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5Qs with Jessica

Bump Envy

5Qs with Jessica

Name: Jessica Tiare Bowen

Neighborhood: Midtown

Occupation: Founder of UsedYorkCity.com

Baby’s Sex: We're going to be surprised!

How would you describe your pregnant style?

Minimalist chic! I invested in a few key pieces that could get me through my changing body during the seasons, all of which have been on heavy rotation. My basic uniform is either a simple sheath dress, or skinny maternity jeans paired with my hubby's sweaters and tees, and a pop of red lipstick, always (which I swear will follow me to the delivery room...it's kinda my power piece!). And comfy shoes are key for all the NYC walking!

Have you had any challenges learning to dress your body during pregnancy?

Before my bump actually started to show, I constantly felt like I had a bloated belly full of tacos! Not quite ready for full-on maternity wear, but definitely not fitting into my pre-maternity wardrobe. I was much more comfortable when I just sucked it up, packed up my former clothes, and bought a handful of maternity dresses.

So far, what has surprised you most during your pregnancy?

The interactions the bump inspires with complete strangers! Honestly, I thought having a dog in the city was a solid conversation starter--ha! Try being pregnant! It's amusing to me the conversations the bump will start, whether standing in line at Whole Foods or just walking down the street...typically going something along the lines of, "Congrats, Mama! It's a boy, right?" New Yorkers are the sweetest.

What are you most looking forward to sharing with your baby?

As a former theater teacher and total lover of all things theatrical, I can't wait to experience Broadway Baby classes with my little one! They start as early as 4 months, and judging from how much s/he likes music in the womb, I think it's going to be a huge hit!

What are your 5 registry essentials?

  1. Snuggle Nest. The perfect small and portable solution for co-sleeping in the early months.
  2. Zippered Onesies With Feet. Easy breezy to put on and off, and keeps winter babies nice and warm!
  3. Ergo Organic Baby Carrier. For getting around the city and also being hands-free around the apartment to get things done but still sharing baby cuddles!
  4. A Cute Backpack. A wonderful alternative to the traditional diaper bag, and makes commuting around NYC so much simpler.
  5. A Selection of Your Favorite Children's Books. Cause you can never start reading to your baby too early!

Jessica is wearing:

ASOS Maternity Dress

SHOP JESSICA’S PREGNANCY & BABY STYLE

In This Article

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

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall 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 outside-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.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden 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

    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    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

    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.

    $30

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    A Montessori-inspired gift guide—for newborns to 6-year-olds

    There are plenty of Montessori-friendly toys that are beautiful and engaging, but also appeal to children's developmental needs.

    With so many toys out there, it can be hard to find intentional gifts for our children that are both fun and meaningful. Using a Montessori approach to your shopping doesn't mean your choices need to be academic. There are plenty of Montessori-friendly toys that are beautiful and engaging, but also appeal to children's developmental needs.

    Montessori toys are usually made from natural materials, non-electronic and foster independent play, creativity and concentration. Montessori materials are simple and somewhat minimalist in general, and this is especially true for infants and young toddlers. The world is so stimulating for these little ones already, that simple toys made of natural materials spark the child's curiosity without being overwhelming.

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    20 of the top baby names for 2020 (so far)

    Henry + Mila are moving up the list this year.

    [Editor's note: We know that being pregnant can be, well, a lot. And understanding what you really need versus what's just a nice-to-have takes time . With your needs in mind, we've selected the best products for pregnancy in The Motherly Shop. We've got you, mama.]

    For some people, it's the easiest part of the journey to parenthood, but for others, naming a child is super hard. There are so many factors to consider when picking a baby name, and popularity is a big one. Some parents are drawn to names that will keep their child as ungoogleable as possible, while others don't want their kiddo to share their name with, well, anyone.

    But how do we know which names are going to be popular in our kids' cohort when most of their future classmates haven't been born yet? Well, the science of predicting the year's most popular baby names is actually pretty simple. You don't need a crystal ball—just previous years' data.

    Names.org just released its predictions for the top U.S. baby names in 2020. Check the list to see if your baby name made the cut (or if you need to cut it).

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