Lifestyle

Second Baby Registry Essentials

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When Jessica and I first launched Well Rounded over 4 years ago, we were still knee deep in baby gear trying to figure out this whole mom-thing with love, style and as little breakdowns (from mom and baby) as possible. Oh, right, and did I mention we were trying to get our business off the ground? Through the years, we’ve seen many product evolutions and launches, including some that have made us tilt our heads with confusion. And while some of the gear may have changed, what has not changed is our appreciation for smart product design. Yes, of course, we love an adorable baby romper as much as the next gal, but it’s really the products that make our lives as moms easier that make us swoon.

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And now that I’m pregnant with my second baby 5 ½ years after my first was born (starting over much?), it’s all about the essentials: safe ingredients and materials; products that will give the illusion of extra hands; and for a New York City dweller like me, baby gear with small footprints and durability for inclement weather. Interestingly enough, some of the products are tried and true classics that I registered for during my first pregnancy. I hope this helps some of you new mamas out there, and for you seasoned mamas, what am I missing?

1. Baby Bjorn Bouncer Bliss. Remember what I said about a tried and true classic? The Baby Bjorn bouncer is one that still makes the top of my list. Its ergonomic design works with baby’s own movement to make it rock gently, and it’s compact enough to take from room to room when you need to shower, cook or need hands to fix booboos on your big kid. Bonus points for the luxe covers on the bouncer bliss being aesthetically grown-up friendly, washable and made with safe materials. $239, buy here.

2. Bloom Alma Papa. There’s something super sweet about the idea of siblings sharing a room. But before we get to the sweet part, there’s the whole “how are we going to fit 2 kids in one room?” part. Which is why the Bloom Alma Papa is just about the most sensible crib a modern urban parent could invest in. Even with one kid. It’s Euro size. No, not full American size and not a mini crib but this magical size not offered by other American companies that will last for up to 4 years. And all Bloom cribs are made with sustainable wood and low VOC finishes. $700, buy here.

3. Cybex Cloud Q. Cybex products always have a way of turning heads, but while the cool factor may be what gets your attention, it’s the pure dedication to safety and functionality that will keep it. Like with the Cloud Q infant rear facing car seat. They’ve combined telescopic linear side-impact protection with an 11-position height adjustable headrest and have topped it off with a travel system that allows for a full recline outside of the car. $349.95, buy here.

4. Little Unicorn Swaddles. One thing that has certainly changed since I had my last son is the amount of swaddles that have come out on the market! And while I’m excited to try one of the innovative swaddles out there that will basically swaddle baby for you, soft and simple 100 percent cotton swaddles will always have a place in my heart for their endless uses. You’ll definitely be seeing these gorgeous ones by Little Unicorn in my instagram feed! $38, buy here.

5. Leader Bag CO. I used to be a diaper bag hater. Refused to register for one, buy one and dedicated myself to making a basic backpack work. And while it’s totally doable there’s simply no need to since the whole diaper bag industry has gotten a facelift. And the folks over at Leader Bag Co. are leading (no pun intended) the pack. Their bags are durable, waterproof and dare we say chic! Gosh, we could be such moms sometimes. $249, buy here.

6. Ergo Adapt. Talk about a company where we’ve seen major evolutions! As a leader in babywearing, Ergo is always pushing the limits. Dedicated to the renowned comfort and ergonomic design for both mom and baby that I fell in love with on their original carrier, Ergo has made changes not only when it comes to fun fashions, but also on its functionality. The addition of the Ergo Adapt to their product line was one that as a former Ergo wearer made me flip. The Ergo Adapt allows you to wear your baby from 7 lbs up without an insert! And with all of the other great offerings like neck support for baby and padded shoulder pads for mom. $145, buy here.

7. Bugaboo Cameleon. If there is one thing that scarred me as a mom the first time around, it was getting stuck in uneven sidewalk cracks and snowy corners during the winter season! After much research and recommendations, the Bugaboo all-terrain stroller seems to be the best to handle any condition. Which is no surprise since this Dutch company prides themselves on being a mobility company first and foremost. With a simple addition of a comfort wheeled board the Cameleon is bound to become our home away from home. $1,149, buy here.

8. The First Forty Days. In a world where modern moms are getting out and about quicker and quicker with a newborn in a tow, I’m lucky enough to have an old fashioned mom who believes in the importance of staying close to home for the first 40 days. I’m looking forward to hunkering down with this book in between nursing, nap sessions and easing into the juggle of life with two. $13.57, buy here.

