When your baby turns one, there’s a whole lot to celebrate...for baby, of course, but also for mama. You learn so much, and sacrifice even more in that one short year. You test your inner strength, and you push yourself beyond your limits. Your heart and your soul expand beyond measure. In fact, you probably grow more in that first year than in all the rest of the years of your life. So that big party you swore you would never have for your baby’s first birthday...well, you have it. Because frankly, YOU deserve it. Not too long ago, our “baby”--Well Rounded NY--turned one. And you know what? We deserved a party, too. So we threw one. And not that we’re biased or anything, but it was pretty kickass. It all started from a visit to our friends at bloom in West Chelsea, who in addition to making some of the most incredible baby gear in the business, also have one of the most incredible rooftops in NYC. And as any New Yorker knows, there’s nothing better than a summer rooftop party in the city...that is, unless it’s designed by Seri and Michelle of Little Miss Party. We weren’t sure the LMP girls could top their gorgeous granny-chic design for our launch party, but this year’s “Summer in the City” showing--complete with faux hedges, lawn chairs and inflatable pools (and beach balls!)--proved us totally wrong. Speaking of beach balls, our friends at Britax helped us create the ultimate in “seating” areas (what else would you expect from a company that has some of the best car seats in the biz), so guests could chill out while they took in the ridiculous views. Explore & Discover, a new early learning center in Manhattan, schooled our guests in the quintessential NYC street food experience with hot dogs from Bark, handmade pretzels from Cafe Katja, and fruity ice pops to cool everyone down. Our first birthday cupcakes were compliments of Baked by Melissa, and we cheers!’d with Cannonball Wine Company, POM Wonderful mocktails and water from Fresh Direct. And Lara Levine Photography captured it all. Of course, no summer party would be complete without a beach bag, so we owe a big thank you to Babyganics, who collaborated with us to create a limited-edition tote that looks as cool in the city as it does on the sand. And for the goodies inside, we’ve got to thank Lesportsac, Bumkins, Nine Naturals, Kid & Coe, Babyganics, Baked by Melissa and Fresh Direct. And so we end our first year as proud mamas, sure, but also as women who have been humbled by the experiences we have gone through to get here. And we know we could have never, ever done it without you. You visit us every day on our site, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and show up at our lovingly planned events around the city. So thank you for cheering us on, and reminding us of why we started Well Rounded NY in the first place. One year down, and many, many more to go. Now please, with year two in front of us, go ahead and tell us what you’re loving, what you’re hating and what you want to see more of. We promise we won’t throw a tantrum. #WRNYisONE Photography by Lara Levine Photography.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am enough.
I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.
Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.
As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.
Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.
When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.
My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.
So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.
When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.
And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.
Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.
May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.
We've never felt so seen.
Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.
It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.
Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.