Birth stories come in all forms. And while it’s always fascinating to find out how that miraculous moment transpires for new mamas, that small window right before the big day can be just as fascinating. The road to labor. Whether you’re of the mama set that’s “ready to get this baby out” before the due date is within reach, or at the end of your “ this baby has decided to take permanent residency in the womb until college” rope, you may find yourself wondering how to induce labor at one point or another. The “expert” advice you’ll get from everyone and their mother for inducing labor includes everything from long walks to sex to acupuncture to even castor oil. Gulp. And while all those are worth a try (except maybe the castor oil), our favorite advice to shell out? EATS. But not just any eats. The best eats around town. We recently took one of our favorite (and hungry) pregnant mamas to follow on instagram, Adriana Aldridge, along for a pregnancy food tour in a 2017 Ford Escape. We hit 3 different NYC food spots in 3 different boroughs to taste test some famous dishes we’ve heard so much about that just so happen to be labor inducing as well. Equipped with cool features like auto-maneuver, which obviously came in handy when parallel parking on NYC streets, in the new Escape (and some big appetites on team Well Rounded) we found 3 of the best spots for labor-inducing food around. We’re super confident you’ll want to eat them over and over again until baby arrives. And who are we kidding? Way after too. Check ‘em out. Eggplant Stop: Mike’s Deli Where: 2344 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY Labor Inducing Food: Eggplant Parmesan Why: This Italian-American classic is layered to perfection, the cheese it toasted in just the right spots and oozes mozzarella goodness with every forkful you take. It’s the eggplant that will get the labor juices going though. Insider Secret: The owner of Mike’s Deli, David Greco, loves pregnant women! No really, he told us. Touch your belly and push it out to get a little extra love with your food. Spicy Stop: SriPraPhai Where: 64-13 39th Ave, Woodside, NY Labor Inducing Food: Drunken Noodles and Green Curry Why: If you can handle the heat, this is the place you’ll want to end up. The simple composition of noodles, meat, basil and a punch of spice is the perfect food to satisfy your taste buds and get that baby moving. Insider Secret: While we know Queens is the place to go for authentic eats, we know it can sound intimidating to others. It’s a quick ride off the 7 from midtown and if you choose to drive, there’s sweet parking nearby. Pineapple Stop: Summers Where: 155 S 4th St, Williamsburg, NY Labor Inducing Food: Pineapple Juice Why: No matter what time of year, stepping into Summers makes us feel like we’re on a mini vacation. Especially when getting a fresh juice blended right before your very eyes. Order the Pineapple to show baby the exit route and make sure to get one of their egg sandwiches (one of the best in the city) or a delicious corn flake blueberry muffin by Ovenly on the side. Photography by Lauren Crew. *Adriana was not full term and only did a tasting of each of the dishes the day we photographed this story so (thankfully) did not go into labor after this day! *This post was sponsored by Ford.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.
As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.
Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.
1. Use room temperature water
The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.
2. Buy online to save shopping time
You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.
3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles
The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?
4. Divide serving sizes for outings
Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.
5. Memorize the mental math
Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.
6. Warm up chilled formula with water
If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.
This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
Spoiler alert: It doesn't have to be daily.
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?