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Tech Chat: Kindara Fertility App

As any woman who is trying to conceive will tell you, when she decides that she's ready to have a baby, she wants that baby now. After all, weren't we always warned that we could get pregnant at the drop of a hat? But for many of us, things don't always go as planned. A simple online cry for help brings up countless forums on prime positions, pregnancy tests and the dreaded two week wait, but very little of the info we all need to understand our bodies and fertility and do our best to get those families started.

There are countless apps in the market to track your period and determine peak days of ovulation so when a few friends recommended that I download one, I headed to the web to learn more. After experimenting with Fertility Friend and Glow, I found the perfect match with the simple and user-friendly design of Kindara. Not only does Kindara educate you on FAM, the Fertility Awareness method, but it also serves as a useful journal of your body's changes throughout each monthly cycle (this is super helpful if you require fertility treatments in the future--your doctor will want to know as much about your cycles as possible!).

Once you understand the signs to look for (cervical fluid, cervical position and basal body temperature--I own this basal thermometer), you simply enter the data into your app and toggle to the chart to search for signs that your body is nearing ovulation. You might find that although you have a typical 28 day cycle, you aren't ovulating until day 18 and have been timing things incorrectly all along. Or maybe your cycles are as inconsistent as can be and you want to visit your OB/GYN to find the right tips or supplements to help you regulate your ovulation.

After using Kindara for nearly one year now, I'm a huge fan of the simple daily data entry, alarm reminder to check your basal temperature / cervical fluid and the option to connect with other users, whether to view their charts or share your own as a way to learn more about each cycle. You can also add other measurables to indicate days when you had a few too many drinks (this can affect the next day's temperatures) or to keep track of a vitamin or supplement you've added to your routine. The notes function allows you to add more detailed info (cramping on the left side? feeling really moody?) so that all the specifics you might need to know are in one place. An added bonus is keeping track of when you are intimate with your partner. If I notice that it's been a number of days, I'll go out of my way to make time for my husband and I to be together, no matter how many emails are waiting to be answered (or what time of the month it is!).

And according to FAM, keeping track of these changes in your body isn't just helpful when you're trying to conceive. It's also a great tool for those looking for the opposite but not interested in condoms or the pill. While not 100% fool-proof, many women swear by timed intercourse as a natural form of birth control.

Whatever your path to becoming a mom or holding off on babies for now, you'll go into it with a new and empowering understanding of your body. We're wishing you well!

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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