9. Honest Diapers. If we had to register for one thing it would probably be diapers, diapers and more diapers. Oh, and wipes. I love that honest uses safe ingredients, and you simply cannot beat the prints. $79.95/month, buy here.

10. Willow breast pump. I was lucky enough to be home to breastfeed my first son for the first year. And while I did pump especially in those first few months, it kind of… sucked. This time around, I do anticipate having to pump more, but the idea of having to find places to pump when we have a roving office on some days just seems stressful. The Willow on the hand does not. It looks simple, discreet (as a pump can be), and low maintenance. This is a huge an innovation for breastfeeding moms, and I’m happy it’s scheduled to come out right in time for my little ones arrival. Learn more here.

11. Bamboobies Disposable Breast Pads. One thing I did not anticipate the first time around was the amount of leakage that breastfeeding caused in those first few months. And while I was thankful to have a healthy supply after a rocky start, what I quickly realized that breast pads were not an option but a necessity. I love that these by Bamboobies are eco-friendly and made with a unique bamboo viscose top layer that is soft on the skin and naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial. $7.49, buy here.

12. Rose and Rex. As you can imagine we have our fair share of toys with a 5 ½ year old, but what’s one more when it’s this cute. A perfect addition to let baby know big brother welcomes him into their now room for two. $45, buy here.

13. Earth Mama Angel Baby Birth & Baby Kit. I love Earth Mama’s dedication to creating products made with safe, natural and organic ingredients. This birth & baby kit is a great starter kit for baby’s bath time routine and a great way to keep healing as a new mama. $62.26, buy here.

14. Polaroid Snap Touch Camera. Pictures will be taken! Thousands of them. But the truth is I’m terrible, I repeat terrible, at getting them printed!! I can’t wait to start snapping away with this awesome addition to the polaroid family: The Polaroid Snap Touch, which I know big brother will have fun using as well. $99.95, buy here.

15. Seamless. I can’t tell you how many times within those first few weeks of having a baby I’d look up and realize “Oh, crap, we didn’t eat dinner!” The blur of the newborn phase! We’ll gladly welcome and appreciate meals of any form, even gift Learn more here.

16. SNOO Smart Sleeper As most of my friends could tell you we didn't have the best luck in the sleep department with our first son. So now that 5 1 /2 years later we're all finally sleeping through the night we're admittedly a bit nervous about what baby #2's sleep habits will look like. Which is why the SNOO Smart Sleeper is rounding out my list. Built by Dr. Harvey Karp, renowned pediatrician and creator of the 5 S’s, the SNOO is said to help infants develop healthier sleep habits and helps parents learn to read their baby’s cues. A must for our fam. $1,160, Buy here.

Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids Photography or Well Rounded NY.

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Babywearing allows newborns to be held close to your body and mama to snuggle with their new bundle of joy—but that's just where the benefits begin. When you're toting your baby with the help of a specially-designed carrier, you're also given back the two hands normally reserved for rocking, cuddling and soothing your little one. That opens up a whole new world when it comes to getting things done—particularly for #mombosses who are masters of multitasking.

We asked four of our favorites about the biggest benefits of their productivity hack of choice (babywearing) and how they got it all done using their carrier of choice, BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Free.

It helps soothe babies more easily

Daphne Oz wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Babies benefit from being in a carrier not only because worn babies cry less but also because a soothed baby means they're more likely to catch a much-needed nap. Rachel Zeilic, VP of Influencer Marketing at Who What Wear and Creative Director for fashion line Marjoelle, wore her son, August, in his early days for that reason. "It was a GREAT method to help him get to sleep," she says.

Sleep aside, decreased crying makes a huge difference in your busy days, even if your baby is super easygoing and loves carrier time, like that of Emmy-winning TV host, author and mama of four, Daphne Oz, whose youngest, Giovanna Ines (Gigi), is 4-months-old. "Gigi has always loved to be held. She's a very big baby, so babywearing is essential to give my arms a break. She loves to be snuggled as much as possible, and you can tell [being in her carrier] immediately soothes her. Sometimes she'll drift off or just rest her head on my chest and gaze around."

Mobilizing is a snap

Rachel Zeilic wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Like so many mamas, Zeilic needed to get out of the house frequently in those first few weeks for doctor appointments, but she found the sheer magnitude of getting out and getting the hang of a stroller pretty intimidating. Instead, she relied on her Baby Carrier Free and was out and about quickly after delivery. "We left the house from day one and we made a point every day of walking around the neighborhood," she says. "It was much more feasible [for me] than putting him in the stroller and going for a long walk."

