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5 powerful ways to embrace your postpartum body

Telling women they can "bounce back' and erase the fact that they've had a baby is misguided at best and dangerous at worst.

5 powerful ways to embrace your postpartum body

I always see hashtags on Instagram like #BeatTheMomBod or #BounceBack after someone has a baby—but why? There's an enormous pressure put on postpartum women to return to our pre-pregnancy shape. Whether it's someone you know showing off how they returned to their pre-baby weight in just six weeks or a headline sharing how a Hollywood actress was back in her pre-prego bikini just four months postpartum.

Advice all over the internet that tells women they can "bounce back' and erase the fact that they've had a baby is misguided at best and dangerous at worst.

That messaging is doing us all a disservice. It's unrealistic for most postpartum women who are getting little sleep, experiencing hormonal shifts and still healing after a vaginal or surgical birth. And, it's still unrealistic for some postpartum women a year, two years or more postpartum.

My new hashtag is going to be #HonorTheMomBod. Why shouldn't you honor it? Your body was put under a huge stress and load to carry and nurture your baby or multiples, then you went through childbirth. Of course, your body has changed. Your body is fierce and strong and what it went through is pure magic.

The most important postpartum mindset shift that needs to happen around how you see your postpartum body is this: It's not about getting your body back, it's about figuring out how to move through life in this NEW body that you're in today. It's the same body that grew a tiny human and yet it's a different, and forever-changed, body.

Here's how to practice honoring you postpartum body:

1. Get out a pen and your journal or a sticky note and write down this mantra "I honor my body."

Post it on your computer, your wall or in your journal—somewhere you'll see it several times a day. Repeat it to yourself. Often. Repeat it so often that you believe it to be the absolute truth.

2. Look deep inside and at your biases + perceptions.

What is it about thinness or a smaller body that is so much more attractive? What made your pre-pregnancy body so much more attractive, sexier, better than your body right now? Did you carry a child with it? Nourish a tiny human with it?

3. Reconsider your definition of self-worth.

Is it a number that's on the scale or on a measurement of your waist? Have you always done this? We all struggle sometimes to look at our bodies in the mirror with acceptance and grace, if not love. For many of us, our body types aren't represented in mainstream media or health and wellness advertising and we've spent years trying to come to terms with that.

I've struggled most of my life with body image issues as a ballet dancer and yogi. For most of my life, I compared my body to others in these industries. It's taken a ton of work to develop an admiration for my body and to be comfortable with its size and shape—but you can start by looking at how you value your self-worth.

4. Admire your body for its strength, power and grace.

When I take a step back, I admire the ability of my body to mother two little boys with my entire body—to carry a 35lb 3-year-old and a 25-lb 1-year old while maintaining a supportive alignment. To get up and down off the floor 500 times a day. To get a huge double stroller in and out of the trunk of my car.

Your body is powerful, mama.

It's very possible to be strong and healthy and also have a curvy shape. As strong and capable to lift car seats and strollers, carry and rock tiny humans. As energetic to keep up with non-stop crawlers, early walkers, runners, climbers.

5. Move your body and do the things you want to do.

Whether that's strength training, yoga, biking, swimming, running— you will be able to do it again! But, don't let yourself feel pressured by outside influences or unrealistic "fitspo" images that you need to get back to doing those things before you're ready.

Don't feel that you need to punish yourself or to force yourself into some smaller, tighter mold. I tell my clients to move their body to nourish it. We can use exercise to push our bodies in ways that feel good four our mind, body and souls.

It takes time, but you can take steps to find contentment with your body as it is right now. Remember that you're a powerful, incredible mama just the way you are today. You're strong and resilient and your body—whatever size it may be—nurtured and birthed a tiny human. Choose one of the practices above and implement it into your daily life.

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

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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

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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

Detective set

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This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

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

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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.

$179

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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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

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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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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