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For the past nine months, I’ve longed for all sorts of things that are reminiscent of my childhood in France. And so here I am, pregnant with baby number 2, re-re-re-reading Le Petit Prince, trying to nail the whole French-girl look by sporting way too many striped shirts under my maternity jumpsuits, and craving all the French food -- croissants, stinky cheeses, charcuterie, pâté, profiteroles, champagne, snails… ok, not snails, but you get the gist. My pregnancy craving is France, and it has me filled with nostalgia.

So it comes with no surprise that when I was putting my baby registry together, I ended up picking the kind of stuff that, yes, I thought were essential, but that also had that “je ne sais quoi” taking me back to my good old “young” days in Paris, when things were comfortable and worry free.

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Curious to see what I, as a French mama and expat, want for my French babies? From the quintessential Sophie La Girafe to baby moccs named after my grandfather, here are 15 baby essentials that make me swoon (and dream of a vacation in my beautiful home country).

1. Babyzen Yoyo+ stroller. Speaking of vacay… The Yoyo+ has made traveling with my firstborn a breeze. This stroller, which was imagined by a group of five Frenchmen, is small but can really pack a punch. It folds in a jiffy and is so compact that it fits in the plane’s overhead bin -- au revoir stroller gate check! And now that big brother can hop on Babyzen’s newly launched board, I can’t wait to conquer the streets of Paris once more, this time with two little ones in tow. I know I've been in the US a while, but the Yoyo+ is literally on every corner of Paris, so I’ll fit right in. $645, buy here.

2. Bloom Alma Mini crib. Much like New Yorkers and other city dwellers, many Parisians have to figure out how to make their small homes livable, happy and, well, stylish -- a task that can be especially tricky if you have children crowding all your cozy quarters. Now that baby number 2 is on his way, I have to make the most of my two-bedroom apartment, which means prioritizing baby gear with the smallest footprint possible. That’s why Bloom’s Alma Mini is at the top of my registry list. It's the smallest mini crib on the market, but can still be used for the first 12 months of my little one’s life; its four lockable castor wheels give me the freedom to move baby at will and with ease; and I can fold and stash it away in a closet corner when not in use. Plus, with its super sleek design, my baby’s tiny universe is sure to be bursting at the seam with style! $340, buy here.

3. Solly Baby French Stripes wrap. From Coco Chanel to Jean-Paul Gaultier, stripes are a staple of French fashion; and this Solly Baby design, which has a natural base and thin navy blue lines, is a modern take on this emblematic nautical aesthetic. Not only will it give me French-cool-girl vibes, it will also be a nice reminder of all the coastal shops in Normandy, where I used to summer. So excuse me while I layer my stripes with more stripes -- can we ever have enough stripes, really? $60, buy here.

4. Noble Carriage French Frog baby gift. What screams “French” more than a frog, a croissant and stripes (again)? This bundle from Noble Carriage truly has everything my baby-to-be needs to let the world know that he's French: Lewis the French toad by Hazel Village, a white onesie by Goat-Milk, striped leggings by Hansel from Basel, and a croissant teether from LexyPexy. Although, I can’t guarantee I won’t be munching on that croissant myself. *hashtag French mama’s hungry* $121, buy here.

5. Beaba Babycook. When my oldest started eating solids, I was so excited to finally give homemade baby cooking a try. So for the first year or so, I made all of his meals from scratch. But it turned out, I wasn't equipped for the task. Sure, my trusty food processor was great, but it took way too much space and was always a pain to clean. Enters the Beaba Babycook, an all-in-one baby food maker that steams, blends and reheats your little one’s foods -- from fruits and veggies to meats and fish -- in 15 minutes or less. With a sleek design, this one-stop-shop baby food processor earns a prime spot on your kitchen counter and will save you time and space -- two things that you most definitely need more of as a mama. $149.95, buy here.

6. Maptote Paris wall hanging. When I’m homesick, I usually look at old family pictures and imagine myself perusing the streets of Paris while devouring a Nutella crêpe on the go. But another way I beat nostalgia is by decorating my home with bits and pieces from the places I love. This Maptote Paris wall hanging is the perfect addition to my French baby’s nursery. Its minimalist design keeps it cool as it showcases the most emblematic monuments of Paris. Plus, it will let me and my little one travel through the different quarters of my hometown. Oh hey… Here I am again, wandering the Quartier Latin, eating my crêpe and trying not to drop Nutella all over baby’s head. $26, buy here.

