I’m not a morning person, but woke up at 5:30 a.m. every day for a week—here’s what happened

I am a night owl through and through. I think I always will be deep down—no matter what. No matter how sleepy I am with having a newborn, no matter how early I have to get up the next day, no matter how much my husband begs politely requests that I go to bed when he goes to bed. I almost can’t fight the allure of the nighttime quiet and always stay up (way) past my bedtime.


But I have been intrigued by the idea of getting up really early in the morning to enjoy the peace and quiet while my brain is fully functioning and not super sleepy (after coffee, of course.)

So I decided to give this whole “waking up early” thing a try. I’d wake up at 5:30 a.m. for seven days in a row to see how it felt. To be honest, I was curious. I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to see if it would make a difference in how I felt.

Secret thoughts: Would I be happier? Feel more productive? Would life be easier? Could I stay awake until bedtime? Would I go to bed earlier now?

But first, I needed some advice on how to do it.

So I turned to our resident intentional living coach, Allie Casazza. Allie said one way to do it would be to go cold turkey, “Start waking up at your goal time right off the bat. Day one (and maybe two) will be super difficult and you will be totally exhausted, but that causes you to go to bed earlier after that first morning, which makes waking earlier the next morning easier. It only gets easier from there!”

There was only one way I was ever going to really find out. I had to give it a go myself.

Here’s how it all went down.

Day one—

I opened my eyes at 5:30 a.m. and didn’t get out of bed until 6:00 a.m. I scrolled Instagram and Facebook for a half hour before I could force myself to go make some coffee.

I was feeling really tired.

I was up with a sick baby the night before who didn’t want to sleep. At all. I was exhausted alllll day (Allie was correct on that, that’s for sure.) I was really cranky and didn’t have much for patience levels—I snapped and yelled and felt guilty. I literally cried after my three-year-old had a tantrum at a very busy park we went to.

My two kiddos took very short naps and I got the dreaded “I’m so sorry, but I have to take the late train home” text from my husband. How was I going to survive the dinner, bath time, bed time routine by myself? More coffee.

So there I was at 5:30 p.m. sipping a nice hot cup of joe listening to my daughters scream “for fun” during their bath while I edited essays sitting on a very small stool in the bathroom.

Day one wasn’t off to a great start, necessarily, but I was determined...

Day two—

I snoozed for 14 minutes. ?

My husband brought me a coffee in bed before he left for work and I was awake and sipping by 5:45 a.m.

The main point of wanting to wake up early is to get work done before my kids wake up. I’m a work-from-home/stay-at-home mom hybrid and this time is crucial for me. But I still felt like maybe I should take a shower, or fold some laundry with this precious time.

I decide to stick to work. Secret thoughts: Must. Stay. Focused. Colleen.

I went to bed at 11:15 p.m. last night which was totally unnecessary. I was exhausted, and still went to bed late. Maybe my next article will be trying to force myself to go to bed at a responsible hour (because I seriously have a problem.)

Today was better. Still a little tired, but the girls were listening better, I got a babysitter break in the afternoon to work, had lots of coffee and a much better attitude.

I still went to bed around 11:15 p.m. again though. I will never learn. ?

Day three—

I got up on time again today. I was feeling pretty proud of myself (not gonna lie). My husband brought me coffee again which was a lifesaver.

My daughter Lucy woke up at about 6:45 a.m. today which is early for my kids, so she kind of put a wrench in my “get lots of concentrated work done” plan. But we made do! I let her watch a little bit of Daniel Tiger while I finished up. Then we got the day started. And somehow I got everyone dressed and fed and out the door on time to my doctor’s appointment. ?

After my appointment, our babysitter came over by 11 a.m. and stayed until 3 p.m. I am not going to lie—today by about 12:15 p.m. I felt like I had been hit by a bus.

Secret thoughts: Why did I sign up for this at 35 weeks pregnant? Should I stop this assignment and quit my job? Can I stab myself with a needle and somehow do a DIY coffee drip into my arm? (Side note: is there a tutorial on Pinterest for that? Is that safe while pregnant?)

I decided instead of quitting or harming myself, I’d take a 40 minute nap because, as they say, I “couldn’t even.”

So I paid a person to watch my children so I could sleep.

Secret thoughts: So, this is what winning feels like?

The rest of the day went fairly smooth and there I was, going to bed at 11:15 p.m. again.

