You requested time off, booked your flight, reserved the hotel room, and planned your days (aka delegate diaper duties to dad, and veg out on a lounger with a cocktail in hand). But there’s still one more thing you have to do: pack. When baby is tagging along, packing is arguably one of the most stressful aspects of traveling. The last thing you want is to schlep a truckload of baby gear through the airport only to realize he doesn’t need most of it. So how do you elevate your commute from everyday to vacay? Pack light. Literally. And guess what: “big” and “light” are no longer mutually exclusive. Case and point: with these 7 lightweight travel baby gear picks, you’ll have all of baby’s essentials for less than 30 pounds. BABYZEN YOYO+ - 14.5 pounds Need a stroller that can collapse into luggage-size dimensions? You've got to check out Babyzen Yoyo+. Here's why: I was recently strolling towards the plane, and a flight attendant was getting ready to hand me a gate check tag. I swore our stroller could fit in the overhead bin, and proudly proceeded to demonstrate. Three clicks and 10 seconds later, our flight attendant waved us through, looking somewhat disappointed that he didn’t catch me in a lie. It’s true: the Yoyo+ does convert in flash, can be carried like a shoulder bag, and follow you on board as a carry-on luggage. Even better? You no longer have to wait for slow gate check attendants. $645, buy here. INGLESINA FAST TABLE CHAIR - 4.2 pounds Restaurant high chairs are not always easy to come by, and you never know how often they're wiped clean. Before heading to Grandma’s summer house (or to a secluded island in the Pacific) invest in baby's very own mobile throne. With Inglesina’s Fast table chair, your little one can sit with the rest of the family, right at the table -- any table. No lap necessary. It’s easy to transport, weighs only 4.2 pounds, and collapses into 3.5-inch thick. It also comes with a self-contained carry bag that can lay flat in a suitcase. If you live in a tight space, this travel chair also serves as a great everyday substitute for a bulky regular high chair. $69.99, buy here. BOBA AIR - 0.7 pounds Being a mom means being a multitasking marvel. Fixing dinner, folding laundry and feeding baby all at once? Not a problem. But navigating a busy airport with a baby in tow? Tricky business. The hand-free mobility of a baby carrier will help you ready yourself for the security checkpoint, get settled on the plane and so much more. The Boba Air is as light as a feather, but strong and supportive, plus tidily folds into its own storage bag to throw in your diaper bag or carry-on. $64.99, buy here. PHIL&TEDS TRAVELLER - 7 pounds Hotel cribs are great to lighten up your (travel) load, but they may not meet today’s safety standards, and some hotels substitute fitted sheets with folded full-sized bedding -- a serious suffocation hazard to a sleeping infant. Play it safe with a portable crib. Weighing in at a mere 7 pounds, the Traveller is lighter than your baby, and its inflatable mattress is cushy and firm all at once. It's compact enough to slip into a suitcase, an overhead compartment or a backpack. What’s more, (de)constructing the Phil&Teds travel cot takes a jiffy. $199.99, buy here. PUJ FLYTE TUB - 1.2 pounds Bathing baby on the go can be a big slippery-slope deed. Hotels don’t always have bathtubs, and even if they do, infants need a lot of support to keep themselves from flailing and sliding. With Puj Flyte, giving that cute baby pudge a quick touch-up has never been easier, even in a hotel room. Like the original, this collapsible tub can fit in most standard countertop and pedestal sinks, and cradles baby in a stable and comfy position during bath time. The Flyte is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, and it folds flat for travel. $34.99, buy here. CRANE TRAVEL HUMIDIFIER - 0.4 pounds Getting sick while traveling is a real bummer, and it’s especially tough on little kids. With Crane’s travel humidifier, you can bring a little relief wherever you go without adding heft to your load. The machine’s ultrasonic cool mist combats dryness and cold and flu symptoms, keeping your wee one as comfortable as possible to help him get a good night’s sleep. The humidifier comes with a carrying bag, a portable tank (remember to empty it out before getting to the TSA checkpoint), and a power adapter that works with both power outlets or USB ports. $29.99, buy here. BOKEN ESSENTIALS EVERY DAY BAG - 0.8 pounds Let us warn you now: your travel experience will never be perfect. But a great diaper bag that is lightweight and functional will undoubtedly make your airport commute a tiny bit better. The Boken everyday bag is deceptively big and will store baby’s entire life… Well, maybe not, but it will pack everything he needs for an entire day. It’s got a total of 6 pockets, big and small, a large diaper pad, and detachable messenger and backpack straps. When you are done using it, crumple it up into an inner zip pouch for easy storage and traveling. Did we mention that this wipeable bag is only 0.8 pounds? $68, buy here.
Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis is the managing editor at Lucie's List, an online guide to pregnancy and parenting. She is dedicated to supporting women as they enter motherhood by producing useful and engaging content — something that she strove to do as the managing editor of Well Rounded (a pregnancy and mom community acquired by Motherly). Originally from Paris, France, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons. When she's not working, she's usually chasing after kiddos, falling down the social media rabbit hole, or enjoying a glass of Sancerre while binge-watching Netflix.
Is there anything cuter than adorable hairstyles on kids? We love when little ones look put together and a chic hairstyle is the icing on a cake.Mamas have upped their game and are delivering trendy, inspo-worthy looks beyond basic ponytails.
We get that creating no-fuss hairstyles (preferably ones that don't require toddlers sitting more than 10 minutes) isn't exactly stress-free and shelling out cash for a stylist isn't something we'll spring for. But we're all about easy styles that we can practically create with our eyes closed. Say hello to getting out the door faster! To be fair, there are a few here that are a tad complicated, so you'll want to screenshot them and share with your mama friend who is a master stylist.
To help you nail the best kid hairstyles, we've compiled a list of 41 cool hairstyles for little ones from Instagram:
This classic style never gets old. If you're concerned about it being too light, loosen it up a bit by adding volume at the roots.
Add a touch of style to a traditional braid.
When rushing and don't have time, just throw up their hair in a top bun.
Side braided ponytail
After a few hours on the playground, braids tend to end up on the side of their heads, so why not create it into a style?
We're not going to front—cornrows are tough to create. But if you can get it, it's a style that will last weeks. Need help? Check out these YouTube videos.
To add a little more pizazz to a regular braid, braid hair on the side and loosen it a bit at the root.
A bun is probably the easier hairstyle a mama can create, but throw in a dash of style by adding two more bun. Create the look by securing buns from the top of the head to the nape of the neck.
Bun + bows
Add a bow for instant fun.
When the Coronavirus (COVID-19) started making headlines in early 2020 the expert advice was simple: Don't panic.
This week the CDC warned that the outbreaks of the virus will very likely happen in the United States, but it's important to know that officials still don't want parents to panic, they just want us to be prepared.
"We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad," the Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, told reporters during a news briefing Tuesday. "It's not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen," Dr. Messonnier said.
It is totally normal to read this and be concerned mama, but there are several things we need to unpack before we let our anxiety overwhelm us.
Here is what you need to know about the Coronavirus response in the United States:
Top doctors are preparing for this
As the virus has spread rapidly overseas America's top doctors have been monitoring the situation. In not quite two months' time 80,000 people have contracted the illness and fewer than 3,000 of those people have died.
In the U.S., 53 cases have been confirmed (most of those were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Japan or people who caught the virus while traveling overseas). There have only been two cases of person-to-person transmission on U.S. soil, according to the CDC.
The CDC has more than 1,000 professionals working on the response to this virus, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, epidemiologists, veterinarians, laboratorians, communicators, data scientists and modelers.
"CDC staff members are working with state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments and other public health authorities to assist with case identification, contact tracing, evaluation of persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19, and medical management of cases; and with academic partners to understand the virulence, risk for transmission, and other characteristics of this novel virus," the agency states on its website.
And while there have been delays in implementing Coronavirus testing measures in the Unites States, experts are working to resolve issues and make testing more efficient. As the New York Times reports, the health and human services secretary "told a Senate panel that federal and local health departments will need as many as 300 million masks for health care workers."
In other words, the experts in the United States are preparing to fight this virus and they want the American public to be prepared, too.
