

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


Boost 1

This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.


Honestly, it's no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.

The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit "snug" fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that's as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.

Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn't left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.

Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I've found, it's also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn't wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.

Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it's equally durable. It's made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

Here is my top pick from Sunday Citizen, along with the super-soft goods I'm coveting for future purchases.

Woodland Snug comforter

Sunday-Citizen-Woodland-Snug-comforter

The bedroom anchor I've been looking for— the Snug Comforter.

$249

Braided Pom Pom Throw

Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I'm totally putting the throw version on my list. It's washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.

$145

Lumbar pillow

sunday-citizen-lumbar-pillow

What's a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?

$65

Crystal infused sleep mask

sunday citizen sleep mask

Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I've bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.

$40

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

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10 Montessori phrases for kids who are struggling with back to school

The first day of school can be hard for everyone, mama. Here's how to use the Montessori method to help your child adjust.

No matter how excited your child was to pick out a new lunchbox and backpack this year, there will likely be days when they just don't want to go to school. Whether they're saying "I don't like school" when you're home playing together or having a meltdown on the way to the classroom, there are things you can say to help ease their back-to-school nerves.

More than the exact words you use, the most important thing is your attitude, which your child is most definitely aware of. It's important to validate their feelings while conveying a calm confidence that school is the right place for them to be and that they can handle it.

Here are some phrases that will encourage your child to go to school.


1. "You're safe here."

If you have a young child, they may be genuinely frightened of leaving you and going to school. Tell them that school is a safe place full of people who care about them. If you say this with calm confidence, they'll believe you. No matter what words you say, if your child senses your hesitation, your own fear of leaving them, they will not feel safe. How can they be safe if you're clearly scared of leaving them? Try to work through your own feelings about dropping them off before the actual day so you can be a calm presence and support.

2. "I love you and I know you can do this."

It's best to keep your goodbye short, even if your child is crying or clinging to you, and trust that you have chosen a good place for them to be. Most children recover from hard goodbyes quickly after the parent leaves.

If your child is having a hard time saying goodbye, give one good strong hug and tell them that you love them and know they can do this. Saying something like, "It's just school, you'll be fine" belittles their feelings. Instead, acknowledge that this is hard, but that you're confident they're up to the task. This validates the anxiety they're feeling while ending on a positive note.

After a quick reassurance, make your exit, take a deep breath and trust that they will be okay.

3. "First you'll have circle time, then work time, and then you'll play on the playground."

Talk your child through the daily schedule at school, including as many details as possible. Talk about what will happen when you drop them off, what kinds of work they will do, when they will eat lunch and play outside, and who will come to get them in the afternoon.

It can help to do this many times so that they become comfortable with the new daily rhythm.

4. "I'll pick you up after playground time."

Give your child a frame of reference for when you will be returning.

If your child can tell time, you can tell them you'll see them at 3:30pm. If they're younger, tell them what will happen right before you pick them up. Perhaps you'll come get them right after lunch, or maybe it's after math class.

Giving this reference point can help reassure them you are indeed coming back and that there is a specific plan for when they will see you again. As the days pass, they'll realize that you come consistently every day when you said you would and their anxieties will ease.

5. "What book do you think your teacher will read when you get to school this morning?"

Find out what happens first in your child's school day and help them mentally transition to that task. In a Montessori school, the children choose their own work, so you might ask about which work your child plans to do first.

If they're in a more traditional school, find an aspect of the school morning they enjoy and talk about that.

Thinking about the whole school day can seem daunting, but helping your child focus on a specific thing that will happen can make it seem more manageable.

6. "Do you think Johnny will be there today?"

Remind your child of the friends they will see when they get to school.

If you're not sure who your child is bonding with, ask the teacher. On the way to school, talk about the children they can expect to see and try asking what they might do together.

If your child is new to the school, it might help to arrange a playdate with a child in their class to help them form strong relationships.

7. "That's a hard feeling. Tell me about it."

