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*In celebration of World Sleep Day, we've partnered with SNOO to help you get a little more sleep.

I was determined to be the model parent when my daughter was born. I was going to do everything right, and that meant no sleeping in Mommy’s bed. I bought everything I could get my hands on—when she was born I had a bassinet, a travel bassinet, a cosleeper, a crib and a pack n’ play. From day one, though, she slept in my bed. I couldn’t figure out any other way to get some rest. She stayed there (somewhat against my will) until 18 months old, when she fell out of bed. We started sleep training that day, and it made a huge difference. My husband and I asked each other, “Could we have done this sooner?”

I loved cosleeping with my daughter, but I love having my bed back now. My husband and I were curious to know whether or not we could start creating good sleep habits with baby number two (somewhere in the future) even sooner. So we reached out to Dr. Harvey Karp and the team at Happiest Baby to learn more about the science behind the SNOO, and how families can create good sleep habits starting from day one.

What age is best for families to begin sleep training and why?

I recommend training your baby to sleep from Day 1—but I’m not talking about cry it out, which is what comes to mind when most parents think of sleep training. Can you make a baby cry so much she gives up any hope that you will answer her cries? Yes. But that never feels right for a parent…and certainly not to a child. It is much better to train an infant to be a better sleeper using the natural cues that worked so well to keep her soothed before she was born.

I recommend you provide her with these womb sensations: snug holding, rumbly sound and gentle motion. To do that you want to swaddle your baby well, use a white noise CD or app and rock your baby in your arms, or a fully flat swing (the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies not sleep upright, like in a swing, car seat or other little baby device).

In fact, to keep babies safe – and help boost their sleep – I worked with some of the best engineers and designers in the world to create SNOO, a smart sleeper that improves sleep by giving babies the soothing rhythms of the womb all night long. It also responds automatically to a baby’s crying with louder shushing and tiny bouncy jiggles – just like an experienced grandma or night nurse – to turn on a baby’s calming reflex and lull the baby back to sleep. These familiar sensations soothe babies, and as the nights go on, they get practice falling asleep on their own, also known as self-soothing. (Happily, most SNOO babies sleep well automatically and don’t need traditional “sleep training.”)

Do you ever recommend the “cry it out” method?

I have used cry it out with some desperate families of older infants who urgently need sleep. I consider it a last resort. The timing is usually around 3 or 4 months when many babies have a sleep regression—that often also lines up with the end maternity/parental leave, when moms and dads can’t function at work if they don’t get more rest. If you decide to sleep train, there are a few things to make it go a bit easier. First, give your baby plenty of outdoor time. Fresh air and sunlight exposure will help your little one recognize the difference between day and night. Try a dream feed around 11 pm or midnight, to help your baby sleep in longer stretches. Darken the house and turn on white noise an hour before bedtime. I give step by step instructions on sleep training in The Happiest Baby Guide to Sleep: Birth to 5 years.

What are some of the bad sleep habits parents start early that they just can't recover from?

Babies are learning all the time, so they can definitely learn “bad habits,” but the good news is that they can unlearn them, too. By bad habits, I mean learning that they always get rocked to sleep or nursed to sleep. In truth, rocking your sleeping baby in your arms or nursing your baby to sleep is one of the most beautiful things you ever do as a mom or dad. But if you do it every night, and then ease your sleeping baby into the bassinet, they become dependent on you to put them to sleep.

You can let your baby fall asleep in your arms and help her learn to be an independent sleeper with the wake and sleep method. It is simple and gentle and effective. After you rock your newborn to sleep, all you have to do is jostle her when you lay her down, so she wakes ever so slightly…and then falls asleep on her own. In those few seconds of wakefulness, your baby learns to self-soothe. The earlier you start—and the more consistent you are—the better it works.

There’s no way I can do “cry it out.” Anything gentler?

Ignoring your baby’s nighttime cries goes against every parental instinct we have. That’s why I recommend establishing healthy sleep habits early on…it’s easier on the baby, it’s easier on you. But if you’re hearing about these gentler methods too late and you feel you need to sleep train, I can tell you about 2 gentler options than going “Cold Turkey” – the most extreme sleep training you put your infant in bed, say “good-night,” and then leave, ignoring all cries until the morning.

You might consider a variation called longer-and-longer, or Ferberization, named for Dr. Richard Ferber who popularized the method in the ‘80s. The goal of this method is to teach your baby that you love her and care about her feelings, but that you’ve made a clear decision not to relent to her demands at bedtime. To do it, put your baby in bed, turn on the white noise, say “Night-night” and leave the room. Then if she persists in crying, you check on her, in increasing intervals (after 3 minutes, then 5, 10, 15, etc.) Each time say something sweet and loving, like “Night-night, night-night. I’ll kiss you in the morning light,” then leave.

For parents who want to avoid any bedtime crying, I recommend the Pick Up/Put Down method, also called the No-Tears Solution: It takes longer (30 to 90 minutes per night) and more days (4 to 14), but it can be very effective and less traumatic.

To do it, place your little one in the crib…but if she cries, pick her up and comfort her. Acknowledge her feelings in quiet tones: “I know, I know, honey. You say, ‘Mommy, pick me up now!’ It’s hard falling asleep, huh, sweet pea?” Once she calms, put her down again. If she cries, pick her up…and repeat this cycle over and over. Do as little rocking, patting, talking, or feeding as you can, to reduce her dependence on these more demanding cues.

*This post was sponsored by SNOO. Thinking about buying a SNOO? Sign up here and receive $125 off your purchase!

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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