7. Petit Bateau onesies. Petit Bateau is zee French baby brand that all French babies should wear at some point in their French baby lives. Case and point: My brother and I sported the brand on the daily, and thanks to my relatives in France, my firstborn had a lot of it too. It goes without saying that I expect my family to keep up with the tradition and dress bébé-to-be with lots of Petit Bateau’s signature prints, which, you guess it, involve a lot of sailboats and stripes (duh!). $75, buy here.

8. Sophie La Girafe. I remember snatching this French classic from my little brother’s hands because, “it’s mine,” I kept asserting. Indeed, my parents passed Sophie La Girafe onto my brother once they thought I outgrew it. Little did they know that I would be forever charmed by this quirky, retro teething toy. Major plus: it’s made from natural rubber and non-toxic coloring. $24.99, buy here.

9. Freshly Picked Jacques moccasins. I know, I know -- one more item with stripes. But these moccs are extra special. It’s not just that they are inspired by nautical French textiles. They actually share my grandfather’s name, Jacques. Papi Jacques took me ski in the Alpes and swim in Normandy; he unfailingly convinced me to eat those yogurts with fruit bits that I hated so much; and he sadly left us way too soon, just before I turned six years old. No question about it, these Freshly Picked moccasins won my heart and therefore a special spot in my little one’s wardrobe. $60, buy here.

10. Le Petit Prince pop-up book. Everybody knows -- Le Petit Prince is a classic for kids and adults alike, and I lost count of how many times I’ve read this book. I honestly can’t wait to share this whimsical story (in French, of course) with my children. This pop-up book is going to make it extra fun, as it brings the illustration to life with unabridged text and folding, popping and spinning surprises on every page. $38, buy here.

11. Uncle Goose French ABC blocks. “Ça y est, je les connais, toutes les lettres de l’alphabet.” I got these wooden blocks for my firstborn, and they passed the test of time. Simply put, they are still a hit and are thus, in my opinion, a registry essential for all French parents who want their kids to explore their knowledge of the French language early on. $36.95, buy here.

12. French Kids Eat Everything. Unfortunately, my French kid doesn’t eat everything. Arthur tends to go for bread and croissant over cauliflower and broccoli. So this time around, I’m determined to raise a healthy and happy eater; and if this book can help me put an end to food fights and pickiness, well, I’ll take it! Give me all the tips and recipes -- I’m ready to feed my littles, à la French. $9, buy here.

13. Charlie Crane changing station. Do you have a shortage of square footage? If so, forget about the full-size changing table. This hangable changing station, which I can proudly say is a French invention, is a dream come true. Not only will it save you tons of space, it also opens into a comfortable nappy station that allows you to also access all your baby care products without losing sight of your child. $479, buy here.

14. Babymoov zero emission camera. We didn’t use a monitor right away with our firstborn. That’s because we kept him by our side at all times. This time around, I plan on giving everyone a little more freedom, but I still want to keep an eye on baby when he’s snoozing. With this Babymoov baby video monitor, you can do just that without the potentially harmful electromagnetic waves making their way into baby’s bedroom. Plus, the zero emission camera plays lullabies for baby and can also serve as a nightlight. $199, buy here.

15. Miam Miam subscription box. I know new mamas need nutritious foods to recover from birth as fast as possible. But the heart wants what it wants, and right now, my heart… err, belly wants a yummy trip down memory lane. So send a MiamMiam’s subscription box my way… I’ll be one happy mama, chomping on Bonne Maman lemon tarts, Fraises tagada and Prince tout choco… with bubbly in hand, of course, because, hey, I just made a baby! Learn more here.

Want to win a couple of goodies from this list? Head over to our Instagram right now!

Homepage photography by Stylish Hip Kids Photography.

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Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead.

There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart.com has everything you need to travel safely with your most precious cargo in the backseat. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month, happening now through September 30 at Walmart.com.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you (and hook you up with a sweet perk, too). Between September 16 and 21, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. When you bring in an expired car seat or one your child no longer fits into to a participating Walmart store during the trade-in event, you'll receive a $30 gift card to spend on your little one in person or online. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www.walmart.com/aboutbestofbabymonth

Ready to shop, mama? Here are the 9 best car seat deals happening this month.


