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12 Stroller Accessories You Need

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Maris Stroller from GB.

On-the-go parents need a lot from their strollers. We expect them to hold our babies, our groceries and if we’re lucky our lattes and cell phones. You did your research and purchased the stroller that best suits your family and your lifestyle, but wouldn’t it be great if your stroller had all the bells and whistles you could ever dream of? We’ve done the hard work for you, tracking down the most important – and most helpful – stroller accessories urban parents could need. Here are 12 of our absolute favorite stroller accessories, designed to fit on any stroller. 1. BUGABOO SMARTPHONE HOLDER We’ve all been there: trying to navigate a stroller one-handed while scrolling through our insta-feed. No more! Bugaboo has just released the ultimate modern mama stroller accessory: a smartphone holder. It attaches to the handlebar of any stroller and rests on a rotating ball joint, so you can adjust your phone to any angle. Perfect for casual walks to the park or for your jogger! $34.95, buy here. 2. JJ COLE URBAN BUNDLEME The Urban BundleMe is a must for cold weather babies, letting you leave the blankets at home. The infant version fits into any stroller and jogger and has been tested (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213 -- FMVSS213 crash test) to fit onto a five-point harness car seat, allowing the straps to be snuggly around your baby -- a major score in keeping your baby warm, since we know wearing a coat in a carseat is a big no-no. The Urban comes in seven colors of quilted nylon, which protect against wind and rain, while the interior fabric is plush and super soft, giving your baby an extra snuggle for the ride. If the weather warrants extra warmth, the Down is heavier and comes with an attached bag to store when not in use. $49.95, buy here. 3. MUNHCKIN DRINK POD Why don't strollers come with a cup holder? We have babies, we need caffeine! Munchkin to the rescue, with their universal Drink Pod. A stretchy, rubber strap tightly connects it to your stroller’s handlebar. The Drink Pod fits a grande cup from Starbucks and automatically keeps your drink leveled, so no spilling. It’s top-rack dishwasher safe, and provides that extra hand all of us stroller pushers have been praying for! $12, buy here. 4. 7 A.M. ENFANT POLAR WARMMUFFS Stroller pushers need to stay warm, too! We are huge fans of the WarMMuffs. The super soft faux-fur lining keeps your hands warm, and the water repellent outer shell keeps them dry. Best part: they attach to the handlebars of the stroller and are easy to slip in and out of so you can tend to your little one. You can adjust the size to fit small or large hands and have large enough cuffs to fit your coat sleeves. Plus, they’re machine washable! $44, buy here. 5. SKIP HOP EXPLORE AND MORE TOY BAR Keeping your little one entertained in the stroller can be difficult. Skip Hop’s Explore and More Toy Bar does just that, and the best part: you won’t have to bend down and pick it up a million times. The Toy Bar attaches with Velcro to the bumper bar on your baby’s stroller so it won’t fall or get knocked off. There’s a mirror to spin, buttons to push and songs to play (and, mama, an off button for when you’ve heard enough). $16, buy here. 6. BLOOM UNIVERSAL SNUG Bloom’s universal snug insert is a must have for the first year. It fits into most strollers, giving your bundle of joy a little extra comfort. In addition to being super soft and machine washable, the snug gives your newborn the head support she really needs. The newborn headrest insert is removable to allow the snug to grow with your baby. $40, buy here. 7. JUJUBE'S BE CONNECTED Jujube’s Be Connected stroller clips are a lifesaver for keeping your diaper bag handy! Because not all diaper bags are designed to fit onto your stroller’s handlebar, Jujube’s clips make it happen. The Be Connected clips attach to your stroller’s handlebars using high quality metal hardware (in gold, silver or black!) and then securely hang your diaper bag from the handlebar. They’re stylish and easy to use. $25-30, buy here. 8. THE MOMMY HOOK Who wants to push a stroller AND carry shopping bags? That’s right, no one. And now we don’t have to, because The Mommy Hook does it for us. This large, carabineer-style hook fits on your stroller’s handlebar and holds up to 50 pounds. It’s equipped with a foam grip to keep it from sliding around or from scratching your stroller. Score. $9.99, buy here. 9. MUNCHKIN STROLLER ORGANIZER PLUS The Stroller Organizer Plus attaches to your stroller with two Velcro straps. It comes with an insulated space for two drinks, easily accessible wipes for on-the-go messes and a touch-sensitive clear plastic case to slide your phone into. The fabric is water resistant, and there’s even a fold down pocket on the back for extra storage. $23, buy here. 10. PETUNIA PICKLEBOTTOM BOTTLE BUTLER Keeping cold things cold and warm things warm! Petunia Picklebottom’s Bottle Butler can hold one large bottle, two small sippy cups or a variety of little refrigerated snacks – but we won’t tell if you use it for yourself. The patterns are super cute and match many of the brand’s popular diaper bags! The Bottle Butler attaches to a diaper bag or purse with a little metal clip for easy carrying, is machine washable and BPA free. $22, buy here. 11. LASCAL BUGGYBOARD MAXI+ Because sometimes our bigger kids get tired. The Buggyboard Maxi+ allows them to be “big kids” by not riding in the stroller, but helps when they’re just too tired to take another step! You don’t need tools, and instillation takes less than five minutes. With the Maxi+, your little can stand on the platform or sit on the fold down saddle. Built-in suspension makes for a smooth ride over even the bumpiest of sidewalks, and a helpful handlebar strap holds the whole system up when it’s not in use. The Maxi+ is for children 2 to 5-years-old and up to 55 pounds. $189.95, buy here. 12. GB LIGHT UMBRELLA We all know you still need to lather your face with sunscreen during the winter months. Well, baby needs a little protection too. Installed with just one click, this light umbrella from gb is perfect to keep your little one safe from direct sunlight. It has a UVP50+ sun protection and, once attached to the frame, it can swivel to suit the sun's position. $49.99, buy here.
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As a former beauty editor, I pride myself in housing the best skincare products in my bathroom. Walk in and you're sure to be greeted with purifying masks, micellar water, retinol ceramide capsules and Vitamin C serums. What can I say? Old habits die hard. But when I had my son, I was hesitant to use products on him. I wanted to keep his baby-soft skin for as long as possible, without tainting it with harsh chemicals.

