5Qs with Sara

Bump Envy

5Qs with Sara
Name: Sara Jane Mercer Neighborhood: TriBeCa Occupation: Wellness coach and expert Baby’s Gender: Girl How would you describe your pregnant style? My daytime style is definitely “urban mommy causal.” I have been living in my Citizens of Humanity maternity jeans (the only brand that really fits right as they only change the waist not the leg size for their maternity styles), oversized plaid shirts, slouchy t’s by either Hatch Collection or T by Alexander Wang and cool sneaker by Vince or Golden Goose. In the depths of winter I threw some sweater’s from Hatch into the mix as well. At night or when I am not on mommy duty my style is more urban boho. Pregnant or not I love dresses by Isabel Marant, LoveShackFancy and Ulla Johnson paired with a great leather jacket like my Iro one.I pair them with either cool flat ankle boots (my Chloe and Isabel Marant ones are my favs) or my Stuart Weitzman over the knee boots. I am not someone who likes to wear tights so the over the knee boots were great this winter to keep my legs warm! Have you had any challenges learning to dress your body during pregnancy? My first pregnancy I definitely bought more maternity clothes as I thought I would need them. Once my daughter was born I was so sick of everything that I gave it all away very quickly. This time around I have only bought a few maternity basics such a jeans and some tee shirts. I have found it much more appealing to wear clothes that I either already own or that I know I will wear after this baby arrives. I have earned to embrace as more loose, slouchy, boho style this time as those are the types of clothes that look good with or without a bump! One major challenge this winter was finding a parka that was warm enough to handle the NYC chill and zipped up my bump. Many people suggested wearing my regular parka unzipped with a heavy sweater and a big scarf but this just wasn’t warm enough for me! After much searching I bought a Canada Goose parka a size up and plan to sell it via my mom’s list after I have the baby. There is nothing worse than being cold in NYC in February so this was a splurge that was worth it to me. So far, what has surprised you most during your pregnancy? This pregnancy has flown by compared to my first one! With an almost 3-year-old to chase around I don’t have the time to focus on it as much. Alot of the little things that worried me with my first daughter such as odd aches and pains etc. have just rolled off this time as I know it is all temporary and will go away as soon as I give birth. Also, there has been alot less to do before this baby arrives. Last time I spent alot of time putting my “team” together. This time around everyone was already in place. We were lucky to find a wonderful birthing team all of whom I love so there was no interviewing and meeting people this time. What are you most looking forward to sharing with your baby? Most immediately I am looking forward to nursing a baby again. I nursed my first daughter for 20 months and still miss that sweet bond. We are huge beach people and I cannot wait to introduce my daughter to the ocean and the sand. Her big sister is happiest barefoot with uncombed hair in a bathing suit and I hope this little girl follows suit. I am also excited to take her to all of the parks and playgrounds in our neighborhood. TriBeCa is really a little kid paradise, we have multiple playgrounds less than five minutes from our apartment and I cannot wait to show them all to her! What’s your 5 registry essentials?
  1. Baby Bump Fitness Ball. This version of a yoga ball (with feet so it doesn’t roll) is a must have for me. I use it as a desk chair, will labor on it, and once the baby is born with bounce her on it to soothe her to sleep!
  2. Baby K’tan. I wore my daughter Hermione in this wrap for the first few months of her life. I love the Baby K’tan because there is no complicated wrapping technique to learn (it’s all pre-done) and it can be used from birth. You can even nurse while your baby is snuggled up in a K’tan.
  3. TANE Organics Swaddles. These super soft swaddles are a must have for me. They are a bit smaller than other swaddles out there making them perfect for a tiny newborn and the slight stretch make it possible to get a tight wrap every time!
  4. TANE Organics Onesies. For simple, soft, organic baby wear nothing beats TANE. Their clothes are incredibly adorable, soft and chic. I think little, new babies look best in white so I like to stock up!
  5. Blessed Nest Pillow. This nursing pillow is the best! Not only is it made from organic fabric and stuffed with buckwheat hulls ( no toxic nasties here!) but it actually conform to your baby’s back so you don’t have to hold them in place while you nurse. It is also great from tummy time, and to prop your baby up on!
Sara is wearing: Etoile Isabel Marant Dress (similar here) Chloe boots Original photography by Lori Berkowitz. Shot on location at Burson & Reynolds.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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