While school drop-off is not the time to wallow in the hard feelings of not wanting to go to school, if your child brings up concerns after school or on the weekend, take some time to listen to them.

Children can very easily be swayed by our leading questions, so keep your questions very general and neutral so that your child can tell you what they're really feeling.

They may reveal that they just miss you while they're gone, or may tell you that a certain person or kind of work is giving them anxiety.

Let them know that you empathize with how they feel, but try not to react too dramatically. If you think there is an issue of real concern, talk to the teacher about it, but your reaction can certainly impact the already tentative feelings about going to school.

8. "What can we do to help you feel better?"

Help your child brainstorm some solutions to make them more comfortable with going to school.

Choose a time at home when they are calm. Get out a pen and paper to show that you are serious about this.

If they miss you, would a special note in their pocket each morning help? If another child is bothering them, what could they say or who could they ask for help? If they're too tired in the morning, could an earlier bedtime make them feel better?

Make it a collaborative process, rather than a situation where you're rescuing them, to build their confidence.

9. "What was the best part of your school day?"

Choose a time when your child is not talking about school and start talking about your day. Tell them the best part of your day, then try asking about the best part of their day. Practice this every day.

It's easy to focus on the hardest parts of an experience because they tend to stick out in our minds. Help your child recognize that, even if they don't always want to go, there are likely parts of school they really enjoy.

10. "I can't wait to go to the park together when we get home."

If your child is having a hard time saying goodbye, remind them of what you will do together after you pick them up from school.

Even if this is just going home and making dinner, what your child likely craves is time together with you, so help them remember that it's coming.

It is totally normal for children to go through phases when they don't want to go to school. If you're concerned, talk to your child's teacher and ask if they seem happy and engaged once they're in the classroom.

To your child, be there to listen, to help when you can, and to reassure them that their feelings are natural and that they are so capable of facing the challenges of the school day, even when it seems hard.

Back to School

Your seven-month-old baby is curious about the world around them—and the ways they are focusing their energy is proof they are eager to explore. Unlike those earliest days of parenting when "playing" with your baby seemed all-but one-sided, your active and engaged seven-month-old loves interacting with you.

Although your baby may not be on the move quite yet, you probably realize now the developmental milestones of crawling and walking are right around the corner. That makes this the right time to baby-proof the house! By keeping track of what milestones your baby is working on achieving, you can support their development and consult with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.

Seven-month-old baby milestones

Here's what The American Academy of Pediatrics says about seven-month-old baby milestones.

Senses:

  • Big news! At seven months, your baby now has full color vision, the ability to track moving objects and mature distance vision. Any uncoordinated eye movements (such as going cross-eyed) should have resolved.
  • Your baby has been listening since day #1, but now is developing more and more language comprehension. Not only can your baby distinguish emotions based on the tone of voice, but they should also recognize their name and understand the word "no."

Motor Skills:

  • Your seven-month-old baby is increasingly steady while sitting independently and may not need to keep their hands on the ground for support.
  • While standing with support, your baby should be able to keep all of their weight on their legs.
  • Your baby can transfer objects from hand to hand and uses a raking grasp to grab things.

Social and Emotional Skills:

  • Your little social being enjoys interacting with other people—and observing their actions.
  • Your seven-month-old baby uses their voice to express their feelings. They also feed off others' expressions of emotion.

How to support your seven-month-old baby’s development this month

Up for a little homework assignment, mama? Here are some seven months old baby activities to support your cutie's development.

  • Help your seven-month-old baby understand emotions by (at least occasionally) making exaggerated happy or sad faces when reacting to them.
  • Play with your seven-month-old baby by hiding a toy under a small blanket or towel and encouraging them to find it. With a sense of object permanence, they can be "in" on the game now.
  • Engage your four-month-old baby's senses by looking through a family photo album and naming the people. Or read a Say & Play Photobook to encourage discovery and memory.