Safety 1st Grow and Go Spring 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood. Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher.

Price: $134 (regularly $149)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda

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When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster. Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia

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Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its 100-pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat

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This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs. To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise.

Price: $116 (regularly $149.99)

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Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat

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Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds! — can journey comfortably and safely. This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full (because chances are they will be).

Price: $67.49 (regularly $89.99)

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Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit 100 lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to 120 lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

Price: $199.99 (regularly $269.99)

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Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

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With its unique space-saving design, this 3-in-1 car seat provides 10% more back seat space simply by rotating the dual cup holders. The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.

Price: $149.99 (regularly $229.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat

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Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology. In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

Price: $169.99 (regularly $249.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

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With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him.

Price: $129.99 (regularly $219.99)

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

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If I ever want to look alive before dropping my son off to school, there are two things I must put on before leaving the house: eyeliner and mascara. When using eyeliner, I typically use black liner on my top lid, a slightly lighter brown for my bottom lid, and then a nude liner for my water line. It works every time.

My mascara routine is a bit different. Because my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I always opt for the darkest black I can find, and one that's lengthening and volumizing. For this reason, I was immediately drawn to It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara. The new mascara is developed in partnership with Drybar (the blow dry bar that specializes in just blowouts) and promises to deliver bold and voluminous lashes all day long. I was sold.

Could this really be the blowout my lashes have been waiting for? It turns out, it was much better than most volumizing formulas I've tried.

For starters, the wand is a great size—it's not too big or small, and it's easy to grip—just like my favorite Drybar round brush. As for the formula, it's super light and infused with biotin which helps lashes look stronger and healthier. I also love that it's buildable, and I didn't notice any clumps or flakes between coats.

The real test is that my lashes still looked great at dinnertime. I didn't have smudges or the dreaded raccoon eyes I always get after a long day at work. Surprisingly, the mascara actually stayed in place. To be fair, I haven't compared them with lash-extensions (which are my new go-to since having baby number two), but I'm sure it will hold up nicely.

Overall, I was very impressed with the level of length and fullness this mascara delivered. Indeed, this is the eyelash blowout my lashes have been waiting for. While it won't give you a few extra hours in bed, you'll at least look a little more awake, mama.

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara
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Here's how I apply IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara:

  1. Starting as close to lash line as possible (and looking down), align the brush against your top lashes. Gradually turn upwards, then wiggle the wand back and forth up and down your eyelashes.
  2. Repeat, if needed. Tip: Be sure to allow the mascara to dry between each coat.
  3. Using the same technique, apply mascara to your bottom lashes, brushing the wand down your eyelashes.
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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Having children isn't always as easy as it looks on Instagram. There's so much more to motherhood than serene baby snuggles and matching outfits. But there's a reason we've fallen so deeply in love with motherhood: It's the most beautiful, chaotic ride.

Every single day, we sit back and wonder how something so hard can feel so rewarding. And Eva Mendes just managed to nail the reality of that with one quote.

Eva, who is a mama to daughters Esmerelda and Amada with Ryan Gosling, got real about the messy magic of motherhood in a recent interview.

"It's so fun and beautiful and maddening," the actress tells Access Daily. "It's so hard, of course. But it's like that feeling of…you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed.'"

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And just like that, moms all over the world feel seen. We've all been there: Struggling to get through the day (which, for the record is often every bit as fun as it is challenging), only to put those babies to sleep and collapse on the couch in sheer exhaustion. But, after you've caught your breath, you realize just how strong and capable you really are.

One thing Eva learned the hard way? That sleep regressions are very, very real...and they don't just come to an end after your baby's first few months. "I guess they go through a sleep regression, which nobody told me about until I looked it up," she says "I was like, 'Why isn't my 3-year-old sleeping?'"

But, at the end of the day, Eva loves her life as a mom—and the fact that she took a break from her Hollywood career to devote her days to raising her girls. "I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to be home with them," she says.

Thank you for keeping it real, Eva! Momming isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.

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My labor and delivery was short and sweet. I started feeling contractions on Monday morning and by Tuesday night at 8:56 pm my handsome baby boy was born. Only 30 minutes of pushing. Afterward, I was still out of it, to be honest. I held him and did some skin to skin and handed him off to my husband, my mother held him next.

