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How to Commute with a Baby

I'm a commuter mom. I travel 45 minutes every day to and from work praying for no accidents/traffic/severe weather/or changes. And I do this commute with my tiny children. Trust me, it is no easy feat. In fact, it takes some pretty serious skill to learn to commute with your baby in tow. One might even call it a superpower.

Whether you commute by train, car, bus or even just walk, here’s how to deal with your baby...and still get to work on time.

0-3 Months: Enjoy your maternity leave, but get ready. (Hopefully it lasts this long. You deserve it.) Who cares about your commute yet? You do, because soon you'll have this tiny baby for an extended period of time and you'll also be going to work -- stressful! Don't fret, instead prep! Get a few preventative items like a car seat mirror if you’re a driver, and many extra pacifiers. Try a leisurely practice run. Then try it out during commuting hours. You'll likely realize you’ll need to add plenty of extra time to your morning commute.

4-5 months: A rocky start. The beginning of your new commute may be rough. You're not alone in feeling that major loss the first time you drop off your baby. You'll look back at the empty spot in your car or stroller and do a choked-up double take that the familiar little head is not there. It’s normal.

For the beginning months of your commute, try to make adjustments with your baby so that the commute coexists with a natural sleep time. Although this may seem like a huge feat because your baby may not be '”scheduled,” you'll quickly see the benefits of waking up and feeding your baby 20 minutes earlier so he/she passes out while driving!

It’s also normal to stop while commuting to “check on” that sleeping baby because you're certain something is wrong if he/she is silent for this long. Also normal: stopping on the commute because he/she has never cried this much for this long. Remember: safety first, drivers! We know a crying baby can be distracting, but don't turn around while you're driving. Stop as many times as you need to feel comfortable. It will get easier.

6-9 months: Get ready for toys. You'll need toys for your daycare and toys for your home; you'll also need tons of toys for your commute. Good toys at this point would be anything you are comfortable with your baby having in his/her mouth. My superpower suggestions? Teething books and rings hanging from the car seat or stroller with teething toys attached. Warning: if your child gets caught in a ring, that could cause serious commuter screaming and mommy sweating. But probably no other harm.

10-12 months: Ambiance matters. Do you have particular music that you listen to or have from a music class you attend? Do you sing to your child regularly? Is your child on any more of a routine at this point? The more you can naturally reflect your child's typical ambiance, the easier your commute will be. And double down on those teething toys… your baby can now throw and kick them so plant several in her carseat to help prevent meltdowns.

13-18 months: It's lovey time. Whatever your child is lovey-ing at home NEEDS to be easily accessible on your commute. Maybe it’s a life-sized stuffed animal, a sweet blankie or just her thumb -- in which case, don’t forget to take off her glove or mitten! Always bear in mind the previous months’ lists too.

1.5-2.5 yrs: Surprise! The element of surprise will take over the time that used to be used as a commuting nap. Maybe it's a new sheet of stickers or a new stuffed animal, or a new car/train/truck, or another lovey, or a book, or a sibling. Look, baby! A new present! Just for you! The choices are endless and can be cheap and ordinary.

You’re also entering potty training stage which could require a traveling potty (oh the joys) and many, many stops along the way. Possibly to make pee pee in the traveling potty in the trunk of your car. Or next to that grown man that's making pee pee on the subway platform. But oh, commuting mom, that’s a whole nother article.

Good luck, and may you find your own commuting superpowers quickly and easily.

Image via Estella, maker of that adorable NYC Train Baby Pillow. Go buy it here!

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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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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