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Grandma + grandpa: Go ahead, spoil my kids this Christmas

When my kids receive a gift from their grandparent, it's the grandparents I watch—not my kids. When the presents produce squeals from the kids' mouths, I can't escape the glint in my parents' eyes. Who am I to stop that?

Grandma + grandpa: Go ahead, spoil my kids this Christmas

Red and green wrapping paper covers family rooms of children on Christmas Eve and morning. The parents get out the screwdrivers to open the backs of new toys and insert the over-priced batteries. Toy bins overflow with My Little Ponies and closet doors can no longer shut.

After the holidays, toys are the new bosses of the home. The parents are left with children who have many many toys to play with.

But grandparents love to spoil (at least my parents do). It is part of the job description—especially around the holidays. It reads: GRANDPARENT QUALIFICATIONS: Must possess the ability to provide sugar to his or her grandchild. Upon special occasions, or no occasion at all, the grandparent must give an obscene amount of gifts to the grandchildren in efforts to drive his or her own child into an insane asylum.

It gets out of control. And fast.

I get all of the posts that encourage giving the gift of experiences, only three gifts, or other ideas to prevent the spoiling of kids. But yet, I let my parents and in-laws give my kids as many presents as they want. No, I don't let them give any lavish items to prevent entitlement. However, they give them more presents than I know what to do with. And I'll admit, it does get on my nerves.

But my parents are alive. 

My mom, or Yia-Yia as the kids call her, survived advanced cancer. My dad, or Papou, is 82. He didn't hold his first grandchild until the wise age of 77.

If my mom wants to buy my son seven Star Wars figurines and my daughter all of the mermaid dolls she can find, I let her. A couple Christmases ago, I didn't know if my mom would feel the joy of another holiday. And as for my dad, I never know if this will be his last Christmas. Although the quantity of gifts is aggravating, I don't stop them.

It's true, giving experiences is definitely more practical, but it's just not the same as watching a child tear through that snowman wrapping paper to discover what loud Minion is underneath. When my kids receive a gift from their grandparent, it's the grandparents I watch—not my kids. When the presents produce squeals from the kids' mouths, I can't escape the glint in my parents' eyes. Who am I to stop that?

I just won't.

Instead of complaining about it, I rotate toys, take them to a consignment shop, or donate them. I have my kids pick out toys they don't play with anymore or have outgrown and we give them away. They can start learning a little humility and charity while they're young.

When I start grumbling about the over excess of toys, I try to think less about the toys and more about the joy that it brings the grandparents. To them, gift giving at Christmas doesn't mean batteries and wrapping paper serving as the new carpet. It means watching the magic of Christmas unfold and sharing that with their grandchild.

And I just won't stop that.


By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

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

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