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A letter to my sisters—thanks for making me an aunt

You’ve given me the gift of motherhood role models.

A letter to my sisters—thanks for making me an aunt

To my sisters,

Thank you for making me an aunt.


Those few words cannot possibly express my gratitude adequately.

You haven’t just given me lifelong little friends, you’ve given me so much more.

You’ve given me the gift of clarity—of what I want in life.

Becoming a mom had always seemed like a milestone I would reach at some point.

As I got older and approached childbearing age, I started to question my capabilities of becoming a mother and whether or not it was necessary for me.

Perhaps I would be the aunt who traveled the world and brought home the coolest treasures for my little friends?

But the first time I held my baby nephew in my arms—just days after he entered the world—I knew instinctively that my desire to become a mother was very real and any questions or doubts quickly dissipated.

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I’ve cried many times holding your babies, because my heart was totally full of love—I truly didn’t think my heart could expand any further. That is, until you added more little friends to my rat pack—one after the other!

My heart is so big now it could burst. Will it when I have my own children?

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You’ve given me the gift of pure joy.

Nothing makes me smile wider than my nephew asking me to hold him. Even if it’s only because I’m tall and closest to the cake. ?

Nothing gives me more satisfaction than my newborn niece settling in for a nap in my arms. ?

Nothing makes my heart skip a beat quite like my niece and nephew’s toddler belly laugh. ?

I am forever indebted to you for giving me these moments of unbridled bliss and liveliness. ?

You’ve given me the gift of motherhood role models.

Watching you become mothers has been remarkable.

Never did I think we would have a stronger bond than the one we forged growing up, but our relationship has grown and matured over the years, largely due to your journey into motherhood.

It has been humbling to watch you care for these vulnerable newborns and mold them into sassy, creative, curious toddlers.

I often get overwhelmed watching it all unfold because it is so.much.work.! I am in awe of what you do.

How will I accomplish everything you do? How will I ensure the proper balance of watching Dora and practicing ABC’s? Is there gluten in that? Will I need to wear pads forever after the baby is born? Newborns don’t always automatically know how to latch? What if I’m not the perfect mom? Will I pee a little during those belly laughs? Every time?

I have so much to learn. And I’m so lucky to learn it from you both. (Actually, I thank God you had children before me to be honest.)

Unknowingly you have already taught me the answers to these burning questions.

There’s no such thing as perfect.

You learn on the job.

We all learn from one another.

Fake it till you make it.

Yes, you will pee a little when you laugh, sneeze, cough, and jump. #Kegels

No one knows your child better than you.

Your child’s laughter is always the best medicine.

So thank you for these lessons, sisters. I am now only slightly petrified—but mostly super excited—to join the sisterhood of the motherhood.

Knowing I have you paving the way for me gives me great comfort and confidence that I will be able to raise a child in this world.

With much appreciation and gratitude,

Your sister


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After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

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I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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Life

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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News