Eventually, I acquiesced and began using leading brands on his sensitive skin. I immediately regretted it. His skin became dry and itchy and regardless of what I used on him, it never seemed to get better. I found myself asking, "Why don't beauty brands care about baby skin as much as they care about adult skin?"

When I had my daughter in May, I knew I had to take a different approach for her skin. Instead of using popular brands that are loaded with petroleum and parabens, I opted for cleaner products. These days I'm all about skincare that contains super-fruits (like pomegranate sterols, which are brimming with antioxidants) and sulfate-free cleansers that contain glycolipids that won't over-dry her skin. And, so far, Pipette gets it right.

What's in it

At first glance, the collection of shampoo, wipes, balm, oil and lotion looks like your typical baby line—I swear cute colors and a clean look gets me everytime—but there's one major difference: All products are environmentally friendly and cruelty-free, with ingredients derived from plants or nontoxic synthetic sources. Also, at the core of Pipette's formula is squalane, which is basically a powerhouse moisturizing ingredient that babies make in utero that helps protect their skin for the first few hours after birth. And, thanks to research, we know that squalane isn't an irritant, and is best for those with sensitive skin. Finally, a brand really considered my baby's dry skin.

Off the bat, I was most interested in the baby balm because let's be honest, can you ever have too much protection down there? After applying, I noticed it quickly absorbed into her delicate skin. No rash. No irritation. No annoyed baby. Mama was happy. It's also worth noting there wasn't any white residue left on her bottom that usually requires several wipes to remove.

Why it's different

I love that Pipette doesn't smell like an artificial baby—you, know that powdery, musky note that never actually smells like a newborn. It's fragrance free, which means I can continue to smell my daughter's natural scent that's seriously out of this world. I also enjoy that the products are lightweight, making her skin (and my fingers) feel super smooth and soft even hours after application.

The bottom line

Caring for a baby's sensitive skin isn't easy. There's so much to think about, but Pipette makes it easier for mamas who don't want to compromise on safety or sustainability. I'm obsessed, and I plan to start using the entire collection on my toddler as well. What can I say, old habits indeed die hard.

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

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Military families give up so much for their country, particularly when they have small children at home. Those of us who have never witnessed this kind of sacrifice first-hand could use a reminder of it once in a while, which is just one of the reasons we're so happy to see the beautiful photoshoot Mary Chevalier arranged for her husband's return home from Afghanistan.

The photoshoot was extra special because while James Chevalier was serving a nine-month deployment, Mary gave birth to their second son, Caspian.

Getting ready to meet Dad

"During the laboring and birthing process of Caspian, I was surrounded by family, but that did not fill the void of not having my husband by my side," Mary told InsideEdition.com. "He was able to video chat during the labor and birth, but for both of us, it was not enough."

While James had yet to meet Caspian, their 3-year-old son, Gage, missed his dad a whole lot, so this homecoming was going to be a big deal for him too. That's why Mary arranged for her wedding photographer, Brittany Watson, to be with them for their reunion in Atlanta.

Gage was so happy to see his Dad 

"[He] had no idea he was going to be getting to see his daddy that day," Watson wrote on Facebook. "The family met at the Southeastern Railway Museum for Gage to go on a special train ride... little did he know, he'd be doing it with daddy!"

