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Need to Know: heymama

The ladies behind heymama give us 6 reasons to shop “mom-owned” businesses while pregnant.

Need to Know: heymama

We are truly amazed by how many moms and moms-to-be we meet that are simultaneously bringing up baby AND a small business (or sometimes, a big business). As entrepreneurial moms ourselves, there is nothing more motivating and inspiring than seeing other entrepreneurial moms that are hustling...and kicking ass. And now that heymama is here we know where to find them. The site’s become a regular read, and we’re slightly addicted to Hey Mama’s Instagram feed, with its heartfelt stories of enterprising moms around the world.

We recently caught up with heymama founders Katya Libin (mom to Liliana, 4) and Amri Kibbler (mom to Mari, 4, and another little girl on the way!) and found out what inspires them, how they unwind, and what 6 “mom-owned” businesses every pregnant gal should know about right now.

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Why do you think it’s so important to build your mom community as a new mom?

Amri: It can be really scary and lonely to become a mom, there are so many things that you need answers to, things that only another mom can help you through. Just feeling like you’re not alone can make all the difference.

Who's a hey mama?

Amri: Our members are entrepreneurs, businesswomen, stylists, content creators, bloggers, editors, writers and all kinds of creative women. When it comes to their style of parenting, it really runs the gamut: we have moms who are into attachment parenting, babywearing, home-schooling, breastfeeding, public schools, those that have nannies or rely on stay-at-home dads and more. We support anything that feels right to you has a mother. We are non-judgmental parents, and really want to create a support system for women that want to explore their passions and dreams outside of motherhood while being parents.

How do you divide and conquer on the day to day?

Amri: We both weigh in on pretty much everything. Katya takes the lead on the agency portion of heymama and I handle more of the editorial front.

How does being moms influence your daily work?

Amri: From a logistic perspective… it takes a lot of organizing. When you’re a mom, you have to look ahead and plan everything out. Once you get the hang of that, it’s much easier to fit everything in. From a creative perspective, my daughter inspires me all the time. I love doing crafts and cooking and have so much fun sharing these activities with Mari. Cooking is such a great way to teach skills like math as well as practice working together. They open up your creativity in away you many have forgotten. You can be silly and really explore your artistic side.

When the workday's over and the kids are finally asleep, how do you spend your "me" time?

Amri: Uh, ok you got me! At the moment I really haven’t been making much “me time”! When Mari is asleep, it’s back to emails. I do try to squeeze in frequent manicures and some early morning Pilates once a week. That’s what happens when you start a business, get pregnant, and move all around the same time. Totally guilty, but I’m going to do some meditation tonight before bed now that you called me out. Katya has some really great positive affirmations she listens to!

Katya: I love to go to the gym after a long day--it helps me destress and gives me “me time.” When not at the gym, NYC has no shortage of incredible restaurants to catch up with old friends. I’m also obsessed with Glam & Go, a membership service for blow outs.

Give us 6 mom-owned businesses that every pregnant gal needs to know about.

1. Tubby Todd. Their products are not only all-natural, but smell delicious. I bought them for Mari but have been using them myself while pregnant. The lotion is moisturizing and not sticky. The package in super cute and my daughter loves it.

2. HATCH Collection. The best fashion-forward pieces for everyday! I’ve been living in the jumpsuits, dresses and sweaters. The pieces feel both like versatile basic but also unique, and transition from maternity to the rest of your busy life with baby.

3. Mitera Collection. This collection of chic modern dresses each contains invisible zippers that make breast-feeding a snap. It’s really hard to find office, meeting, and event appropriate breastfeeding friendly outfits. These are so beautiful you’ll wear them way past the time you and your babe have finished breastfeeding.

4. Natti Natti. The collection is designed by an artistic husband and wife duo that owned and operated an art gallery for five years in Chelsea. The modern yet whimsical Brooklyn meets Sweden line of organic baby blankets, pillows, and toddler bedding are made in small batches, are super soft, and very special.

5. Kid and Coe. This site is a must for all families who love to travel! You can rent gorgeous family centric homes all around the globe. They come stocked with essentials like high chairs, cribs, and toys. It’s so much more comfortable to have a kitchen prep meals for little ones and a separate bedroom so you can get some rest.

6. DockATot. is a multi-functional lounging, playing, resting, snuggling station for your baby. It’s a comfortable and safe place to set your new baby while you take care of mama and perfect if you practice co-sleeping.

Photography by Amy Frances.

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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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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