Maclaren Mark II Recline

Buying a stroller may be one of the most important purchases an urban parent can make. After all, your stroller is guaranteed a daily workout, and your city commutes are likely to involve narrow halls, busy roads and stairs (lots of stairs). So you want your little one’s set of wheels to be up to the challenge -- that means, light, easy to handle and sturdy. Since summer is finally upon us and we know you’ll be taking your babe all around town, we are partnering with our friends at Maclaren to give away their latest edition of the Mark II.

The Mark II has been around for generations and is a favorite among busy, city parents. That’s because it offers the comfort and convenience you need to handle the hustle and bustle of big cities like a boss. At only 7.3 pounds, this stroller remains the lightest on the market. Even with a hefty baby in it, you’ll have no problem carrying it up and down the subway stairs; and with its easy one-hand fold, collapsing it every time you get on the bus or in a cab will be a piece of cake.

The iconic umbrella pram comes with a myriad of features -- from antimicrobial handles to a convenient carry strap to a 5-point safety harness to a removable seat for easy wash. Everything about it will make both you and baby feel at ease as you’re running errands or commuting to your next location. But what we love most about the Mark II’s latest model is its new recline function, which makes for an comfier ride for your little one.

Worrying about cramming your small city apartment with yet another piece of baby gear to store away? Well… Don’t! The Mark II has a thin, compact fold and can be stowed in the tightest of spots. And if you’ve really run out of storage space (we get it, babies come with a whole lot of stuff), buy a couple of hooks and hang it behind one of your closet doors.

Ready to stroll into summer, feeling as light as a feather? Enter below for a chance to win the 2017 Mark II Recline stroller (worth $200!).

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:

Keep reading Show less

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.


Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.


Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.


Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.


BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play