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Second Baby Registry Essentials

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.

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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With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

DEMI™ grow stroller
$799.95, Nuna

BUY

2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

PIPA™ lite car seat
$349.95, Nuna

BUY

3. A super safe car seat base

The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

PIPA™ base
(included with purchase of PIPA™ series car seat or) Nuna, $159.95

BUY

4. A diaper bag you want to carry

It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.

Diaper bag
$179.95, Nuna

BUY

5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

SENA aire mini
$199.95, Nuna

BUY


With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

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


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One of the hardest areas to declutter can be your children's toy closet. Does that beeping, singing firetruck spark joy for you? Well no, in fact, it might be the most frustrating toy, but then again, having an occupied, entertained child sparks more joy than all of your household items combined.

So do more toys really mean a more engaged child? Studies say no. Having fewer toys leads to a more ordered home and encourages your child to develop creativity, concentration and a sense of responsibility for taking care of their belongings. But how do you go about reducing the number of toys your child has when there are so many "must haves" on the market? Perhaps more importantly, how do you ensure you don't bring any more toys that will be quickly forgotten into your home?

The secret: Look for toys that are open-ended, toys that will last for years, toys that encourage creativity, and toys that benefit development.

Here are some of our favorite Montessori-inspired toys.

Open-ended construction


Toys that are open-ended, rather than have just one use, empower your child to be an active participant in their own play. An example of an open-ended toy is a set of blocks, while a more limited use toy might be a talking toy robot. Blocks are only fun if your child applies their own creative thinking skills to make them fun, while the robot is a much more passive type of entertainment.

Open-ended toys also tend to keep children's interest for much longer, as they grow with your child—as their skills develop, they can build increasingly complex structures and scenarios.

There are so many beautiful sets of blocks available, but here are a few good choices.

1. Wooden Blocks

2. Duplo Lego

3. Magnatiles

Pretend play


Beginning in early toddlerhood, many children begin to incorporate pretend play into their repertoire. They do this all on their own, without the aid of toys, turning mud into pies and sticks into hammers.

Still, these toys will encourage their budding imaginations and also allow them to process things they experience in their own lives through role-playing and pretend play.

4. Doll

5. Farm

6. People figures

7. Train set

Music


Music provides a great deal of joy to most children, and can also aid in brain development.

Providing regular opportunities for your young child to both create and listen to music will encourage him to develop an appreciation for music, an understanding of rhythm, and an outlet for creative expression.

8. Musical instrument set

9. Simple music player with headphones

Movement


Giving young children opportunities for movement is so important, both for their gross motor development and for giving them a daily outlet for their boundless energy. Children who spend plenty of time running around generally sleep better and are often better able to concentrate on quieter activities like reading.

Encouraging plenty of unstructured time outside is the best way to ensure your child gets enough daily movement. These toys though can help your child develop muscle coordination and strength, while also providing plenty of fun.

10. Balance bike

11. Pedal bike

12. Climbing structure

13. Wagon

14. Balls

Puzzles


Puzzles are wonderful toys for helping children develop spatial understanding, problem-solving skills, resilience and new vocabulary. Bonus, they also provide a quiet activity that can engage even young children for an extended period of time!

15. Peg puzzles

16. Jigsawpuzzles

17. Layered puzzles

Games



Games encourage your child to develop social skills such as taking turns and winning and losing gracefully.

Many games for young children also have educational benefits such as building memory or practicing counting.

18. Memory game

19. Bingo

20. Simple board game

Taking the plunge and reducing your children's toy collection can be scary. If you're uncertain whether your child will miss a certain toy, try putting it away in a closet for a month to see if they notice. Take some time to observe your child with their reduced toy collection and notice how their play changes.

Once you commit to fewer toys, you'll find you can truly be intentional with what you provide your child and can also choose higher quality toys when you're only purchasing a few. There will also be far fewer little objects strewn around the house to trip over, which is a huge bonus!

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For so many parents, finding and funding childcare is a constant struggle. How would your life change if you didn't have to worry about finding and paying for quality childcare? Would you go back to work? Work more hours? Or just take the four figures you'd save each month and pay off your student loans faster?

These hypothetical scenarios have been playing in the minds of many American parents this week as presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan for free or affordable "high-quality child care and early education for every child in America."

Universal childcare will be a cornerstone of Warren's campaign for 2020. It's a lofty goal, and one many parents can get behind, but is it doable?

Supporters note it's been done in other countries for decades. In Finland, for example, every child has had access to free universal day care since the early 1990s. Sweden, too, has been building its universal childcare system for decades.

Critics of Warren's plan worry about the price tag and potential for ballooning bureaucracy, and some are concerned that subsidizing childcare could actually make it more expensive for those who have a government-funded spot, as it could result in fewer private childcare providers.

But subsidized childcare had lowered prices in other places. In Sweden, parents pay less than $140 USD to send children to preschool. In Finland, the cost per child varies by municipality, household income and family size. A parent on the lower end of the income spectrum might pay as little as the equivalent of $30 USD, and the maximum fee is about $330 a month.

But Finland's population is on par with Minnesota's. Sweden is comparable to Michigan.

So could the Nordic model scale to serve the hundreds of millions of families in America?

As Eeva Penttila, speaking as the head of international relations for Helsinki, Finland's education department once told The Globe and Mail, "you can't take one element out and transfer it to your own country. Education is the result of culture, history and the society of a nation."

Right now America spends less on early childhood education than most other developed countries (only Turkey, Latvia, and Croatia spend less), but that wasn't always the case. This nation does have a history of investing in childcare, if we look back far enough.