This could impact school, work and daily life
That's why the CDC is telling us to get ready, not to cause panic or anxiety but just to set the expectation that life could be disrupted by this virus. "Now is the time for businesses, hospitals, communities, schools and everyday people to begin preparing," Dr. Messonnier said Tuesday.
She says schools may have to close or otherwise adjust to an outbreak and students may have to start doing tele-schooling online. She also wants businesses to start preparing to hold meetings remotely rather than in-person and to encourage telecommuting during any outbreak. Community activities like sports and church may also have to be canceled or modified.
As the New York Times reports, "Scientists don't know who is most susceptible to the new coronavirus. Children seem less likely to be infected. Middle-aged men seem to have been disproportionately infected, according to some studies."
This could be really disruptive for families
It is true that the scenario Messonnnier is outlining could be really disruptive for families. No one wants this to happen, but if it does have to happen it's a good thing we are getting the heads up.
Here are some steps you can take to prepare for possible interruptions to daily life:
- Talk to your workplace about any plans it has for operations during an outbreak.
- Speak to your child's school or childcare provider about how it plans to operate in a worst-case scenario.
- Ask your doctor for an extra prescription of any medications your family needs, just in case an outbreak makes going to the pharmacy not possible.
Here's how to protect yourself + your family from the Coronavirus
The CDC does not recommend that we all go buy face masks. Face masks are only recommended for people "who show symptoms of COVID-19...[and] health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility)."
Instead, here's what we can all do to avoid the illness, according to the CDC:
- "Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe."
We know this is serious and kind of scary, mama. But please, don't panic. Know that pandemic experts are working to keep your family safe. According to the CDC, the "National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators are working on development of candidate vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19."
On Tuesday, President Trump said the coronavirus is "very well under control in our country" and "is going to go away." The health experts who work for the government are doing everything they can to prove the President right, but they do want the public to be ready in case it doesn't go away as fast as he (and all of us) would like.
For nine months, your mother was all you knew.
Before I held you in my arms, your mother held you and never let you go.
Before I sacrificed time for you, your mother gladly sacrificed her body.
Before I consoled you when you were upset, your mother consoled you with just the beat of her heart.
Before I comforted you when you were restless, your mother comforted you with just the sound of her voice.
Before I could do anything for you, your mother gave everything for you.
Your mother is the reason I hold you today.
Before you were even a twinkle in my eye, you were in your mother's heart. Your life, your safety, and your very existence depended on her. Something I'll never be able to repay.
It will take a long time for you to understand the weight, the depth and the immeasurability of your mother's love for you. But someday, when you have children of your own, you will understand what I now see so clearly.
So, I'll hold you tight. But I'll hold your mother tighter because my love for you grows the more I understand the measure of a mother's love.
This essay was previously published here.
What would bath time be without rubber duckies? Probably not as much fun—but also a whole lot cleaner, according to a study published in the journal Biofilms and Microbiomes.
That's because it turns out those squeaky toys are far from squeaky clean thanks to “potentially pathogenic bacteria" in four out of the five bath toys examined by researchers.
For the study, Swiss and American researchers looked at the biofilm communities inside 19 bath toys collected from random households as well as six toys used in controlled clean or dirty water conditions. They found that all of the examined bath toys “had dense and slimy biofilm" on their inner surfaces. What's more, 56% of the real-use toys and all of the dirty-water toys had fungi build up. ?
Although the researchers note exposure to bacteria and fungi may have some benefits, the strong existence of grime in bath toys is still concerning. They note, “Squeezing water with chunks of biofilm into their faces (which is not unexpected behavior for these users) may result in eye, ear, wound or even gastro-intestinal tract infections."
Besides tossing all your bath toys, what can parents do?
The researchers say more experimental work is needed. But, for starters, it doesn't hurt to remove water from the toys after usage or give them a good, regular dunk in boiling water. The researchers also said they would like to see more regulations on the polymeric materials used for many bath toys.
There is, however, one simple solution—it just comes at the cost of rubber duckie's squeak. “In fact, the easiest way to prevent children from being exposed to bath toy biofilms is to simply close the hole," the researchers say of toys like this water-tight duck. “But where is the fun in that?"
[A version of this post originally appeared April 13, 2018. It has been updated.]