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The Run-Way

Vogue’s health and fitness editor shows us how she keeps her mom routine running strong.

The Run-Way

There is no greater adventure than urban parenting--every nook and cranny of New York City is ripe for exploration when you’ve got a baby in tow. Even the most seasoned city dweller can attest: all those familiar city streets (yes, even the path to the grocery store) look fresh and new through the eyes of your little one, and your list of neighborhood discoveries--and conquests--grows with every excursion. To celebrate the launch of Bugaboo’s innovative new Runner, we’re letting you in on some of New York City’s best terrain to explore with your kids, from lush parks to sandy beaches to a jaw-dropping waterfront framed by bridges and skyscrapers. And we’re introducing you to some of NYC’s coolest parents, who are as passionate about their paths in the wellness world as they are about their kids. In honor of New York Fashion Week and that huge September issue you’ve probably got on your coffee table, we’ll start with Vogue’s Lauren Mechling. As senior editor at the magazine, she oversees Vogue’s health and fitness coverage; as a Brooklyn mom, she oversees two adorable and active toddlers. And while neither role is less than a full-time job (let alone both!), she still manages to schedule in weekly workout time for herself and her little ones, from rooftop yoga to toddler Crossfit. We recently caught up with Lauren for a jog with her daughter Louisa in Prospect Park and got the dish on motherhood, magazines and how her busy life really runs. Why are you so passionate about fitness? The answer has changed over time. When I was in my twenties, I went to the gym because I felt guilty if I didn’t. Now, however, I find that I actually enjoy exercise--to the point where I crave it. In addition to the health benefits, I love the space that it gives me to daydream and problem solve. In what way does running give you a feeling of freedom that other fitness activities can’t replicate? It’s the only exercise I do where I’m not in an enclosed studio. I never take the exact same route twice; I watch the seasons change, I see which local shops are closing and which ones are replacing them. It’s a way to reconnect with the neighborhood. How do you fit in time to care for yourself between parenting and your career? I probably exercised five times a week in my past life; now it’s more like three. Sometimes on the weekends I’m tempted to stay home, but I think it’s important that your children see you thriving and taking care of yourself. What are some things you hope to teach your little ones about being active? That it's not an either/or thing—you don’t have to be super-sporty or opt out and be a root vegetable. Exercise can be part of a balanced life, and you take a playful, dabble-y approach. I’ve taken Henry, my four-year-old son, to tennis, yoga, soccer, karate, swimming, dance, and ballet classes. We even tried out Toddler CrossFit! (It was just as bizarre as it sounds.)We travel as much as we can by foot or scooter (our fast-paced 1.5 mile walk/scoot to school each morning gives new meaning to the term “school run”). What are some of your favorite NYC spots to get out there and get active with your kids? My husband and I both grew up in the city, and we love re-exploring it with the children. Some of our go-to spots are the sculpture garden at MOMA, Prospect Park’s Long Meadow https://www.prospectpark.org/visit-the-park/park-map/points-interest/points-interest-long-meadow/, and Pier 6 Park. I recently went to a yoga class held on a roof in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which was utterly incredible, like a cross between an after-hours sculpture park and the moon. I expect we will take a family field trip there soon. Sometimes we all need to unwind. When you’re done hitting the pavement and the kids are tucked in bed, what does a perfect end to a day look like? I cook. I read novels. I might occasionally shop for shoes online. If you could give expectant parents who are worried about losing their freedom some words of encouragement, what would they be? Put down the parenting books. There is no one way. Photography by Justin Borucki. Lauren's activewear courtesy of Bandier. This post was brought to you by Bugaboo.

FEATURED VIDEO

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

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

Our Partners

14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

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.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

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.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

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.

$120

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.

$30

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.

$45

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.

$179

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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