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8 Sleep Products Every New Mom Needs

Now that baby is sleeping through the night, you’re tossing and turning and can’t seem to get more than 4 or 5 consecutive hours of sleep (if you’re lucky). Your mind is racing with to-do lists, and your hyper-alert to every little sound your little one is making. No matter what you do -- counting sheeps, reading a book, or sticking to a relaxing bedtime routine -- you can’t seem to turn off your brain. Postpartum insomnia is real, mama; and it can plague you for months.

When you become a parent, you’ll have to relearn one of the basic tasks of survival: how to sleep. So what can you do if no amount of yoga or meditation help you get a good night of zzz? Turns out, there are products that can help you get the best, most restful sleep. Because, well, after carrying a baby in your belly for 10 months and giving birth, you deserve it, mama! So forget about baby for a change. Here are 8 sleep pieces of gear that will help YOU fall asleep faster (and stay asleep).

1. A good mattress. The first step to getting a good night’s sleep is getting a comfortable mattress. Casper’s original mattress provides everything your new mom’s body needs: support to align your back, shoulders and hips (get ready to babywear for hours!); a fabric with airflow that helps prevent overheating (buh-bye night sweats caused by postpartum hormones!); and the literal sensation of sleeping on a cloud! Bed-in-a-box mattresses are a great alternative for new parents, who may be pressed for time. Order online, and get it delivered at your doorsteps (for free). Casper Mattress, starting at $595.

2. A sound machine. Your baby loves white noise -- you will too! It’s a great way to drown out the sounds that usually disrupt your sleep, like trucks outside, loud neighbors or, you know, your tiniest roommate whimpering and rustling all night long. The Marpac Dohm is a simple, affordable option that mimics the sound that fans make, with two speed options to adjust to your liking. Marpac Dohm Sound Machine, $44.90.

3. An essential oil diffuser. Certain essential oils are known to induce sleep. You can add a couple of drops of lavender or chamomile oil into a diffuser like this one and turn it on 15 to 20 minutes before going to bed. The scent will permeate the room and set the environment up for restorative sleep. Campo Essential Oil Diffuser, $97.

4. A wake-up light. The light that you have in your room can make a huge impact on your sleep. Smart lights, like the Wake-Up Light or the Hue system from Philips, can help you set the perfect sleep-inducing light condition. Use a sunset simulation mode to gradually dim the light in your bedroom and to signal to your body that it’s time to think about bed. You can also use a sunrise simulation to help you wake up better. Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Sunrise Simulation, $49.99.

5. A weighted blanket. Gravity blankets have been used by occupational therapists to treat patients with sensory processing disorders. But they’ve recently become mainstream in helping with occasional insomnia and anxiety. Weighted blankets provide deep pressure on the body, giving a snuggly feeling that calms the nervous system. This, in turn, will help you stay asleep longer. Gravity blanket, starting at $249.

6. A sleep tracker. The key to getting a better night’s sleep is understanding the things that keep or wake you up. That’s where sleep monitors come into play. Trackers give you data on your breathing patterns, body movements and so much more and then provide personalized feedback to help you get a better night’s rest. You could either choose a wearable device, like the Fitbit Versa; a phone application, like Sleep Cycle or SleepScore; or a monitor that stays on your nightstand, like the Hello Sense sleep tracker (bonus point for being super cool looking). Fitbit Versa Watch, $189.

7. Linen bedding. Linen is known to help regulate body temperature -- whether you are hot or cold! Plus, it’s extremely breathable, which means it allows for more airflow and wicks moisture away. No more waking up with damp sheets sticking to your body! And if this wasn’t enough, linen gets softer with each wash. Parachute carries a line of linen bedding that we love. Parachute Linen Venice Set, starting at $419.

8. Blue light-blocking glasses. Are you looking at your phone or watching TV before bed? Well, try not to… But if you absolutely can’t pass up the opportunity to watch your fave show on Netflix, try to do so with blue light-blocking lenses. The light that our screens emit can suppress the production of melatonin -- the hormone that regulates wakefulness -- and disrupt your internal circadian clock and, in turn, your sleep. Amazon blue light blocking glasses, $19.95.

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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