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How to Exercise with Babies

Yoga expert Kristin McGee shares her balancing act.

How to Exercise with Babies

*We’ve partnered with Skip Hop to share some mama fitspiration. Babies sure are cute, but they can wreak havoc on your fitness routine. Even the fittest moms would admit that working out sometimes takes a back seat to the tiny growing human in their lives. That doesn’t mean you have to quit working out when you become a mom. But it does mean you have to evolve what fitness looks like. And maybe even involve your baby. Since being an active mom is the best way to model active behavior for your baby, we’ve partnered with Skip Hop to share some mama “fitspiration.” Below, NYC yoga & pilates expert Kristin McGee shows off her moves while her 11-month-old twins Robert and William show off their moves in the new Skip Hop Explore & More Jumpscape Foldaway Jumper. What's your fitness routine been like since having the twins? My fitness routine has definitely changed since the twins were born! I have much more limited time, so I make sure to incorporate them in to my workouts, or get creative and make my workout around whatever toys they’re playing with or whatever we’re all doing together. I also have to schedule a quick workout for myself a few times a week. If I don't add it to my schedule and just do it, it’s impossible to make it happen. Why is it so important to you to keep up a fitness routine, both physically and emotionally? I am a much better mother and all around person when I take care of myself. Yoga, pilates and working out feed my body, mind and spirit. I have more energy and a much better attitude. Even if I get just 5-10 minutes of chair yoga in, I feel 100% better. What are some of the things you do on your own, and some you do together with the babies? I love to do a yoga flow or my own pilates workout when I’m on my own. If the babies are with me, I do more of a mommy and me style of yoga. I might put the babies on my mat or pick one up in in a Warrior 1, for instance. When it comes to pilates, I can hold them during my workout or have one of them on my belly or thighs when I do ab work or bridges. There’s nothing better than doing strength moves while holding them! There’s also plenty you can do with babies outdoors, from just playing in the park to doing walking lunges when the babies are in the stroller. Why do you think it's so important to model a healthy lifestyle for them, even at such a young age? I think it's extremely important for all of my boys to see how exercise does so much for them. When they move with me, it's instilling and active lifestyle in them from a very young age. My 4-year-old son Timothy is so proud to show me his yoga poses or race me to school. My twins light up when I roll out my yoga mat. Children and babies are naturally active and love to move so it's great to make sure they keep that with them for the rest of their life. How does the winter weather affect your fitness routine with the babies? It's harder to go run outside and bring balls to the playground. But we have indoor gyms and can do indoor dance parties and yoga. I also have big bunting bags for the stroller so we get outside no matter how cold it is. How does the right baby gear make all the difference as an active mama? The right baby gear can make a huge difference! It’s great to have some place to put the kids, like Skip Hop’s Explore & More Jumpscape Foldaway Jumper, so they can entertain themselves when I do my own quick workout. If there's one thing you MUST make time for each week for your selfcare, what is it? YOGA and meditation, for sure. What would you tell a new mom who is trying to get active when she's got a new baby at home? what's your best advice? Do your workout or exercise before you clean the house! I know it's so tempting to put your baby down and start doing work....but you will feel so much better if you do your work out first. Don't check email, don't do the dishes nothing...just move your body! Or if you are going to clean, incorporate workout moves while you do it. Another tip? Enlist as much help as you can. Tell your husband you have a dance class or running date with a friend every Saturday am and let him be with the baby. Find a place or center or gym that has a good reliable kids care that you can take your baby to when you do your yoga or Pilates class. And of course, remember to be good to yourself and pamper yourself. Exercise gives you feel good endorphins to do what you need to do! Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids for Well Rounded.  

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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.

$30

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!

$75

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.

$40

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.

$120

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.

$30

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.

$100

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.

$40

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.

$121

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.

$100

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.

$45

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.

$179

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.

$100

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.

$33

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.

$88

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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 www.comfortsforbaby.com 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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