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She Said, She Said

The founders of 6 Degrees of Mom dish on pregnancy, birth and making mom friends in the city.

She Said, She Said

So, there’s this thing that happens the minute you become a mom. Your best friend introduces you to her cousin who introduces you to neighbor who introduces you to her co-worker who ALSO just had a baby. Although it’s well-intended, most of the time you don’t have a whole lot in common with the mom you’re connected to.

That all changed with 6 Degrees of Mom, an invitation-only network of NYC moms that gathers for playgroups, mommy-and-me classes, educational seminars and more. The brainchild of two former lawyers, Naomi Levin Schoenkin and Elizabeth Cox, 6 Degrees of Mom is connecting nearly 900 members to other like-minded moms--think friend of a friend of a friend--right in your neighborhood. (No worries if you’re the first to have a baby in your crew--anyone can apply for membership online).

Over the next few weeks, the 6 Degrees of Mom network will grow by two more--the founders both have babies on the way! We recently sat down with Naomi (her 4th baby just arrived!) and Elizabeth (pregnant with her 2nd--she has two stepsons as well), and found out what each of these very different NYC moms thinks about pregnancy, birth and making mom friends in the city.

How would you describe your 6 Degrees of Mom partner as a mom?

Naomi: Confident, loving and easygoing. She's a natural!

Elizabeth: Naomi is an amazing mother. Besides possessing all the normal attributes of a "super mom," Naomi is balanced (not too helicopter mom and not too distant), thoughtful, caring and is a role model to me in the way she juggles being a wonderful wife, mother and entrepreneur with such grace and ease.

When it comes to pregnancy, what's been your:

Exercise regimen?

Naomi: I was very good about hitting the treadmill and elliptical 5 days a week throughout most of my pregnancy, but exercise during my 9th month in July has consisted of walking to and from 16 Handles on an almost daily basis (sometimes twice daily if I'm feeling ambitious!)

Elizabeth: SoulCycle (which is great because you can tailor it to your own physical capabilities…with Charlotte, I was on the bike 2-3 times a week until I gave birth!), running (well, more of a slow jog at this point) and keeping after my 13-month-old who has recently learned to walk and only knows two speeds: 100 miles per hour and sleeping.

Diet?

Naomi: I have an "eat-in vs eat out" system of sorts... When I am home (with my kids and working) during the week I eat healthy and simple foods, mostly lean proteins and veggies and when I am eating out at restaurants I eat without abandon. This way I stay trim, healthy and full of energy during the day when I'm with my kids and working, and can guiltlessly enjoy all the best foods NYC has to offer when I'm exploring the city.

Elizabeth: I have never dieted (even when not pregnant). As cliche as this sounds, I just try to listen to my body and eat what it wants - somedays (read: the other day) that means Snicker bars (yes, plural) as a snack, on other days I cannot get enough fruit ... totally depends. I eat what I want, when I am hungry and stop when I am full. That has always worked for me.

Summer spot?

Naomi: The only place I want to be in the summer, especially when I'm pregnant is floating around our pool on an inflated donut ring at our summer home in Sagaponack!

Elizabeth: Since Memorial Day I have been at our house in Beach Haven, NJ spending some quality time with my daughter before her little sister comes!

Fave way to relax?

Naomi: Indulging in an at-home massage after my kids are asleep (I'm obsessed with the PRIV app for on demand beauty and massage!) and creating my own "spa night" with a long bath and my favorite suds, potions and lotions from Mama Mio and Weleda!

Elizabeth: I wish I could relax! If I am not sleeping (which I am doing a lot nowadays -- this heat is exhausting!), you can find me in the evenings (after I've put my daughter to bed and the dinner time dust storm has settled) with my feet propped up and my favorite Mama Mio Product, Lucky Legs slathered on, answering emails and planning for the next day. I guess that is my version of relaxing now!

When we say newborn you say...

Naomi: Baby nurse.

Elizabeth: SLEEP! I know it sounds crazy but you take for granted how much newborns sleep and how relatively "easy" they are when they are little. Maybe it is because I am 8 months pregnant, in the summer, trying to keep up with a toddler ... but those newborn days seem pretty awesome right now!

When we say cooking you say...

Naomi: I'm embarrassed of how infrequently I do it.

Elizabeth: Chris (my husband does all the cooking in our home)!

When we say breast you say...

Naomi: Goddess

Elizabeth: Pillow for my daughter when she naps on the beach.

When we say birth you say...

Naomi: Miraculous and aww inspiring, even after 4 pregnancies.

Elizabeth: Full of excitement and joy.

The most important thing to get done before you go into labor is...?

Naomi: Clean... EVERYTHING IN SIGHT!

Elizabeth: In my case, it is finishing the renovation we are doing on our apartment in NYC. With my first child I was adamant about finishing her nursery before she was born and meticulous with detail .. daughter #2 will be lucky if she has the Bjorn Travel Crib set up in her room by the time we get home from the hospital!

What's your very favorite part about being pregnant?

Naomi: Guilt-free bagel and tater tot binging and elastic waist maternity jeans!

Elizabeth: The excitement that builds towards the end ... I cannot wait to meet baby #2. (And being doted on by my husband and family).

Best piece of advice for a mom-to-be?

Naomi: Perfect is the enemy of motherhood.

Elizabeth: Everyone says it, but don't sweat the small stuff. And get used to being a bit disheveled... the days of blow-outs and makeup are fewer and far between.

Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids.

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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.

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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.

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Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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