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How the Moon Affects Your Cycle

And how you can use it to your benefit.

How the Moon Affects Your Cycle

Before electricity, we noticed the Moon and her powers more easily. Our circadian rhythms used to be more connected to the Earth’s natural days and nights, and so were our menstrual cycles. The Moon affects our cycles for two reasons. One is because of the way we are affected by light and circadian rhythms. The other has to do with gravity. The Moon pulls our Oceans to her with the tides; and since our bodies are made primarily of water, she pulls on our blood as well.

If a woman wants to balance out a wonky cycle or just connect to her rhythm more, she can use lunaception, a kind of light therapy that was taught by Louise Lacey. According to Lacey, women, whose cycles have traditionally been synchronized with the moon, should menstruate with the new moon and ovulate when the moon is full; and those who sync back with the phases of the Moon end up optimizing their reproductive health. To do so, a woman should sleep in complete darkness for the first 14 days of her cycle. When she ovulates or when the Moon is full (around the 14th day), she should turn on a dim light for three days before going back to darkness until her next period begins. Keeping track of her cycle on a lunar calendar and Moon gazing can also aid in slowly syncing up with the Moon.

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Using this strategy can help regulate your cycle and can thus help you conceive. With the classic example of bleeding on the New Moon and ovulating on the Full Moon, getting pregnant is believed to be easier in the few days leading up to when the Moon is brightest. Though of course, many women bleed on the full Moon, and all women have slightly different cycles.

For those who already are pregnant, you’ll go through 10 Moon cycles during gestation alone, and knowing about them can be beneficial too. That’s because Moon cycles, which last for approximately 28 days, can affect your pregnancy, your birth and even your little one’s personality. Learning about what the Moon is up to around your due or if you were born on a special Moon time can teach you a whole lot about yourself. After all, just like the rest of an astrological birth chart, your Moon phase is imprinted in you on an energetic level. Even though we are all destined to experience lots of different lessons in this life, the lessons of our astrological birth chart are what most of us will really focus on working with this time around.

Here is how the Moon can affect your cycle, and how you can harness its power for your benefit.

New Moon.

Just as a crowded chalkboard can be erased for a fresh start, so the Moon goes black each month. This allows us to see the stars, the big picture. Give yourself a fresh start each New Moon by taking some time to rest and let go of the last month. Maybe take a bath or write in your journal. Or just take time to watch a movie or sleep. Once you feel grounded, then you can set new intentions for the coming Moon. The intentions can be physical, spiritual, anything you like. For example a new to-do or priority list, starting a new book or practice, or trying to cultivate more compassion for others. The important thing is to wipe the chalkboard of your life clean with some time out, and figure out what you want to write and draw on it next. This is the most natural time to have your period.

Waxing Moon.

The Moon is slowing getting brighter and brighter. This is the time to really focus and work hard on your intention. This aligns with the energy of the follicular phase of our cycle. Your body is working hard on getting an egg ready! Your egg is growing and getting swollen, ready to be released.

Full Moon.

The Moon is full for more than just one night. I often feel the Full or New Moon a few days in advance and after as well. The more you connect to lunar cycles, you will recognize this in your own life as well. The Full Moon is a great time to find the peaks in your life. It’s a time for having fun, ovulation, big business meetings and performances, or making a romantic connection. It’s like the cork popping from a champagne bottle and your egg releasing into your fallopian tube! Once and awhile a Full Moon can feel so powerful that instead of engaging with the energy, it can also be nice to rest and take it easy. Often our baby’s will stay up late being fussy or people will be out late and driving drunk, etc. on a crazy Full Moon! So do the big things but also be careful. Listen to what your body and spirit need and how each Moon feels.

Waning Moon.

The time of fullness has passed and the Moon is slowly shedding her light again. Here we can start to incorporate more passivity. Let the chips fall and see some of your work come to fruition. Go with the flow. The luteal phase of our cycle here either releases an unfertilized egg or starts setting things up for pregnancy.

New Moon.

Take a deep breath. Start again.

Rebecca McKeever is a Mama, Reiki Master, & Doula. She loves to dance, take pictures of flowers, study the Cosmos, and meditate on Universal connection. ~ Find her on insta: @wisdombird or www.Doula-NYC.com

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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