When he was in my mother's arms, I knew he was safe. I started to drift off, the epidural had me feeling drowsy and I had used up all my strength to push this 7 lb baby out. My son's eyes were open and then I guess he went to sleep too. My mother swayed him back and forth. The nurses were in and out, cleaning me up and checking in on us.

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When yet another nurse came in, my mom said to her, "He wasn't latching because he wanted to sleep."

The nurse yelled, "He's not sleeping!"

The next 25 minutes happened in slow motion for me.

After the nurse said these words, she flung my son onto the little baby bed. I looked over and he looked a little blue. Then I heard the loud words of CODE PINK. In matters of seconds about 30 nursing staff descended into my room and crowded around my baby.

I couldn't even see what was happening. I tried to get out the bed but they wouldn't let me and after a couple of failed attempts one of the nurses look at me and said, "He's fine, he's breathing now."

Breathing now? He wasn't breathing before? Again, I tried to push my way to my baby, but once again I was told to not move. They had just performed CPR on my 30-minute old newborn and I couldn't understand what was happening even after a pediatrician tried to explain it to me.

I just started crying. He was fine in my stomach for 39 weeks and 6 days and now I bring him into this world and his heart nearly stops?

I was told he needed to go to the neonatal intensive care unit. I was confused, as I thought the NICU was only for preemies and my son was full term.

After what felt like an eternity we were finally allowed to see our son. My husband wheeled me there and we saw him in the corner alone. I saw the incubator and the wires, he's all bundled up.

The nurse explained all the beeping and showed me the heart rate monitor. He's doing fine. We go over the feeding schedule. I'm exhausted still. I stay with him until about 1 or 2 am. They all suggest I get some sleep. There's no bed in the NICU, so I head back to my room.

The next day was better, he doesn't have to be in the incubator anymore, but the wires remain. By that night or early the next morning, the wires in his nose come out and I try feeding him. I try pumping. It was painful.

He gets his first bath and he loves it. The nurse shampoos his hair (he had a lot!) and he seems so soothed. The nurse explains that because he's full term he doesn't need the same type of support in the NICU. She tells me my baby's strong and he'll be fine.

I look around. I see the other babies, the other moms. They could be there for weeks. And unlike me, the moms have to go home—without their baby.

Friday comes and by now he's done all his tests, blood work came back normal, all tubes have been removed and I get it. I get my going-home package. Finally. I get my instructions on doctor follow-ups and we finally get to go home.

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There have been a lot of iconic entertainment magazine covers featuring pregnant women over the years. Who can forget Demi Moore's bare baby bump on Vanity Fair or Britney Spears' similar nude pose on Harper's Bazaar?

Pregnant women on a magazine covers is nothing new, but a visibly pregnant CEO on the cover of a business magazine, that's a first and it happened this week.

Inc. just put The Wing's CEO Audrey Gelman on the cover and this is a historic moment in publishing and business.

As Gelman told Today this week, "You can't be what you can't see, so I think it's so important for women to see that it's possible to run a fast-growing business and also to start a family."

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She continued: "It's so important to sort of burst that bubble and to have new images of women who are thriving and working professionally while balancing motherhood … My hope is that women see this and again feel the confidence to take greater professional risks while also not shelving their dreams of becoming a mother and starting a family."

The Wing started in 2016 as a co-working space for women and has grown rapidly. As Inc. reports, The Wing has eight locations in the U.S. with plans for more American and international locations by 2020.

Putting Gelman on the cover was an important move by Inc. and Gelman's honesty about her early pregnancy panic ("I can't be pregnant. I have so much to do." she recalls thinking after her pregnancy test) should be applauded.

Gelman says pregnancy made her slow down physically, and that it was actually good for her company: "I had this realization: The way to make my team and my employees feel proud to work for me and for the company was actually not to pretend to be superhuman or totally unaffected by pregnancy."

We need this. We need CEOs to admit that they are human so that corporate leadership can see employees as humans, too. Humans need things like family leave and flexibility, especially when they start raising little humans.

There are a lot of iconic covers featuring pregnant women, but this one is different. She's wearing clothes and she's changing work culture.

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