5 Qs with Marisa


5 Qs with Marisa

Name: Marisa G.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Film and TV producer

Number Pregnancy: Second

How would you describe your pregnant style?

Comfortable chic is my goal. I think that it’s important to find a way to feel good about yourself during pregnancy. If you don’t, it can be a very long 9 months! This time around, I’ve been trying to adapt my pre-pregnancy style (which is easier to do in the first 4 months) by wearing skinny maternity jeans with flowy silk tops and blazers or soft cardigans. I’m small, just 5 feet tall, so I have two options: creative layered looks, or very fitted tops to show off the belly. I wore a ton of big, long sweaters during my first winter pregnancy, and I’m realizing now that it wasn’t the most flattering choice. This time around, I’m trying to maintain more of my own style and keep things interesting with fun accessories.

Have you had any challenges learning to dress your pregnant body?

Yes! Most maternity styles seem to be made for taller girls, so it’s been a struggle trying to figure out what won't swallow up my petite frame plus big belly. I’ve learned that very fitted arms are key, especially in a swingy top, and that a fitted maternity v-neck top with a cool little jacket, really helps to flatter the bust/belly bump. And I'm always in my black suede Nike Dunk Sky Hi sneakers. They're so comfortable and give me a little height.

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

When you already have an active toddler and a full time job, and you know what to expect with the pregnancy in general, the mental experience feels very different. This pregnancy is just as important to me as the first one, but since so many of the habits I’d adopted the first time have become second nature, it doesn’t require as much of my primary focus all of the time. It’s like great background music as I go through my days. I just have to remind myself to take it easy, especially when I’m being charmed by my toddler who wants to run, play together and be picked up. On the physical side, the belly does pop much faster the second time around, so I’ve had to adapt to a very pregnant-feeling body earlier than I had expected. It was a surprise to find that I looked like I was 5 months at only 3 months! And along with the girth, came the little aches and pains of a quickly growing body. Luckily, all of life’s distractions help to rack my focus.

What’s been your favorite pregnancy piece or brand to show off your bump?

I’ve had some luck with cool, affordable designer collaborations during my two pregnancies. The first time around, I scored some great pieces from Prabal Gurung for Target, and this time, I was able to hit Isabel Marant for H&M (online – no crowds!) for a pair of soft, slouchy flat boots that will be great when tying my shoes becomes a fantasy. ASOS and Gap Maternity are great for basics and, of course, the Well Rounded NY shoot was at the Hatch Pop-Up shop so I scored some beautiful soft tops and a silky blazer that I plan to wear post pregnancy as well.

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

Well, this time around I’m having a girl, so, in addition to our favorites -- Prospect Park, Central Park, the Bronx Zoo, and Brooklyn Bridge park via the always-exciting ferry -- I’m excited to eventually take them to see The Nutcracker. Also, I fear that my son will be less than impressed by the American Girl films I’ve produced, but maybe my daughter will be able to take advantage of my VIP status at the AG store for lunch with your doll!

Shot on location outside of the Hatch Collection Pop-up Shop.

Photography by Sofia Lynn Photography.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

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

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on 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 supporting Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

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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