Day four—

Our fire alarm went off (and wouldn't stop) at 4:30 a.m. Surprisingly it didn’t wake either of our kids up. ? And everything was okay, thankfully! BUT it did wake my husband and I up. And since I was jolted awake by it, I was wide awake (and probably should have stayed awake) and it then took me a little while to fall back to sleep. Once I fell back to sleep, it was basically time to wake up again.

So….I snoozed. Ugh!

I woke up at 5:55 a.m. this morning.

I was tired and out of it. Coffee helped a little, but then both kids were up at 6:30 a.m. which is very early for them. They watched a bit of TV in the morning while they ate their breakfast and I finished some work. We needed to get out of the house so we hung out at the farm with friends for a while.

The girls fell asleep in the car on the way home so I pulled into the driveway and did some work in the cool AC of the car while the girls rested.

Later in the afternoon, by about 3:30 p.m. I was beyond tired. I have a bit of a summer cold so I’m thinking this, plus early mornings, plus being 35 weeks pregnant makes for a very tired combo.

Secret thoughts: Do early risers wake up super early even when they aren’t feeling top notch?

I was laying on the couch while the girls played and then when I realized I was basically nodding off, I decided it was time to get up and wake up so I made a cup of coffee at about 4:00 p.m. I don’t want to do that anymore! But, alas…I needed to stay up until my husband got home.

Secret thoughts: I NEED to go to bed by 10 the latest tonight. Then maybe I’ll have some more energy tomorrow morning?

Day five—

No coffee today from the husband. He was rushing to catch his train. So, I had to lug myself out of bed and get it myself. That was harder, BUT, it also did help me wake up a bit more. ?

I was up and at ‘em by 5:45 a.m. today.

I went to bed by 10:45 p.m. last night which is a huge improvement for me. I only had one coffee throughout the day which is surprising. I didn’t feel like I needed more. I guess there is something to going to bed early (go figure!).

Day six—

I actually did wake up at 5 a.m. on my own.

Secret thoughts: Do early risers actually do this on the weekend, too?

...And then I fell back to sleep and woke up at 7:30 a.m. Sorry, peeps, it’s the weekend and I ain’t got time for waking up before the sun.

Day seven—

My in-laws stayed over because my husband and I went to a concert on Saturday night, so I am going to be honest with you because I cherish honesty—I slept in until about 9:00 a.m. It was glorious and since I don’t get too many mornings like this, I let myself enjoy it. (Granparents, FTW! ?)

It’s all about balance, right?

So what did I learn during this experiment?

1. Enlist your partner as your early bird buddy.

It definitely helped me that my husband woke up around the same time, so that I wasn’t alone in this. (Plus, the bringing me coffee thing was very sweet of him.)

2. Choose a morning ritual.

Coffee—to me—is delicious, it helps wake me up a bit and it’s comforting. Decide on a “ritual” that works for you that you can look forward to enjoying once you wake up. It doesn’t necessarily have to be coffee—it could be tea, or hot water with lemon, or something totally different like five minutes of prayer or meditation or stretching.

3. Let yourself ease into the morning.

Looking at something on my phone—the news or social media—for about 15 minutes before I get cracking on work, does help me wake up. (I don’t know that this is sound advice, but it did help me.)

4. Go to bed early.

Going to bed at a reasonable time (my goal is between 10:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.) is really worthwhile when you’re waking up before the sun. When you go to bed late, and still wake up early, it’s tough to keep your energy levels up throughout the day (even with coffee!).

5. Sit at a designated work space.

It definitely helps to work at a desk vs sitting up in my bed to work. I have a small work space in my room, so moving over to that area helps me feel more focused.

6. Make a list the night before.

The night before, I would think through my most important items I wanted to tackle the next day and jot them down quick (on an actual note pad or on the notes app in my phone) so I wouldn’t forget. Then I knew what I wanted to start with first when I woke up without having to think much about it.

7. Set realistic expectations.

Getting up super early, when your husband does too (to leave for work outside of the house), to do work while your children are quietly sleeping—can only work out so perfectly so many times. You’re kiddo is going to wake up early on random days, they’re not going to feel well, you’re not going to feel well, etc. Things happen in life, and we have to roll with it. So, setting the expectations of “this is not going to be perfect every single day” was very helpful.

