True life: My car is my second home

I've gotten a lot done in my Chevy.

True life: My car is my second home

Some weeks, it seems as though I spend more time in my car—my second home—than in my actual home: my house. I have three children so there's a lot of shuffling around to and 'fro in my three-row Chevy Traverse.

I do all sorts of things in my car. I've plucked my eyebrows in my car, have applied mascara or a quick swipe of lipstick. I've interviewed people on the phone, I've brainstormed on my notes app or scribbled reminders with a crayon I found on the floor on an empty page in a Shimmer and Shine coloring book. (None of these while driving, FYI. Mostly while being trapped in my driveway, three feet away from my front door, wishing I could go inside to use the bathroom, make some coffee, eat a snack—normal nap time mom stuff instead of car nap time mom stuff.)

Anyway, I've gotten a lot done in my Chevy.

It is both a safe haven and a place of work. It is both a means of transportation and a means of caffeination (shout-out Heav'nly Donuts and Starbucks drive thrus). My car is a place to warm my tired buns on a cold day when we need to get out of the house because the isolation of motherhood is real (seat heaters…#blessed) and a place to quietly cry after holding my tears in all the way from the front door of my daughter's nursery school to my car door after being told all about the Special Visitors Day I had missed because I had forgotten about it.

It is an extension of my living space, and honestly, an extension of who I am at this point in my life: a mother trying to "have it all," "do it all," "be it all."

So to my car, my dear SUV that we switched to when I was pregnant with #3—I thank you from the bottom of my heavily caffeinated, worried-about-mileage ('cause there are a lot of miles) soul.

1. Thank you for being my mobile office.

I have hopped in many (virtual) team meetings from the driver's seat as my children napped. I have sweated through important conference calls as I listened in on mute because of crying children in the background as we attempted to get to school on time and I attempted to do my job.

I have responded to emails in the preschool pickup line. I have written countless essays on the Google Docs app on my phone while parked in my driveway, waiting for my kids to wake up. I mom like a boss in my mom-mobile.

2. Thank you for being my children's on-the-go bedroom.

When my overtired baby wouldn't fall asleep for her nap anywhere, I took to our car. When my older two were soooo tired but wouldn't give in to sleep, I took to the car. When naps were short and my kids still needed rest, I took to the car to drive around aimlessly while singing Frère Jacque (by request, not by choice) at the top of my lungs.

I have listened to Spaghetti Eddie's "Sleepy Song" on full blast millions of times. I have listened to my wave sounds app through my car speakers courtesy of the Bluetooth pairing to iPhone ability. I have cursed my empty tank as I drove around, playing the game of "which is worse"—waking up sleeping kiddos by pumping gas or running out of said gas and instead, breaking down in the middle of the road...

What can I say? While they dream, I drive.

3. Thank you for being my refuge.

On particularly hard days, I have walked bolted out the door once my husband got home with high hopes of driving to the gym but in reality, ditching that plan to instead, sit in the driveway listening to music while scrolling through social media.

I have been known to opt in on watching a show on my phone instead of catching up on email while trapped during nap time. I have listened to riveting podcasts and brilliant books while logging miles. I have indulged in many drive thru coffees and okay, okay, yes—occasionally a drive thru Big Mac, too. (There should be more healthy drive thru options, America!)

For some, the spa is where you get your "me time." For me, it's my car. There is a beauty in that sad statement, isn't there?

4. Thank you for being our date spot.

When date nights are few and far between, we'll get the kids in the car—during nap time, of course—and we'll take a scenic drive somewhere (after getting a coffee, obvs) so we can enjoy quiet conversation and time together without being interrupted by questions like, "Can I pick your nose?" or "Can I hear the Trolls song again?"

Whoever said romance was dead didn't drive a Chevy Traverse, I'll tell ya.

5. Thank you for getting us to our family.

My parents (and one sister) live in New York and my in-laws live in Vermont—but we live in Massachusetts. So, we drive to visit our people a lot! Five hours to Long Island, three hours to Rutland, multiple times a year.

If we didn't have you—you shiny, sparkly, comfortable SUV—we wouldn't be able to get to visit our family as much as we'd like. Where airfare for five is way too expensive on a regular basis, our car is our connection to the people we love.

You provide the comfort, we provide the mileage.

You provide the safety, we provide the entertainment.

You provide the support, we provide the lease payments.

The Rascal Flatts once sang (on behalf of Lightning McQueen), "Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long," and sure—there's some truth to that. But you know what I say? "Life is a really busy road and also sometimes it's a quiet driveway, and I don't always wanna be trapped in my car, but that's how motherhood goes…"

I think that would make for a lovely remix, don't you?

Volume up, windows down, mama.

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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.


9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.


Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.


Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.


The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.


The Snoo bassinet


Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!


Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.


Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!


Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.


Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.


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


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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