Back in World War II, when women needed to step into the workforce as men fought overseas, America invested in a network of childcare to the tune of $1 billion (adjusted to today's money) and served hundreds of thousands of families in almost every state through center-based care. Parents paid between $0.50 and $0.75 per child per day (the equivalent of about $10 in today's money).

So America does have a historical and cultural precedent, not to mention a current model of universal preschool that is working, right now, in the nation's capital. In D.C. In Washington, D.C., 90% of 4-year-olds attend a full-day preschool program for free, according to the Center for American Progress. Seventy percent of 3-year-old are going too, and the program has increased the city's maternal workforce participation rate by more than 10%.

It won't happen overnight

While some American parents might be daydreaming of a life without a four-figure day care bill in 2020, the road to true universal childcare for all children in America would be a long one. Peter Moss, a researcher at the University of London's Institute of Education, previously told The Globe and Mail it took Sweden "many years to get it right."

Indeed, the 1990s saw long wait lists at Swedish day cares, but the growing pains of the '90s paved the way for the enviable system Swedes enjoy today.

According to Moss, governments in other countries look at the Nordic model and "tend to say, 'We can't do that.' But what they really mean is 'We can't suddenly do that.' In other countries, they just don't get to grips with what needs doing and actually plot a course."

Maybe America's starting point is found in its history books, or in the modern day preschools of the nation's capital, or in the conversations happening between now and 2020. It doesn't have to be Warren's plan, but America does need a plan for safer, more affordable childcare.

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It's so unfortunate that in the working world there are still those who believe mothers are more distracted and less productive than people without children.

Research proves that just isn't true—working moms are actually more engaged than working dads and fathers and equally committed—and plenty of working mothers will say that parenthood has actually made them more productive.

Ayesha Curry counts herself among those moms who become more efficient at work after becoming parents. The entrepreneurial mom of three seems unstoppable when it comes to expanding her career, which she launched as a lifestyle blog back when the oldest of her three children was still a baby.

"You don't realize how much you can get done in a day until you become a parent and you're like, 'what was I doing with my time before'?" she recently old Cheddar's Nora Ali.

Now less than seven years later she's built her own empire as a mom, not in spite of being one.


Now a New York Times best-selling cookbook author and restaurateur, Curry has also got her own brand, Homemade, and you can find her products bearing her name in places like Target and JC Penny. She's been promoting a partnership with GoDaddy and she's an ambassador for the Honest Company, too.

Curry says motherhood taught her how to multitask and manage her time.

"I have three children, so I've had to grow four invisible arms," she explains. "I've definitely learned efficiency through being a parent. It's helped me in my business tenfold."

As a celebrity, Curry's life experience is kind of unique, but her experience of becoming better at work because of motherhood isn't, according to experts.

Career coach Eileen Chadnick previously told Motherly that motherhood is an asset in the workplace, in part because it trains women to be both empathetic and assertive at the same time, a combo that makes for great leaders. "There are incredibly nice, compassionate women who are very strong and know how to take a stand," Chadmick said. "And they're trusted and admired by others even if they need to say 'no' to their employees."

That's something Curry agrees with. Because it's her name on that frying pan, cookbook or bedspread, she doesn't shy away from saying 'no' when she doesn't like something. "I'm really good about being forceful and putting my foot down," she explains.

It's easier to put your foot down when you've already grown four invisible arms. That's the balancing act of motherhood, and it's what makes this mama so good at business.

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It may seem like there are more recalls than ever these days, but that's actually a good thing for parents. It means fewer potentially dangerous products are making it to our dinner tables and medicine cabinets.

According to food safety experts, the spike in recall notices for everything from broccoli to baby toys in recent years suggests companies are doing a better job of self-reporting, and we're actually safer than we were in the days when recalls were rare.

"It reflects a food industry that takes contamination and foodborne illnesses seriously. Increasingly companies are willing to recall their products rather than expose customers to potential harm," Dr. William Hallman, professor and chair of Rutgers Department of Human Ecology, said in an interview with Food Drive."So more companies are taking a cautionary approach."

Here are the recalls parents need to know about this month:

Dollar General Baby Gripe Water

The FDA issued a recall notice for "DC Baby Gripe Water herbal supplement with organic ginger and fennel extracts" after the company received one report of a one-week old baby who had difficulty swallowing the product, and there were three other complaints "attributed to the undissolved citrus flavonoid."

The FDA says "the product should not be considered hazardous but could result in difficulty when swallowing the product for sensitive individuals."

Basically, it's not harmful if swallowed but the undissolved flavonoid makes it a choking hazard.

The gripe water was sold at Dollar General stores in four ounce bottles with the UPC code 8 5495400246 3.

Nature's Path Envirokidz gluten free cereals

If you've got a kiddo with celiac disease you're probably familiar with the EnviroKidz kine of gluten free cereals sold at Trader Joe's and other grocery stores. Unfortunately, Nature's Path, the maker of the cereals, is recalling more than 400,000 boxes of Envirokidz cereals in the U.S. and Canada due to potential gluten contamination.

Choco Chimp, Gorilla Munch and Jungle Munch are all impacted. The best before dates are: 08/01/2019, 08/24/2019, 08/27/2019, and 09/21/2019. The UPC codes are: 0 58449 86002 0, 0 5844987023 4, 0 5844987027 2, 0 5844987024 1 and 0 5844987028 9.

If you can handle gluten they are safe, but Nature's Path says "people who have a wheat allergy, celiac disease or sensitivity to gluten and wheat should not consume the cereals."

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