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This Is How You Should Protect Your Baby Against Ticks

A swimsuit model rocks the runway all while nursing her 5-month-old daughter. The Yelp of childcare (trust us, it’s a good thing) comes to NYC and we are soooo ready for it. Plus, shopping with a purpose. How you can score an awesome diaper bag and support girls’ education at the same time! It’s all right here in our Weekly Links.

  1. Bug bites aren’t just ugly and itchy, those little blood suckers can spread nasty diseases. New info from the Environmental Working Group says it’s totally okay to DEET, and that it’s actually one of the best forms of protection against mosquitoes and ticks. The EWG admits DEET isn’t the perfect choice, especially for little ones, but says compared to the possibility of life changing illnesses like West Nile or Lyme Disease, it’s a reasonable one.
  2. We know babywearing is cool and totally insta-worthy, but did you also know babywearing helps keep your little one from crying?! A little snuggling goes a long way (and you get some hands free time! yes!). This great WaPo piece taps into the knowledge of some baby wearing experts to break down which style of carrier is best for you.
  3. It’s not the diapers, the long nights or the teething struggles. If we’re being honest, the hardest part about parenting is finding childcare! The long waitlists and insane costs are enough to drive any parent insane. But with Winnie, one of our favorite apps, finding a daycare or preschool where your little one can thrive is as easy as typing in your zip code. Winnie is expanding city by city, and we’re thrilled to let you know they’ve officially launched in New York City, highlighting over 10,000 childcare options.
  4. The future is female is a message we impart into our little ones, but did you know around the world there are 130 million girls who aren’t even able to go to school? That’s why we’re loving this backpack/diaper bag from 7 A.M. Enfant, that gives 10 percent of the purchase price to Girl Rising, a global campaign for girls’ education and empowerment. Shop with purpose!
  5. We are living for this hot mama, nursing her baby down the catwalk at Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit runway show. Model Mara Martin showed the world what it’s like to be a working mom when she stepped out in her gold two-piece with the cutest little 5-month-old in tow. Sometimes ya just gotta bring your kid to work with ya, right?

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

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

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

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

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

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My belly has been through some things.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (yep, severe debilitating pregnancy-related vomiting), the pregnancies of each of my four kids, the 65 pounds of weight gain I have endured with each pregnancy, stretch marks, Occupational Therapy for pregnancy pelvic pain, unmedicated childbirth, and of course, postpartum recovery.

It's my personal opinion that this belly deserves some love. So starting with my second pregnancy, I've relied on Belly Bandit's postpartum belly bands (which I own in three sizes) to help support my core, reduce swelling, and begin to activate my midsection after nine months of being stretched to the max.

Here's why I love Belly Bandit:

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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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