Breaking it Down: Deodorant

Soapwalla founder Rachel Winard invites us to be the sous chef in her kitchen as she whips up her all-natural deodorant.

Breaking it Down: Deodorant

We don’t really give our armpits a whole lot of love because, let’s face it, they’re dirty and sweaty and smelly. During pregnancy, when our hormones are raging, they’re even more dirty and sweaty and smelly. So it’s no wonder we’re tempted to reach for the strongest stuff available to stave off the sweat -- and stench. But covering this lymph-node rich area of your body with chemicals while you’re cooking a baby is a bad idea, no matter how hot you get. Unfortunately, finding a natural deodorant that doesn’t stink can be a lifelong search. And when you’re pregnant, you have enough stuff to search for. So we’ll save you days of internet trolling and armpit experimentation because, ladies, we’ve found the holy grail: Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream. There’s a reason Soapwalla’s founder Rachel Winard refers to herself as the “chef” of the “kitchen” -- all the ingredients in her natural skincare line are healthy enough to eat. The brand’s creamy deodorant (meant to be applied by hand) is no exception, made from superfine vegetable powders and clays, lavender, peppermint and tea tree essential oils. It’s no wonder that birds and bees literally gather outside her Gowanus workspace while she’s cooking. In addition to steering clear of harmful additives and chemicals, Soapwalla’s deodorant is free of aluminum zirconium, a chemical that many deodorants and antiperspirants use to prevent sweat -- and toxins -- from leaving the body. Um, we’re pretty sure that while baby is on the inside, you want those toxins on the outside. We recently stopped by Soapwalla’s light-filled Brooklyn kitchen and got a little deodorant cooking lesson that had us -- ok we mean our armpits -- sweating those pretty little blue jars of magical cream. Rachel starts out with some mixing bowls filled with food-grade powders and clays, all of which are non-GMO. She combines ingredients with carrier and essential oils in -- what else? -- a giant stock pot. Then warm shea butter, sourced from a women’s co-op in Ghana, is poured into the powders, and stirred for about five or so minutes with a whisk, until the ingredients create a creamy mixture. Next the chef carefully measures out each jarful and gently pours the mixture into her signature Soapwalla blue containers. They’re stacked in a refrigerator and cooled for 2-3 hours, until solid. Once cooled, Rachel brings them back to room temperature, then labels and boxes them. The entire process is done entirely by hand -- including the part where she individually packs each order and sends it on its merry way to your medicine cabinet. Photography by Evan Gubernick of 485 Creative.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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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.

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10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

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