8. Be proud of yourself!

I was really proud of myself for giving this a go. And look at me—here I am writing this article at 6:00 a.m. while my kids are sleeping, two weeks after my experiment. I have woken up early most days since and it actually has been life-changing in a way. I’m used to it now, so it makes it easier to just get up and get to it. And while not every morning is perfect (because...kids) it feels SO nice to have checked a few things off my to-do list before my girls even wake up.

Now, to work on the going to bed earlier part...

In This Article

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    When you ask any two mamas to share their experience with breastfeeding, you are bound to get very unique answers. That's because while the act of breastfeeding is both wonderful and natural, it also comes with a learning curve for both mothers and babies.

    In some cases, breastfeeding won't be the right path for everyone. But with the right tools, resources and social support systems, we can make progress toward the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation to continue breastfeeding through the first year of a child's life. After all, breastfeeding helps nourish infants, protects them against illnesses, develops their immune systems and more. Not to mention that mothers who breastfeed experience reduced risk for breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

    With National Breastfeeding Awareness Month this month, it's a great time for mamas (and expectant mamas!) to gather the supplies that will support their feeding journey—whether it looks like exclusively breastfeeding, pumping or combo-feeding.

    Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

    Designed for regular use, this double electric breast pump allows mamas to customize the cycle and vacuum settings that work for them. The 100% SoftShape™ silicone shields on this pump form-fit to a wide range of breast shapes and sizes—which means more comfortable, more efficient pumping. And every pump comes with two complete Dr. Brown's Options+ bottles, giving you everything you need to go from pumping to feeding.

    $159.99

    Dr. Brown’s™ Breast Milk Collection Bottles

    There's no need to cry over spilled milk—because it won't happen with these storage bottles! Make the pump-to-feeding transition simpler with Dr. Brown's Milk Collection Bottles. The bottles adapt to Dr. Brown's electric pumps to easily fill, seal and transport, and they work with Dr. Brown's bottle and nipple parts when your baby's ready to eat. (Meaning no risky pouring from one bottle to another. 🙌)

    $9.99

    Breast Milk Storage Bags

    With an extra-durable design and double zip seal, your breast milk will stay fresh and safe in the fridge or freezer until it's needed. Plus, the bags are easy to freeze flat and then store for up to six months, so your baby can continue drinking breast milk long after you are done nursing.

    $9.99

    Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump with Options+™ Bottle & Bag

    Here's something they don't tell you about breastfeeding ahead of time: While feeding your baby on one side, the other breast may "let down" milk, too. With this one-piece Silicone Breast Pump, you don't have to let those precious drops go to waste. The flexible design makes pouring the milk into a bottle stress-free.

    $14.99

    Dr. Brown’s® Manual Breast Pump

    No outlet in sight? No worries! With this powerful-yet-gentle Manual Breast Pump, you can get relief from engorgement, sneak in some quick midnight pumping or perform a full pumping session without any electricity needed. With Dr. Brown's 100% silicone SoftShape™ Shield, the hand-operated pump is as comfortable as it is easy to use. Complete with Dr. Brown's® Options+™ Anti-Colic Wide-Neck Bottle, a storage travel cap and cleaning brush, consider this the breastfeeding essential for any mama who has places to go.

    $29.99

    Options+™ Anti-Colic Baby Bottle

    With the soft silicone nipple and natural flow design of these bottles, your baby can easily switch between breast and bottle. Clinically proven to reduce colic thanks to the vent, your baby can enjoy a happy tummy after feeding sessions—without as much spit-up, burping or gas! By mimicking the flow and feel of the breast, these bottles help support your breastfeeding experience.

    $7.99

    This post is sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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    7 hacks for simplifying after-school snacks

    Prepping delicious and nutritious foods shouldn't take all day.

    When you're in the middle of the school year and managing a family, each minute of time becomes very precious. Sometimes that means healthy food choices in the household can take a backseat. But don't stress it, mama. Prepping delicious and nutritious choices for the kids to munch on doesn't need to take all day.

    Remember to keep it fun, simple and interactive! Here are tips for simplifying after-school snacks once and for all:

    1. Prep snacks on Sunday

    This simple trick can make the rest of the week a breeze. Tupperware is your friend here, you can even write different days of the week on each container to give the kids a little surprise every day. I really like storage with compartments for snack prep. Personally, I slice apples, carrots or cucumbers to pair with almond butter and hummus—all great to grab and go for when you're out all day and need some fresh variety.

