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If you have a friend who just gave birth, chances are, she hasn’t been thinking much about herself lately. That’s right, babies are all-consuming, emotionally and financially! So now is the time to shower her with love… and thoughtful gifts. To ring in the holiday season, we want to help you in your quest for the perfect present to give your mama friend. So we rounded up the best gifts for the new mom. Here are our 9 picks, ranging from a camera to an at-home massage.

1. Crane Fireplace. The Crane mini fireplace is the little heating companion that every new mom needs. It mimics the relaxing, glowing embers of a real fireplace without the need for a chimney sweep. Plus, it’s so small and light, she can move it wherever she needs a little extra warmth -- by the couch during her seventh nursing session of the day, by her bed at night, or in the nursery to keep baby warm post bath. $84.99, buy here.

2. Marloe London Scarf. The best present you can give your new mom friend is one that is beautiful, practical and functional all at once. This indigo dip dye scarf with contrasting white stripes fulfills all of the requirements above. It’s a timeless and classic accessory for the chic mom that moonlights as a swaddle, a nursing cover, a playmat and more. $95, buy here.

3. Milkscreen Test for Alcohol in Breast Milk. It’s bubbly season! Though mom will be able to cheer to the new year, baby still shouldn’t get boozy breast milk. So help a mama out with these strips that detect alcohol in breast milk in a mere 2 minutes. Perfect for letting moms know when they need to wait their next nursing session out. Plus, you may get a giggle as she realizes what the strips are for. $14.99, buy here.

4. Canon G9 X Camera. Now that baby is here, it’s picture time. Like, all. day. long. Though the do-it-all smartphone can come in handy for an impromptu nap snap, it doesn’t always cut it. Canon’s slim and portable G9 X is an undeniable upgrade. Impressive images, stunning videos, and built-in Wifi that allows the camera to connect to your phone and share photos on social media in just a few clicks. Perfect for the InstaMom in your life. $429.99, buy here.

5. Winter Solstice Kit. With this wellness bundle, it’s relaxation guaranteed. The kit, which is in collaboration between Beyond Yoga, Fig+Arrow and gift box company Gratitude Collaborative, contains a luxurious robe, a face mist and milk bath and more. In short: a new mom’s dream in a box. What’s more, for every box purchased, Gratitude Collaborative will provide 10 meals to children in the US. $189, buy here.

6. Munchery. Mom’s going to be busy with baby. Diapers, laundry (oh the laundry), nursing… The list goes on. She won’t have time for showers, let alone fixing nutritious meals for her and her family. So take the pressure off and hook her up with a membership to a meal-delivery service. Munchery brings healthful meals to the table and cooking kits that are ready in just 15 minutes. As if you needed more convincing, Munchery donates a meal to a local food bank every time you order. Get a gift card here.

7. The Bee & the Fox. Tell your gal pal you care with this Mama Bird t-shirt. Paired with the Baby Bird onesie, it’s a great welcoming gift to the world of motherhood. Plus, Momma’s going to love being all matchy matchy with her new bundle. Mama Bird t-shirt: $28, buy here. Baby Bird onesie: $28, buy here.

8. Soothe. Shall we repeat again? In all the chaos and unknown that new motherhood brings about, mama is bound to feel stressed and overwhelmed at times. So spoil her with an at-home massage. Soothe delivers any kind of massage you want -- Swedish, deep tissue, couple massage and more -- wherever you are. What’s best? She won’t need to commute back home and possibly deal with the stress of the outside world. Starts at $99, buy here.

9. Petunia Pickle Bottom. Get mama the gift of a trusty sidekick. With its minimalist color palette, this diaper backpack from Petunia Pickle Bottom has a sleek look that will travel seamlessly from the office to the playground to the home. Plus, this carryall will make mama’s life easier when she needs to hold baby and that much-needed morning coffee. $159, buy here.


Best Gifts for Pregnancy

Best Gifts for Baby

Best Gifts for Toddler

Best Gifts for Dad

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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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