It’s science: Your baby loves ‘talking’ to other babies

According to a study from the Acoustical Society of America, 5-month-old babies had 40% longer attention spans when listening to other babies "talk" than adult vocalizations of the same vowels. Not only are babies more interested in talking with each other, but these early conversations also promote the development of more advanced language skills. (Don't take it personally! The researchers stress that it's still important for parents to talk with their babies, too.)

With a seven-month-old baby, it can simultaneously feel like just yesterday when they were a teeny newborn—and so long ago when you consider how much they've developed. While they are focused on learning and playing, we know you may feel more pressure to help them hit every baby milestone "right on schedule."

But the truth is that babies progress at different paces and usually focus their attention on different things. Bring up any questions with their pediatrician. And, remember, you've got this.

Seven-month-old baby 101:

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Boppy recalls millions of newborn loungers after products linked to infant deaths

The recall comes just weeks after the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned caregivers about the risks of using the products for infant sleep due to rising cases of infant death.

Poshmark

Boppy is officially recalling over 3 million newborn loungers after the products were recently tied to a string of infant deaths. An investigation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission earlier this month urged parents to stop using the products immediately after eight infant deaths were linked to the use of the loungers and nursing pillows for sleep.

All three models of the Boppy Newborn Lounger have been recalled: the Boppy Original Newborn Lounger, the Boppy Preferred Newborn Lounger, and the Pottery Barn Kids Newborn Boppy Lounger.


"In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, The Boppy Company is conducting a voluntary recall of its Newborn Lounger to address a risk of infant suffocation," the company writes in a statement on its website. "Infants can suffocate if they roll, move, or are placed on the lounger in a position that obstructs breathing, or roll off the lounger onto an external surface, such as an adult pillow or soft bedding, that obstructs breathing."

Eight reports of infant deaths have now been associated with the Boppy Newborn Lounger due to suffocation during sleep, each death occurring between December 2015-June 2020.

In October of 2020, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned caregivers about letting their infants sleep on lounging pillows and nursing pillows. The federal agency is responsible for overseeing thousands of home goods, and they declared these pillows unsafe for infant sleep.

The Boppy nursing pillow and newborn lounger are incredibly popular, and are staples to just about every expecting parent's baby registry—including my own, twice. They are supposed to help support a breastfeeding mama and make nursing her little one easier. The lounger is great for propping babies up while they're awake, so you can coo at them from a cushion instead of the floor. And while these items are great, amazing even, for those (supervised) uses, they can present a grave danger to a sleeping infant.

When babies are left unattended or sleeping on these pillows, they can roll over or their heads can fall in a way that blocks their airway—which leads to suffocation. Last fall, the CPSC linked 28 infant deaths from 2012 to 2018 to these pillows made by a variety of companies, including Boppy.

Consumer Reports found that seven additional deaths have occurred since the CPSC warning in 2020, due to unsafe sleep practices with nursing pillows and loungers made by Boppy.

The data, listed in the saferproducts.gov database, found that most of the fatalities happened after parents put their babies to sleep while they were propped up by the pillow or lounger. The babies rolled over into the soft, cushy fabric and were unable to breathe.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended babies be put to sleep alone, in their own space, while flat on their backs and lying on a firm surface. No crib bumpers, no blankets, no stuffed animals, and no pillows—at least not until a baby reaches toddlerhood, and are able to move things away from their airway if necessary.

"We are devastated to hear of these tragedies," a Boppy spokesperson told Consumer Reports. "Boppy is committed to doing everything possible to safeguard babies, including communicating the safe use of our products to parents and caregivers, and educating the public about the importance of following all warnings and instructions and the risks associated with unsafe sleep practices for infants. The lounger was not marketed as an infant sleep product and includes warnings against unsupervised use."

If you've purchased a Boppy Newborn Lounger recently, you can apply for a refund here.

An earlier version of this story focused on the Consumer Reports story and was published on September 10, 2021. It has been updated to reflect the current news of the recall.

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