    2. When in doubt, go for fruit

    Fruit is always a quick and easy option. I suggest blueberries, clementine oranges, apples, frozen grapes or even unsweetened apple sauce and dried fruit, like mixed fruit. It's fun to put together a fruit salad, too. Simply cut up all the fruit options and let the kids decide how they'd like to compile. Prepped fruit is also great to have on hand for smoothies, especially when it's been sitting in the fridge for a few days—throw it in the blender with some nut milk and voila.

    3. Pair snacks with a dip

    Hummus is a great dip to keep on hand with lots of versatility or you can grab a yogurt-based dip. Easy and healthy dippers include pre-sliced veggies, baby carrots and multigrain tortilla chips. Plain hummus is a great way to introduce seasonings and spices too—shake a little turmeric, add fresh basil and you'd be surprised what your kids will take to.

    4. Have high-protein options readily available

    Snacks with high protein, like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs and jerky will fuel kids for hours. One of my favorites is a turkey stick, which is a fun addition to the hummus platter. Just slice into bite-sized pieces. I love cottage cheese because it can go savory or sweet, use as a dip with your prepped veggies, or drizzle pure maple syrup and sprinkle with berries.

    5. Always keep the pantry stocked

    Monthly deliveries keeps the pantry updated without a trip to grocery store. Many kids are big fans of popcorn, granola and pretzels. We like to DIY our own snack packs with a little popcorn, pretzels, nuts and whatever else is in the pantry so there's always something different!

    6. Make cracker tartines

    I love the idea of replicating popular restaurant dishes for kids. Here are some of my favorite snack-sized tartines using any crisp bread, or favorite flat cracker of your choice as the base. There are no rules and kids love adding toppings and finding new combinations they love.

    • Avocado crackers: Use a cracker and then layer with thinly sliced avocado, a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese topped with roasted pepitas or sunflower seeds.
    • Tacos: The base for this is a black bean spread—just drain a can of black beans, rinse and place into a wide bowl. With a fork or potato masher, lightly smush the beans until chunky. Spread onto your cracker and top with tomato, cheddar cheese and black olives. Try out a dollop of super mild salsa or some lime zest to introduce some new flavor profiles.
    • A play on PB&J: Smear peanut butter, almond or a favorite sun butter on the cracker. I like to get a mix it up a bit and put fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries and tiny diced apples) and a little bit of dried fruit sprinkled on top.

    7. Pre-make smoothie pops

    The easy part about meal prep is the prep itself, but knowing exactly how much to make ahead is tricky. Freeze a smoothie in popsicle molds to have a healthy treat ready-to-go snack. They're super simple to make: Add any fruit (I like apples, berries, pineapples and mangoes) and veggies (carrots, steamed beet and wilted kale) to a blender with your favorite nut milk until you have consistency just a bit thinner than a smoothie. Pour into your trusty reusable popsicle molds and then into the freezer to make an ice pop so good they could eat them for breakfast.

    Family Foodies

    15 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

    So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are 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 indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


    Stomp Racers

    As longtime fans of Stomp Rockets, we're pretty excited about their latest launch–Stomp Racers. Honestly, the thrill of sending things flying through the air never gets old. Parents and kids alike can spend hours launching these kid-powered cars which take off via a stompable pad and hose.

    $19.99

    Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

    Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

    Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

    $139

    Secret Agent play set

    Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

    This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

    $40

    Stepping Stones

    Stepping-stones

    Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

    $99.99

    Sand play set

    B. toys Wagon & Beach Playset - Wavy-Wagon Red

    For the littlest ones, it's easy to keep it simple. Take their sand box toys and use them in the bath! This 12-piece set includes a variety of scoops, molds and sifters that can all be stored in sweet little wagon.

    $17.95

    Sensory play set

    kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

    Filled with sand or water, this compact-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.

    $19.95

    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

    Foam pogo stick

    Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

    Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

    $16.99

    Dumptruck 

    green-toys-dump-truck

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

    $22

    Hopper ball

    Hopper ball

    Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

    $14.99

    Pull-along ducks

    janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

    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.

    $16.99

    Rocking chair seesaw

    Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

    This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

    $79.99

    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.

    $79.99

    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.

    $24.75

    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

    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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    Even 5 hours of screen time per day is OK for school-aged kids, says new study

    Researchers found screen time contributes to stronger peer relationships and had no effect on depression and anxiety. So maybe it isn't as bad as we thought?