Ariel Kaye, the CEO and founder of Parachute, was a big fan of babywearing with her now 11-month-old daughter Lou for the same reason. "Especially as I started to get more comfortable getting out of the house, what started as really short walks and gradually got longer," she says.

Carriers are especially friendly for city-dwelling mamas

Ranji Jacques wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Having a baby while living in a big city can be a challenge, but babywearing makes going about your day so much more simple. That's how Ranji Jacques, Fashion Director at Condé Nast, gets around New York City. "Everyone can agree that a baby carrier is a must-have, especially if you're in an urban area," says the mom of two to 3-year-old Diego and 1-year-old Lucienne. Why? Because steep curbs and storefront steps no longer pose a deterrent, and (bonus!) you can keep germ-covered surfaces out of baby's reach.

Take meetings with baby in tow

Rachel Zeilic wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

If you need to phone into the office or are a permanent part of the growing work-from-home mama population, strapping on baby allows you to talk shop and spend time with your little one. "I've honestly gotten so many conference calls and deals done with August in the carrier," says Zeilic.

So did Kaye, who would tote her daughter Lou in her BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Free on walks to Parachute's nearby brick-and-mortar store as not only a way of getting outside, but also checking in with work, too.

Tackle housework + make  errands easier (and feasible)

Daphne Oz wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

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When you've got a new baby at home, getting the dishes done or folding a basket of (clean!) laundry is a huge accomplishment. But using the carrier can help you tick off your to-do list while spending time with your newborn. "Babywearing really helped me—like it made all of my everyday [tasks] so much easier," says Kaye, because it gave her back her much-needed set of hands.

Oz agrees that wearing her daughter has been a boon to her productivity. "I try to bring Gigi along whenever I can, since my time at home can be limited and [I'm] often stretched thin trying to get everything in order. She comes along to the market and for coffee and on other errands—and I love to use a carrier in the house so I can keep her with me while I'm heading from room to room putting things in order."

It can provide for everyday teaching moments

Ariel Kaye wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

When you're going about your daily tasks, babywearing provides a front row seat to turn it into an educational experience for the two of you. "It's a special way to be able to communicate with her—I can show her things, touch things," says Kaye. From folding laundry to self-care, opportunities to engage baby can happen anywhere. Just ask Lou, who loves watching mama Ariel do her makeup while happily hanging out in her BABYBJÖRN, a task enjoyed by Gigi and Daphne as well.

Plus, allotting some of your attention to quickie tasks feels more guilt-free when babywearing. "Even though I'm doing other stuff, I can talk to him and narrate what I'm doing," explains Zeilic. "I just feel like it's playing and bonding, versus feeling like I'm sacrificing time with him."

Hello, old favorite activities

Ariel Kaye wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Zeilic and her husband love to use their Baby Carrier Free for hikes—anything under an hour and she'll strap on the carrier, over an hour and Dad's on the job (good thing it's easily adjustable for parents of all sizes). Even if hiking isn't your hobby of choice, resuming your pre-baby favorite activities and feeling more like yourself post-baby is a welcome change to which most mamas can relate, Oz included.

She fondly remembers the sense of confidence and familiarity that accompanied a babywearing outing when her eldest children were a bit younger. "My first, Philomena, was only 20 months old when John was born and still such a baby herself. I remember going out to the beach on a calm day with Philomena to collect shells, and John was strapped next to my chest, snuggly and content. It was one of the first times I really felt confident as a new mother of 2."

You can travel light

Ranji Jacques wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Working in fashion, Jacques has a tendency to be flanked with a host of accessories or at least a go-to purse, but babywearing has helped her limit the amount she has in tow when out and about. "I strap on baby, grab a bottle of water and my wallet and I'm ready to go," she says. Minimalist multitasking has never been so chic.

This article was sponsored by BABYBJÖRN. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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So far 2020 has been a year of big changes for Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Earlier this month the royal couple announced plans step back and senior members of the royal family. Initially, the plan was for the couples to retain their royal tiles and raise their "son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born" while also give themselves the space to work and live in North America.

But sometimes, young parents have to make tough choices to do what's best for their new family and that can mean making changes that impact your family of origin.

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This weekend the Queen announced that her family has found a way for Harry and Meghan to move forward, and it means they're not only not senior royals anymore, they do not have HRH titles (His Royal Highness or Her Royal Highness) anymore and "are no longer working members of the Royal Family."

The statement from the Queen reads, in part: "Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.

"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.

"I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.

"I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.

