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5 Reasons A New Mom Needs 21 Bundles

Simplifying your life with the right subscription.

5 Reasons A New Mom Needs 21 Bundles

*We’ve partnered with 21 Bundles to help simplify life for a new mom or mom-to-be.

Let me begin by confessing that I don’t like to shop for fun. Buying stuff doesn’t lower my blood pressure, nor can it distract me from the chaos of parenting and life in general. When I do need to buy things, especially for myself or my toddler, I take forever to make a final decision, and spend a lot of time asking myself (and Google): am I choosing the best thing, the healthiest thing, the most ethical and environmentally friendly thing, the thing that can replace all the other things? I’m never sure. And, on top of that, with a son and a baby on the way, I’ve neither the extra hours nor the brain space to deliberate for long.

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That doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a treat. Or need to treat my baby or baby-to-be. Which is why I’m psyched to learn about 21 Bundles, a national (and Canada) subscription box - aka bundle -service designed for pregnant women and the first year of motherhood. Now, I know subscriptions services abound these days, but here’s why you might want to move 21 Bundles to the top of your subscription wish list.

1. There’s no decision-making required. All I had to do was tell 21 Bundles how old my kid is and/or how pregnant I am. These are the kind of questions I can actually answer, and on very little sleep! My 7-month pregnancy bundle had 8 items, including a Radha Deep Sea Mud Mask and a Mad Hippie cleanser that smelled like macadamia nuts and self-care. I put on the mask for 10 minutes and afterward, I felt more aglow than I have in months (seven months, to be specific).

The summer baby/toddler bundle I got was designed with both my preschooler and babe-in-womb in mind. It was jam-packed with 11 items, like a palm-sized portable Mini Monkey Mat to spread out at the park, and an adorable toddler yoga book that my three year old had me read 3x in a row, while he did all the poses. My son was also super psyched about the organic Farm Buddy – a nautically dressed frog – which he plans on giving to his future sibling, saving me a trip to the toy store.

2. There’s no toxins or chemicals. Everything 21 Bundles sources and ships is free of chemicals that might mess with my pregnant bod or my baby’s sensitive, new-to-earth system. It’s the perfect mix of your fave eco-friendly brands and the eco-friendly brands you didn’t know about, like Aden & Anais, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Deep Steep, Motherlove, Green Sprouts, and Ecco Bella, among many others.

3. It’s highly curated. It’s nice not having to scroll through a seemingly endless amount of product reviews or taking upwards of an hour to read up on every possible product I could add to my bundle. I am, as I’ve admitted, both uninterested in shopping and, at the same time, very particular about what I want from what I buy. 21 Bundles, unlike some subscription services, does the heavy lifting in terms of making choices, which, for me, has been a relief. They also don’t skimp on quality or quantity – you get between five and eight items.

4. There’s always an element of surprise. Parenting is a joy and also a daily grind, rife with the unexpected, like tantrums and diaper explosions and nap refusals. Good surprises are a real treat these days and I don’t take them for granted. 21 Bundles is one of those good surprises -- while I don't always know what will arrive each month, I do know it will always tick off just the right boxes on my shopping to-do list, since it's so highly curated to my family's needs. One more surprise? The refreshing discount I've gotten on all those products since they're part of my subscription service.

5. But if you don’t like surprises, that’s cool too. If, unlike me, you’re the sort of mom who does like to know what she’s getting into when she signs up for a subscription, you can follow 21 Bundles on Instagram to grab more information on each bundle. Or, you could email or call to get the 411 on what’s en route. You can even order a la carte (or dare we say, extra?) at Healthiest.io, the parent company to 21 Bundles.

*This post was sponsored by 21 Bundles. Want to try 21 Bundles? Use code WR30 to get 30% off your first box!

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

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

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

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

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective 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

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

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

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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