    MoMo Productions/Getty Images

    If you've internalized some parental guilt about your own child's screen time usage, you're not alone. Numerous studies have shown that exposure to significant amounts of screen time in children leads to an increased risk of depression and behavioral issues, poor sleep and obesity, among other outcomes. Knowing all this can mean you're swallowing a big gulp of guilt every time you unlock the iPad or turn on the TV for your kiddo.

    But is screen time really that bad? New research says maybe not. A study published in September 2021 of 12,000 9- and 10-year-olds found that even when school-aged kids spend up to 5 hours per day on screens (watching TV, texting or playing video games), it doesn't appear to be that harmful to their mental health.

    Researchers found no association between screen usage and depression or anxiety in children at this age.

    In fact, kids who had more access to screen time tended to have more friends and stronger peer relationships, most likely thanks to the social nature of video gaming, social media and texting.


    The correlations between screen time and children's health

    But those big social benefits come with a caveat. The researchers also noted that kids who used screens more frequently were in fact more likely to have attention problems, impacted sleep, poorer academic performance and were more likely to show aggressive behavior.

    Without a randomized controlled trial, it's hard to nail down these effects as being caused directly by screens. The study's authors analyzed data from a nationwide study known as the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD Study), the largest long-term study of brain development and children's health in the country. They relied on self-reported levels of screen time from both children and adults (it's funny to note that those reported numbers differed slightly depending on who was asked… ).

    It's important to remember that these outcomes are just correlations—not causations. "We can't say screen time causes the symptoms; instead, maybe more aggressive children are given screen devices as an attempt to distract them and calm their behavior," says Katie Paulich, lead author of the study and a PhD student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. Also worth noting is that a child's socioeconomic status has a 2.5-times-bigger impact on behavior than screens.

    Weighing the benefits with the risks will be up to you as the parent, who knows your child best. And because we live in a digital world, screens are here to stay, meaning parents often have little choice in the matter. It's impossible to say whether recreational screen time is fully "good" or "bad" for kids. It's maybe both.

    "When looking at the strength of the correlations, we see only very modest associations," says Paulich. "That is, any association between screen time and the various outcomes, whether good or bad, is so small it's unlikely to be important at a clinical level." It's all just part of the overall picture.

    A novel look at screen time in adolescents

    The researchers cite a lack of studies examining the relationship between screen time and health outcomes in this specific early-adolescence age group, which is one of the reasons why this study is so groundbreaking. The findings don't apply to younger children—or older adolescents, who may be starting to go through puberty.

    Screen time guidelines do exist for toddlers up to older kids, but up to 1.5 hours per day seems unattainable for many young adolescents, who often have their own smartphones and laptops, or at least regular access to one.

    Of course, more research is needed, but that's where this study can be helpful. The ABCD study will follow the 12,000 participants for another 10 years, following up with annual check-ins. It'll be interesting to see how the findings change over time: Will depression and anxiety as a result of screen time be more prevalent as kids age? We'll have to wait and see.

    The bottom line? Parents should still be the gatekeepers of their child's screen time in terms of access and age-appropriateness, but, "our early research suggests lengthy time on screen is not likely to yield dire consequences," says Paulich.

    Children's health

    Mom and gorilla bond over their babies at the zoo: ‘It was so beautiful’

    The new mothers shared a special moment at a Boston zoo.

    Franklin Park Zoo/YouTube

    Motherhood knows no bounds.

    When Kiki the gorilla spotted a new mom and baby visiting her habitat at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, she immediately took a liking to the pair. Emmelina Austin held her five-week-old son Canyon to the glass so Kiki could get a better look.

    The gorilla spent nearly five minutes happily pointing and staring at baby Canyon.


    Emmelina's husband captured the sweet moment on his phone, in a video that's now gone viral.

    Mother shares unique maternal bond with gorilla (FULL VIDEO) www.youtube.com

    Why was Kiki so interested in her tiny visitor? Possibly because Kiki's a new mom herself. Her fifth baby, Pablo, was born in October.

    Near the end of the video, Kiki scooped up Pablo and held him close. The new moms held their baby boys to the glass and shared a special moment together: just a couple of mothers, showing off their little ones.

    "When I walked into the zoo that day, I never could've imagined that we would have had that experience," Austin told ABC News. "It was so beautiful, and we walked out just over the moon."

    We can't get enough of the sweet exchange. There's something special about sharing your little one with the world. Mothers of all ages, races–and it turns out, species–understand.

    Our favorite viral mama + kid videos