"It is my whole family's hope that today's agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."

The Queen's statement explains that Harry and Meghan have "shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home."

Basically, they're serious about being financially independent and they're going to pay rent on the cottage.

Untangling family issues can be hard, and it is hard for anyone to imagine what it must be like to live this out on the world's stage. In her statement, the Queen said she understands the role the intense press scrutiny has played in the couple's decision to forge a new path, and that they will always be her family.

Whether you're leaving the royal family to move to Canada, or just trying to explain to your parents that your own family needs to move to another state, this stuff is hard.

Here's to a new chapter in 2020, for Harry and Meghan and all the other new parents who are writing their own stories.

News

Motherhood is a juggling act. Whether you have one child or many, work outside the home or don't, have a partner or are doing this whole thing solo, you are always juggling something. So how on earth do we keep up the act? How do we ensure no ball gets dropped?

We don't.

All of us, every single one, lets something slip through our fingers on some occasion or another. And that's totally okay.

A friend from college recently commented on Instagram how peaceful and sweet my children seemed. I laughed out loud, and not an endearing chuckle, a wholehearted cackle. What a glorious and erroneous idea that my children are peaceful and sweet. I have three of these beautiful monsters, ages 12, 5 and 4 months. Our house sounds more like a child run circus than a zen meditation retreat.

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It is true that my children are sweet at times. And I will admit I try very hard to create a peaceful life and home, but those are not the two words I would ever use to describe our family. I might choose words like rambunctious, spirited, passionate and intense.

What I realized as I simultaneously smiled and snorted in laughter, was that I put a lot of work into creating a life on social media that looks just like that. Peaceful and sweet. I choose my words carefully, I edit my photos and of course choose only the best ones, the ones where everyone is smiling and we appear to love each other. The pictures of my children pulling each other's hair, stealing snacks and shouting that they hate each other don't get quite as many likes.

Don't get me wrong—my children often smile and we do love each other very much. But by carefully curating the life I post on social media I have unintentionally created something laughable. What a jolt to realize the very thing I'm striving for makes me laugh out loud when someone names it. Is there anything more inauthentic than that?

I am working to strive for authenticity and perfect imperfection.

I make mistakes, hurt those I love, burn dinner and that is what makes me human.

I drop the ball every single day in some large or small way—and that's okay. It is to be expected really.

It's what can give us the gift of connection. We can connect with one another via our faults and our vulnerabilities. We starve ourselves of this by pretending to be perfect.

As I write this I'm sitting in the front seat of my car in the parking lot of our local skate park, my youngest is napping in his car seat, my oldest is wearing a helmet and pads and is driving his new BMX bike as fast as he can up and down hills and ramps set at odd angles with weird curves among them.

This moment feels ideal t. The breeze blows through my open windows as my oldest is getting a great workout and my youngest slowly wakes up cooing.

We can only enjoy the moment if we are present within it. When I live my life constantly in a state of distraction, constantly keeping my eyes on all the balls I'm juggling, I'm not enjoying any of it.

I am not a master juggler at this moment in life. I don't think what I'm doing even looks like juggling. I do not have my eyes on all the balls, I am not even attempting to catch or toss them all in that perfect arc that looks so magical.

I prefer to relish these kinds of moments, soak up their joy, their peace, their sweetness and to do that I have to let go of the charade, I have to accept imperfection in the form of letting some balls drop.

I want to live a life full of authenticity and joy in the simple moments.

I want to live without the pressure of doing it all.

I want to give myself the gift of not doing everything the way it should be done by the imagined deadlines that cannot be met.

I want to enjoy my rambunctious, passionate children.

So I let the ball drop—and I'm okay with that.

Life

Feeding your new baby can be a beautiful experience, but it can also be really hard. We at Motherly have talked about it. Amy Schumer has talked about it. And now Kate Upton is talking about it, too.

Upton and her husband Justin Verlander became parents when their daughter Genevieve was born in November 2018, and in a new interview with Editorialist, Upton explains that while she loves motherhood she didn't always love breastfeeding.

"Having VeVe has changed my life in such a wonderful way," she explains, adding that in the early days of motherhood she felt "so much pressure"..."to be doing all these things, like breastfeeding on the go—when the reality, for me, was that breastfeeding was sucking the energy away from me. I realized I needed to calm down, to allow my body to recover."

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Breastfeeding can take up a lot of a mama's time and energy in those early weeks and months, and while Upton doesn't explicitly say whether she switched to formula, combo fed, pumped or what, it's clear that she did give herself some grace when it came to breastfeeding and found the right parenting pace by taking the pressure off of herself.