Watson did a beautiful job capturing the high emotions of every single family member, from Gage's surprise, to the delight on baby Caspian's face. It's no wonder her Facebook post went viral last week.

"Caspian is natural, a very happy baby, but both James and I felt like Caspian knew who his father was almost immediately," Mary told Inside Edition. "He was easily comforted by me husband right off the bat and seemed to have an instant connection. It was very emotional."

The moment this dad had been waiting for 

If we're sobbing just looking at the photos, we can't even imagine what it was like in real life.

"We are all so blessed and take so much for granted," Watson wrote. "I cannot contain the joy I feel in my heart when I look at these images, and I hope you feel it too!"

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During both of my pregnancies, I was under the care of an amazing midwife. Every time I went to her office for check-ups, I was mesmerized by the wall of photos participating in what may be the most painfully magical moment of a woman's life: giving birth. But there was a painting that always drew my attention: a woman dressed in orange, holding her newborn baby with a face that could be described as clueless. The line above the canvas read, "Now what?"

I felt like the woman in the painting as I kissed my mother goodbye when my daughter was born. She came from my native Colombia to stay with us for three months. When she left, I realized that my husband had been working as usual during those first 90 days of our new life. My baby was born on a Friday and on Monday he was back at the office. (No parental leave policy for him.)


Now what? I thought. The quote "It takes a village to raise a child" suddenly started to hit home, literally.

After a few years in Miami, I had some friends, but it truly didn't feel like I had a village. Some were not mothers yet, most of them worked full-time and others didn't live close by. My nomad life left my best friends spread out in different places in the world. I found myself signing up for "mommy and me" classes in search of new mothers, immigrants like me, alone like me.

It seemed like a utopian dream to think about when my grandmothers became mothers. Both of them had 6 and 10 children and they were able to stay sane (or maybe not? I don't know). But at least they had family around—people cooking, offering help. There was a sense of community.

My mother and father grew up in "the village." Big families with so many children that the older siblings ended up taking care of the little ones; aunts were like second mothers and neighbors became family.

When I was about to give birth to my second baby, my sister had just had her baby girl back in Colombia. Once, she called me crying because her maternity leave was almost over. My parents live close to her, so that was a bonus. Hiring a nanny back there is more affordable. But even seeing the positive aspects of it, I wished I could have been there for her, to be each other's village.

The younger me didn't realize that when I took a plane to leave my country in search of new experiences 19 years ago, I was giving up the chance to have my loved ones close by when I became a mother. And when I say close by, I mean as in no planes involved.

It hasn't been easy, but after two kids and plenty of mommy and me classes and random conversations that became true connections, I can say I have a mini-village, a small collection of solitudes coming together to lean on each other. But for some reason, it doesn't truly feel like one of those described in the old books where women gathered to knit while breastfeeding and all the children become like siblings.

Life gets in the way, and everyone gets sucked into their own worlds. In the absence of a true village, we feel the pressure to be and do everything that once was done by a group of people. We often lose perspective of priorities because we are taking care of everything at the same time. Starting to feel sick causes anxiety and even fear because it means so many things need to happen in order for mom—especially if single—to lay down and recover while the children are taken care of. And when the children get sick, that could mean losing money for a working mother or father, because the truth is that most corporations are not designed to nurture families.

In the absence of that model of a village I long for, we tend to rely on social media to have a sense of community and feel supported. We may feel that since we are capable of doing so much—working and stay at home moms equally—perhaps we don't need help. Or quite the opposite: mom guilt kicks in and feelings of not being enough torment our night sleep. Depression and anxiety can enter the picture and just thinking about the amount of energy and time that takes to create true connections, we may often curl up in our little cocoon with our children and partners—if they are present—when they come home.

Now what? was my thought this week while driving back and forth to the pediatrician with my sick son. I can't get the virus, I have to be strong, my daughter can't get ill, my husband needs to be healthy for his work trip next week, we all need to be well for my son's fifth birthday. And so, it goes on. I texted one of my mom friends just to rant. She rants back because her son is also sick. She sent me a heart and an "I'm here if you need to talk."

I am grateful to have talked to her at that random postpartum circle when I first became a mother. She's a Latina immigrant like me and feels exactly like me. I will do it more, get out of my comfort zone and have—sometimes—awkward conversations so I can keep growing my own little village.

It may not look like the one I'd imagined, but still may allow me to be vulnerable even through a text message.

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Halloween is around the corner, but if you are like me you are still trying to figure out what to dress your family (especially the little ones), so here are some cute ideas inspired by famous characters. There's something for everyone—from cartoon lovers to ideas for the entire family!

Here are some adorable character costumes for your family:

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