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It’s true what they say. Kids really do grow fast. One day you’re cradling baby in your arms, and the next you’re watching them crawl towards kitty’s litter. Welp. From the moment they’re able to slink out of your arms, babies and toddlers are fearless, so much so you’d assume that many are fighting for the top spot in the next season of American Ninja Warrior.

First walkers, in particular whole-heartedly laugh in the face of precaution -- ripping off coffee table corner guards, sticking fingers in outlets, and climbing, well, everything.

As parents, we can only do so much. Sure, part of your your job description as mom is to protect your baby, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll change that little daredevil of yours. These little suckers (and we mean that in the kindest way) are determined, and standing in their way only creates an obstacle towards their end goal. And man, you do not want to get in their way. Have you ever “accidentally” been headbutted in the mouth by trying to protect your child from a concussion? It hurts like a mother.

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You’d think that age would wisen them in their late toddler years, but then suddenly it’s time to introduce them to wheels! Which we’re not gonna lie, is a scary sight. And while you might think the anxiety induced by your toddler simply going up the playground ladder will lead you to an early grave (who designed these things anyway??), you’ll survive this too mama.

In the meantime, here are 5 ways to keep you and your tots in one piece (and at peace) while they’re gaining their footing.

1. Keep Cool. On the inside that is. Toddlers are like teenagers. The more you try and tell them what to do, the more they’ll rage out and do the opposite. Let them think you’re totally cool. Keep close, but not too close. Observe their extreme actions, but don’t tell them what to do and mentally prepare yourself to swoop in at any given moment.

2. Travel in packs. Being a good parent ain’t easy, but it’s true what they say: there truly is strength in numbers. Call a friend, heck, call 10 and have them meet you at the park. This way, there will always be an extra set of eyes or arms around the corner. Being able to vent to another parent about your toddler’s latest shenanigans is the icing on the cake.

3. Stable shoes are key. When they’re teeny tiny babies, it’s purely about the cute factor. But as your babe gets his balance, it’s ALL about the function. OK, yes, and the cuteness. But your toddler will use his toe as a break. He will jump in that puddle, and he will most definitely run, run, run as fast as he or she can in every direction. Investing in durable, safe, stable, water resistant footwear like KEEN Kids shoes will help save some spills and last through the toughest toddler moves while still looking cute.

 

4. “Forget” to take off your kids helmet. The first time you leave your toddler’s scooter helmet on at the playground might be accidental, but when you do, an “aha” moment will happen and you’ll realize that helmet might be the safety net you wished playground architects were genius enough to actually build in.

5. Encourage them. While you might wonder how your baby or toddler will ever start walking, climbing or scooting, they will! They all do it at their own pace, and they’ll all be good at their own thing. Practice makes perfect, and though it may come with a bunch of scrapes and bruises, there's nothing like seeing your child accomplish a task he or she has effortlessly worked on. So sit back, encourage your babe to do the best he or she can, and let him or her know that you're proud of all the hard work.

 

*We are so grateful when brands support our content and community. This post was sponsored by KEEN. Use the code, WellRounded2016 for 15% off your next purchase at KEEN Kids shoes. We're also giving a way a pair of KEEN Kids shoes to 10 lucky readers, so enter the giveaway below!

Photography by Belle Augusta for Well Rounded NY.

This is cause for celebration, mama! You are one month into this exciting new adventure, and those precious cuddles certainly help compensate for the lack of shut-eye. (Mostly, at least.)

Although it's only been a few weeks since you officially met your latest love, you're probably already amazed by how quickly your teeny snuggle bunny is growing and changing. Unlike those first few days when your sleepy newborn's eyes were rarely open, your baby is likely now eagerly studying objects within a few inches of their site and reacting to sounds. Their favorite sights and sounds of all? The people in their family.

After months of pregnancy, the extreme physical accomplishment of delivery and possibly the initiation of breastfeeding, your body needs time to recover. As you go, remember that while your baby may always be on your mind, it's healthy for you to make space for self-care, too.

While you continue to adjust, here are our favorite items to keep in your tool kit (for you and baby) at the 1-month mark:

To get sweet dreams while room sharing: Ingenuity bassinet

bassinet

Experts recommend sharing your bedroom—but not your bed—with your baby for the better part of the first year. If space was already at a premium, a compact bassinet is the perfect solution.

$129

To free up your hands: 4moms mamaroo swing

mamaroo swing

You may not want to take your eyes off your adorable baby, but life does actually require you use your hands every now and then to take care of things around the house. If your checklist includes tasks in the same room, a soothing swing can help keep baby content for a few precious minutes.

$219.99

To get through marathon nursing sessions: Boppy nursing pillow

nursing pillow

Whether from the breast or bottle, it can feel like feeding baby is your full-time job right now. Make it less of a workout with backup from a nursing pillow, which can take on a second-life as a support for your sitting baby in just a few short months.

$39.99

To start your bath-time routine: The First Years newborn-to-toddler tub

infant tub

Bath time is an important element in most nighttime routines—starting from the very first days! Focus more on the hands-on bonding without worrying your baby will slip and slide around a great big tub with a bath that is just their size.

$18.99

To celebrate baby’s first milestone: Cloud Island muslin blanket and frame set

milestone blanket

One month of life is a big milestone, both for your baby and you! Documenting how quickly your baby is growing each of these early months is a gift you will love looking back on for the rest of your life.

$21.99

To help with postpartum recovery: Frida Mom recovery kit

frida mom postpartum

Labor and delivery is a major event, mama—and our bodies are firmly still in recovery mode at the 1-month mark. If anything, life is probably only speeding up right now, so be sure to take care of yourself.

$49.99

To conquer early morning wake-up calls: Stars Above robe

stars above robe

Chances are that your baby has taken the place of an alarm clock. When the wake-up call comes too early, it helps brighten the morning a bit by having a comfy and cute robe to slip on.

$29.99

To get some letdown backup: Up&Up nursing pads

nursing pads

As you may have learned by now, breastmilk doesn't only flow on demand. Should you decide breastfeeding is your path, nursing pads will give you the protection you probably didn't anticipate you needed so you don't leak through a shirt. (Don't worry: This will ease as your supply is established!)

$7.56

To hydrate: Simple Modern pink water bottle

water bottle

It is always a good idea to drink more water—but especially now! Make it easier on yourself with a water bottle you actually like carrying around. Bonus points for being able to open it up for a drink with just one hand.

$19.99

To snack one-handed: Good & Gather snack bars

Good and Gather

You know when the baby last ate. But, what about you, mama? Keep some tasty nutrition bars on hand to simplify snacking when time and free hands are limited commodities.

$4.29

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

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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