Upton took the pressure off herself when it came to her demanding breastfeeding schedule, and she's also resisting the pressure to keep up with a social media posting schedule.

"I want to be enjoying my life, enjoying my family, not constantly trying to take the perfect picture," she says. "I think my husband wants me to throw my phone away. We talk about it in the house all the time: 'Let's have a phone-free dinner.' We don't want [our daughter] thinking being on the phone is all that life is."

Whether the pressure to be perfect is coming from your phone or from society's conflicting exceptions of mothers it's a force worth rejecting. Upton is loving life at her own pace, imperfect as reallife can be.

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After the treat-filled sugar rush of holidays and birthdays, it can be hard to get back on track with eating healthy as a family. (What can I say, I love cake—and my kids do, too.) It's totally okay to hold your boundary for sugar in your kid's diet, no matter what that boundary is. And you can do it without being the bad guy.

Putting a positive spin on "the sugar issue" (letting kids know that they can have treats sometimes, but not all. the. time.) will help prevent sugar becoming an ongoing power struggle, which nobody wants.

Here are a few phrases that can help your kids eat less sugar, without creating a power struggle over treats:

1. "Holiday and birthday treats are so fun, but they're not for every day."

Acknowledge that all of the extra treats were fun (they were!). You can talk about how some foods are for special occasions and others are the ones we eat every day to have strong bodies and feel good.

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2. "I feel so much better when I eat lots of fruits and vegetables."

Instead of putting the emphasis on why sugar is bad, try focusing on all the good reasons to eat healthy foods. You can talk about how eating carrots gives us strong eyes, eating oranges keeps us from getting sniffles, or eating kale helps us feel good and have lots of energy for playing.

3. "Which fruit would you like to have with your lunch?"

Keep it fun by letting your child choose which healthy foods to eat. Two or three choices are fine. You can let them help pick at the grocery store or let them pick from the options you've selected—the important thing is to offer choice.

4. "Let's see if we can make a rainbow on your plate!"

Who doesn't love rainbows, especially among the under-six crowd? Use their universal appeal to your advantage and encourage kiddos to make their own edible rainbows.

Make it extra fun by writing a checklist with colored pencils, one checkbox for every rainbow color, and bringing it with you to the grocery store. Let your child choose one item from the produce section for every color.

5. "You can choose one treat with dinner, but candy isn't a choice for snack today."

Make sure kids know that they will still be able to enjoy treats sometimes. Instead of saying "candy makes you crazy," or "sugar rots your teeth," just let them know when you're okay with them having a treat. It may be every night after dinner, only on Friday nights, or it may not be until Valentine's Day, but having a clear boundary will help reduce the constant pleas for sweet treats.

6. "I think treats feel more special when we don't have them every day."

Talk to your child about how part of the fun of holiday treats is that they're out of the ordinary. They are special traditions we get to enjoy each year and they help make the holidays feel magical. Just as it wouldn't be as fun if we had a Christmas tree up all year or wore a Halloween costume every day, treats aren't as fun if we eat them nonstop.

7. "I hear that you really want candy. I can't let you have it right now, but it's okay to be disappointed."

Let your child know that you empathize with their feelings about not being able to eat what they want all of the time.

Sometimes children just need to be heard. It might be more important to them to know that you understand their feelings about treats than to actually get a treat.

8. "Let's think of a healthy treat we could get at the grocery store next week."

Brainstorm with your child and come up with a list of healthy treats you could bring home from your next grocery shopping trip. This might be a kind of fruit they haven't had in a while, a granola bar you don't usually buy, or the makings of a fun trail mix.

Part of the fun of treats is the ritual—you can still enjoy the sweetness without the extra sugar.

9. "Would you like to bake with me?"

Carry those fond memories of making Christmas cookies together into the new year to help wean kids off the holiday high of constant treats. Just find something you're okay with your child eating regularly, like a healthy muffin recipe, baked oatmeal, or energy bites—whatever meets your own nutritional guidelines for your family!

10. "I noticed you didn't sleep well when you ate those treats before nap time. Let's think of a better time for treats together."

You can explain the effects of sugar on the body without vilifying it. Sometimes just saying sugar is bad makes it all the more desirable or pits you against your child. But that doesn't mean you can't give them the facts. Just tell them plainly that sugar makes it harder for them to sleep well, makes it harder for them to concentrate, or whatever other effects you've seen.

Here's to a healthy 2020—you've got this, mama!

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